Nails and Nutritional Deficiency

Did you know that your nails are more likely to get damaged by environmental pressure than your skin? The truth is the nails are more porous than the skin which is why they are more vulnerable to damage. For nails to remain strong and grow healthy, one should ensure that their diet do not lack essential vitamins and minerals.

One’s nutritional intake plays a major role in the health of their nails. If it happens that your nails are becoming or have turned weak and discolored, this can be a sign that you have certain vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Your nails show telltale signs if you are running low on needed vitamins and minerals. Are you aware of what your nails are trying to tell you?

White Spots on Your Nails

Having white flecks or white spots on your nails can mean that you are lacking zinc or Vitamin C. These white spots or white flecks are called leukonychia. Zinc and Vitamin C are important to the body since they protect your cells from free-radical damage. You should add zinc-rich foods in your diet such as crabs, oysters, veal liver, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds as well as low fat roast beef. Fresh herbs like thyme and parsley, fruits like guavas and oranges as well as leafy greens are packed with Vitamin C. It is also advisable to include B-complex vitamins in your diet as they help make your nails stronger and prevent white spots due to trauma to your nails.

Brittle Nails

Are your nails fragile? Are they peeling? If your nails have not sustained any environmental trauma and they are brittle and peeling, you might be lacking in iron. Iron plays a crucial role in manufacturing hemoglobin which produces the oxygen needed by nails to grow and become stronger. You may also be lacking in Vitamin A as this nutrient is needed for transporting iron throughout the body. Be sure to include Vitamin A-packed foods in your diet like sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and butternut squash and iron-packed foods such as liver, beans, artichokes and mollusks.

Horizontal Ridges on the Nails

If you see any horizontal ridge running across your nails, this is a clear sign that you have nutrient deficiency. You may be missing on B-complex vitamins so make sure that you have meat, eggs, dairy, grains and leafy greens in your diet. If your nails have horizontal ridges combined with white flecks, it means that you are lacking in iron.

Beau’s Lines on the Nails

What are beau’s lines? These are ridges that are indented and run horizontally across the nails. Having these ridges often meant that the nail’s natural cell division was somehow interrupted. They can either be caused by physical injury, chemotherapy or nutritional deficiency.

Spoon Nails

When someone is suffering from spoon nails this means that the nails are soft and raised at the edges making a spoon shape hence the name. This is usually due to iron-deficiency related to medical conditions like heart disease or hypothyroidism.

Pay attention to what your nails are telling you and see to it that your diet includes essential nutrients and minerals.

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