Foods You Should Be Eating If You Want Stronger Nails

We don't often think about our fingernails until they become brittle or one breaks, but nail health can actually be indicative of our overall health, according to WebMD. The cells that make our nail tissue are formed from a protein called keratin, which is the same substance that forms the cells of our hair (via Healthline). The new cells grow under our skin, so the nails we can see are actually the dead nails pushed out by the new ones. This is why we don't feel pain when we cut our nails. 

Blood flow helps the nails grow, and they grow faster when we do things like type, increasing circulation to our fingertips. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, nails can become brittle due to too much moisture (soft nails) or not enough moisture (dry nails). This can be caused by repeated wetting and drying, like when washing the dishes, the use of harsh chemicals like nail polish remover, and changes in humidity. Nail problems might give indications of other health issues, like anemia, malnutrition, liver problems, emphysema, inflammatory arthritis, and thyroid issues (via WebMD). So what can we do to get stronger nails? As it turns out, what we eat can help.

Try these foods to strengthen your nails

Instead of taking expensive supplements or using harsh treatments, incorporating certain foods into your diet can help you grow stronger nails. Make sure you're getting enough protein by consuming foods like meat, eggs, and whey protein (via Health). Dairy products are a good source of vitamin D, which you need to absorb calcium, an essential mineral for creating strong nails. For both calcium and vitamin D, try vitamin D-fortified milk.

Salmon is a good source of biotin, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which keep inflammation down and promote healthy nail development (via Healthline). Fruits like strawberries, oranges, and kiwis, as well as vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes, are high in vitamin C. It is important for producing collagen, a protein that's important for healthy nails. Foods that are rich in iron, like beef, eggs, peanuts, and beans, are also helpful.

A lot of the same vitamins and minerals are crucial for both nails and hair. This means these foods not only strengthen your nails but help grow thicker hair, too!