The color and texture variations of your fingernails can indicate much more than the presence of brittle or strong nails. To healthcare professionals, these slight deviations and imperfections can be clues about your overall health and well-being. Strong nails are healthy nails that are well cared for 1. A balanced diet is essential for strong, healthy nails because eating right is the foundation to overall good health.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Fingernails are comprised mostly of protein. Therefore, getting plenty of protein in your diet is important for maintaining strong healthy nails. Protein comes from beans, seeds, eggs, lean meats, oats, and nuts.
Calcium helps keep nails from becoming dry and brittle. Green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, dairy products, or even a daily supplement can help supply daily calcium requirements. Vitamin B and vitamin B12 also help strengthen the fingernails. Vitamin C helps prevent hang nails.
- Fingernails are comprised mostly of protein.
- Therefore, getting plenty of protein in your diet is important for maintaining strong healthy nails.
Information found at CNN Health says that keeping your nails dry and clean will prevent bacteria and other organisms from growing under the nail. Additionally, rubber gloves can protect your nails from the elements when you are using soap and water for extended periods of time. Finally, keeping your nails trimmed and filed will also help maintain their strength.
Special Nail Care
Moisturizing your nails is another important step to take to keep your fingernails strong and healthy 1. Proper cuticle care promotes strong nails. When discussing healthy nails, toenails have to be mentioned. Always wear shoes that fit properly because if your shoes place excessive pressure on your toes, ingrown toenails could develop. Always be on the lookout for nail problems on both your feet and hands. If a problem develops and does not go away on its own or it is associated with other symptoms, you should see your doctor.
- Moisturizing your nails is another important step to take to keep your fingernails strong and healthy 1.
- Always wear shoes that fit properly because if your shoes place excessive pressure on your toes, ingrown toenails could develop.
Things To Avoid
What Makes Nails Grow Long, Strong & Fast?
Avoid using your nails as tools to pry, pick or poke things. Never bite your nails or pick at your cuticles because these behaviors can damage the nail bed. Don’t pull off hangnails because this will almost always result in living tissue being ripped off. This also weakens the structure that is left.
- Avoid using your nails as tools to pry, pick or poke things.
- Never bite your nails or pick at your cuticles because these behaviors can damage the nail bed.
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- Better Health Channel: Nails - Fingernail and Toenail Problems
- Lacouture, M., and V. Sibaud. Toxic side effects of targeted therapies and immunotherapies affecting the skin, oral mucosa, hair, and nails. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2018. 19(Suppl 1):31-39. doi:10.1007/s40257-018-0384-3
- Ryu, H., and H. Lee. Beau’s lines of the fingernails. American Journal of Medical Sciences. 2015. 349(4):363. doi:10.1097/MAJ.0000000000000244
- Robert, C., Sibaud, V., Mateus, C. et al. Nail toxicities induced by systemic anticancer treatments. Lancet Oncology. 2015. 16(4):e181-9. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71133-7
- Thomas, R., Williams, M., Cauchi, M., Berkovitz, S., and S. Smith. A double-blind, randomised trial of a polyphenolic-rich nail bed Balm for chemotherapy-induced onycholysis: The UK polybalm study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2018. 171(1):103-110. doi:10.1007/s10549-018-4788-9
- Bast R, Croce C, Hait W, et al. Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. Wiley Blackwell, 2017.
Debbie Allen has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. She has numerous books published and a background in psychiatric nursing, nurse education and organizational development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Spalding University and attended the University of Louisville.