The best part of all the beauty foods I've talked about is that they don't benefit one area of beauty in isolation. Meaning, they have overlap. For example, nuts and seeds are not only great for nail growth but they are wonderful for skin as well because they are great source of zinc (especially seeds) and good fats.
You may have heard me say this before if you've heard me speak in person:
Eat the food you want to look like!
Meaning, eat foods full of life, vibrancy, energy and beauty. Real food, such as all the foods I've talked about in part 1, 2 and now 3 are all beautiful, real and truly "whole" foods rich with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and thousands of phytonutrient compounds with benefits such as reducing inflammation in the body and more.
A fast food burger and fries ain't very pretty. It's basically dead food. Dead food means it is nutrient-bankrupt.
If you eat dead food on a regular basis and therefore a poor diet, this will reflect in nails that are soft and/or brittle and break easily. Your nail completely renews itself every six months, if.. and that's a big "if", you are eating plenty of fresh "whole" foods.
Now let's get on to what this post is all about, beauty foods for healthy nails!
Nuts and Seeds
Eating a handful of nuts and seeds every single day has incredible beauty benefits because they are a great source of minerals. Zinc and iron are both important for healthy nails. If you have a lot of white marks on your nails this can indicate a zinc deficiency. Iron deficiency can manifest as ridges. Please note: I do not recommend popping zinc or iron supplements, unless you are working with a natural healthcare practitioner who has advised you to do so. Additionally, the good fat in nuts and seeds makes them a fantastic choice for blood sugar balance. A smart snack for the prevention of diabetes. Bored of hummus? Have you tried my Sunny Punchy Sunflower Seed Spread?
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are packed with protein which makes them a fantastic food supporting nail growth since your nails are made of keratin, a type of protein. They are also a source of biotin which supports your nails thickness and prevents splitting. Plus beans and lentils are an easily digested plant protein with tons of fiber and iron. If you find you get bloated and gassy from eating beans and lentils either sprout them or cook them with a sea veggie such as kombu. Kombu is a type of kelp and the amino acids help to soften the beans. Have you tried Ma McCarthy's Baked Beans?
All green foods such as fresh herbs (and leafy greens) are a source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. A deficiency in both of these can result in dry, dull nails and makes hang nails more common. Eating a variety of fresh herbs will give you a variety of minerals. Deficiency of minerals manifests in ridges, both vertical and horizontal on your nails. I love herbs because they are such a quick and easy way to add a burst of nutrients to any meal. I love adding fresh parsley or cilantro to my salads and mixing them into veggie burgers too.
Of all the beauty foods I've talked about over these three posts, chia benefits all aspects of beauty -- skin, hair and nails! Chia is 100% gluten-free, complete source of protein (supports nail growth), high in fiber (in fact more fiber than bran and flax). It is a great source of beautifying omega-3s, great to keep your cuticles moisturized. In fact, it’s one of the greatest plant sources of a fatty acid called alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). I prefer sprouted chia, as it’s more digestible and higher in protein. Calcium is found in chia and a lack of adequate calcium can result in dry, brittle nails. The easiest way to get chia into your diet is to toss some in a smoothie.
Variety is key. Just because one food is healthy for your nails and you have brittle nails doesn't mean that you should eat it every single day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will find hundreds of recipes on Joyous Health, over 80 delicious and nourishing recipes in my book Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without dieting.