You are What You Eat: What are your nails telling you?


Nails are often a reflection of our overall health or nutritional deficiencies:

  • Poor nail growth = zinc deficiency
  • Dryness and brittleness = lack of vitamin A , D and calcium
  • Brittle, concave, ridged, white half moons = iron/protein/calcium deficiency
  • Bluish discoloration = respiratory difficulties
  • Yellowish discoloration = bronchial difficulties
  • Peeling nails = vitamin A deficiency
  • External fibrous growths = too much salt
  • Separation of the nail bed = nervousness/hyper thyroid

How does healthy eating help?

  • Nails that break easy (chip, peel, or crack) may indicate a poor nutrition, insufficient hydrochloric acid and protein in the diet, as well as a deficiency in minerals. Increase your vitamin A by drinking carrot juice. Eat three servings of fish each week and/or consider taking a fish oil supplement.
  • Iron-deficiency anemia may cause the nails to appear pale and become thin, brittle, ridged, and easily cracked or broken. Eat more iron rich foods, eat more iron-rich foods such as eggs, liver, green-leafy vegetables, blackstrap molasses, almonds, poultry, whole grain breads and cereals, avocados, beets, dates, lima beans, pumpkins, peaches, pears, prunes, watercress, soybeans and raisins. If changing the way you eat doesn't help, see your health care practitioner.
  • For fungal or bacterial nail infections, boost immunity by eating garlic and onions, foods rich in zinc (nuts, root vegetables and shellfish), vitamin C and flavonoids (fruits and vegetables), and omega-3 (nuts, seeds and dark green leafy vegetables).

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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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