Whether you're shaking hands at a business meeting or showing off an engagement ring, your hands take center stage throughout your life. Having healthy nails is a direct reflection of your overall health and the condition they're in can provide valuable clues.
But before you can start growing the nails of a hand model, you need to know what may be causing them to crack, break, peel or become speckled in appearance.
The Structure of Your Nails
Your nails are made up of protein, just like the other tissues of the body. The protein found in nails in keratin. This protein can be depleted or increased based on many factors like aging, medications, poor diet and medical treatments like chemotherapy. You may also notice changes in your nails from injury, ingestion of toxic substances like arsenic or silver, infection or medical conditions like liver disease, thyroid disorders or psoriasis.
These factors can lead to lines in the nails, brittle nails, thin, curved edges, white spots or patches, putting or ridges. When you start to notice these changes in your nails, it's time to start examining what's going on. Did you slam your finger in a door? Are you eating mostly processed foods? Were you suspect you were exposed to an infectious bacteria? Has anything else about your health changed? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends seeing a physician before self treating if you experience any of these symptoms:
Dark streaks across the nails
White color beneath the nails
White lines on the nails
Horizontal ridges on the nails
Pale nail color
Supplements for Improving Nails
If you're starting to see any of the symptoms mentioned above, it's time to take action. Once you've determined what you're experiencing isn't related to a more serious medical problem or infection, you can try one or a combination of these nutrients and herbs:
These different nutrients support healthy keratin production for strong nails that grow more easily. You can find these supplements on their own or in a combination. Most major supplement brands have a formula for nails, usually in tablet or capsule form. Follow dosage instructions carefully, as with any supplement and speak with your doctor first if you're taking any medications or are pregnant or nursing.
The Better Nails Lifestyle
First and foremost, there are some changes you can make to your habits that can make a difference. The NIH recommends keeping nails on the shorter side and au naturel (color free), clipping any hangnails that arise. You should also avoid wearing tight shoes that can put pressure on the nail bed as well as picking at, biting or tearing the nails.
If you're looking to improve your nails through your diet, you can get your biotin through foods like bananas and cauliflower and your omega-3s from salmon and avocados. Keeping your diet rich in protein from nuts, whole grains or animal protein also helps along with shopping for orange fruits and vegetables, which are packed with vitamin A. Last but not least, try soybeans for more zinc.
No matter what shape your nails are in, eVitamins has everything you need to care for them. Put your best hand forward from now on!
Products you may like:
Nature's Plus Ultra Nails Plus Why you may like this product? This blend from Nature's Plus
includes MSM, vitamins,
minerals and amino acids to
strengthen nails. Taken just
once daily, your nails will
grow longer and become more
resistant to peeling and
Skinny Girl Vitamin Power Packets -- Hair, Skin and Nails Wild Berry Why you may like this product? Support your nails while on
the go with this nutritious
drink mix. Each single-serving
packet has vitamins and
minerals as well as the Beauty
Blend, which contains
collagen, cysteine and
hyaluronic acid. Best of all,
it not only benefits your
nails, but your skin and hair
as well and tastes great.
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Statements made about specific vitamins, supplements, procedures or other items sold on or through this website have not been evaluated by eVitamins or by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. As always, please consult with a licensed doctor or physician before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program, before taking any vitamin or medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a problem.