Your toenails are critical for supporting and protecting the tissues around your toes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Healthy toenails are important as toenails can become infected or brittle if they are not cared for properly or aren't supported with the proper nutrition. Fortunately, there are many different kinds of foods that are beneficial for your toenails, as they are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals that help to keep your toenails healthy.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B-12
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that foods such as shellfish, beef, eggs, pork and liver are good sources of vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is important for your nails; a lack of vitamin B-12 can result in your nails becoming brittle and can also cause your nails to break easily as well, according to ChetDay.com. Also, a vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause your nails to become dry, curve too much or become discolored.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, mangoes, red peppers, winter squash and cooked leafy greens. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin, helping to ensure that your nails are protected against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can build-up in your body over time, harming your cells and organs, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Free radicals may make your nails become brittle and prone to other infections. Low vitamin C levels can contribute to hangnails.
Foods Rich in Zinc
Foods rich in zinc include soybeans, tofu, pumpkin, green beans, cheese and oysters. Zinc is an antioxidant mineral, assisting in the protection of your nails from free radicals. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that low amounts of zinc in your body can cause white spots to form on your nails. The American Academy of Dermatology says that white spots on nails may also indicate an infection or medical condition.
Foods Rich in Biotin
Biotin can be found in foods like mushrooms, beans, nut butters, cooked eggs and whole grains. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that biotin is responsible for keeping your nails strong and may also be effective in assisting with the treatment of nails that may be splitting or brittle.