Vitamins and Supplements for Strong and Healthy Nails
Nail problems are surprisingly common, with 20% of the population complaining about them. Thankfully, there are plenty of A-list supplements to lend a helping hand. But before delving into the specifics, a little disclaimer: your supplement programme should always start with a high strength multivitamin and fish oil supplement. Think of these as your bedrock – a strong nutritional foundation on which you can build. When choosing a multi, opt for one with sufficient levels of all the nail-nourishing nutrients: zinc, iron, magnesium and B vitamins! Our MultiMax® Advance, Premtis® and MultiGuard® Active are all good options here. As for fish oil, choose one with around 1100mg essential fatty acids to tackle your nails head on. Once that’s established, you can begin personalising your supplement programme, addressing any other individual concerns you may have.
This mighty mineral is essential for maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails since it’s needed for keratin production. A key indicator that your body’s stocks may be running short is curved, thin, or ridged nails. Several factors can contribute to dwindling levels of this vital nutrient, with menstruation, vegetarianism and veganism at the forefront. The best way to plug any nutritional gaps you may encounter is to get your daily dose through a quality multi. Need additional support? Our Iron 14mg as Citrate should do the trick. Oh, and if you don’t eat meat, you may want to also consider taking the amino acid L-lysine to help the absorption of iron.
Vitamin B-50 Complex
Without a ready supply of these nutrients, your nail bed cannot properly support growth and longitudinal ridges may start to form. This weakens the overall structure of the nail plate, leaving behind weak and breakable digits. Vitamin B12 is the one to really sing and dance about here: if you have low levels of this nutrient, you can run into all sorts of nail trouble that may affect colour, strength, and shape. This B vitamin is most prevalent in animal products such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy, so if you’re a vegetarian or
vegan, you have even more reason to focus on replenishing your stocks. A high-strength multi such as Premtis® should have your B vitamin needs covered, however if you need additional support, a quality B-complex will certainly help to strengthen your nails by preventing ridging.
Silica is a trace mineral that’s only required in teeny tiny amounts by the body. It’s found in compounds called glycosaminoglycan – components of structural tissues such as arteries, tendons, skin, nails, bones and cartilage. So replenishing your natural stocks via a daily supplement like our Silica Advance will not only enhance your body’s overall levels, but it will help reveal those flawless fingertips too. But that’s not all this unique silica formula has to offer. Oh no. Our Technical Team has also included decent levels of the nail-nourishing nutrients biotin, zinc and vitamin C. Your nails won’t know what’s coming…
Fish Oil 1100mg
Not only do essential fatty acids moisturise hair and skin, but they may also help to nourish your nails. Unsurprisingly then, diets low in oily fish (omega 3s) can put you at risk of developing dry and brittle nails. Salmon, herring, mackerel and other oily fish are all super sources of omega 3, but taking a fish oil supplement is the best way to ensure a regular intake of this important nutrient.
Strong bones, strong teeth, strong nails, and strong hair — calcium does it all. But the secret to nailing a healthy intake of this nutrient is to ensure your magnesium stores are well stocked. Better still, magnesium has earned itself the esteemed reputation as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’, so it’s perfect for those with busy lifestyles.
If patches of discolouration appear on your bare nails or if your manicure is forever splitting, then you may need to replenish your zinc levels. Zinc plays a crucial role in healthy cell division, which means the parts of your body that rapidly reproduce – your hair and nails – need a constant supply of zinc in order to generate strong cells.
Hair and nails are generally made up of a protein called keratin. Keratin is made of seriously strong stuff, hence why nails and hair can feel a lot tougher than the rest of your body. To produce keratin, your body needs amino acids – and you get these from protein. Of course, consuming plenty of lean meats is the most efficient way to replenish your natural protein reserves. But this can be harder for vegetarians and vegans who are often low in protein due to their meatless diet. That’s why taking pea protein is an excellent way to fill any nutritional gaps.
Grapeseed oil boasts anti-oxidant properties, and works effortlessly to lock in moisture to your cuticles. It’s rich in vitamin E, minerals, fatty acids and linoleic acid, making it a highly moisturising and nourishing base oil for your fingertips.
Not just for luscious locks, biotins can support your overall nail health too. A combination of Biotin and cell enzymes help produce the amino acids required to build the nail protein called Keratin. This makes Biotin an essential element in the process of healthy nail growth. You should take it for at least four months to see the benefits (nine if you’re trying to rehabilitate your ragged toenails).
If you suffer with cold hands and feet or poor circulation, your nails can become brittle with longitudinal ridges. To combat this, we’d suggest taking Veintain® as it can significantly help with the blood circulation in your extremities.
L-lysine is an essential amino acid that supports the maintenance of vital hair, skin and nails. This nutrient cannot be manufactured in the body, and therefore can only be obtained through diet. We require 2-3g a day of lysine and it’s most abundant in animal-based foodstuffs like meat. As a result, vegetarians and vegans can often have pretty low levels; hence the advantage of taking it in supplement form.
Take pride in your nails
Do you take great pride in your sleek, well-manicured nails? Or, does the daily wrath of housework, gardening and worse – your teeth, leave your fingertips more broken than beautified? Whether you style them, file them, gnaw them, or peel them, your nails go through it all. And even if you’ve ditched the gel, taken a much-needed break from the acrylic, and finally invested in that foul-tasting anti-biting polish, they can still be brittle, weak and flaky. Frustrated? We feel for you. So in a bid to help your nails grow longer, stronger and healthier, feast your eyes (and your fingers and toes) on these health hacks that are worth weaving into your nail care routine. Remember, the secret to fabulous fingertips is all in the detail; you need to look beneath the cracks, the chips and the layers of varnish.
File and style
How many times have you whipped out a file and ferociously sawed your nails back and forth? Well, contrary to popular belief, this is a big no-no. Not only does this aggressive action traumatise your nails, but it can also lead to peeling and premature breakage. So whether you’re going for an oval, square or stiletto look, the best way to file your fingertips is to work in one direction with the grain of your nail.
Cuticle oil is a bit of an umbrella term. Typically, it contains a blend of vitamin E, avocado oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, coconut oil…you get the point. But while the ingredients vary, its purpose does not. This ultra-nourishing serum is designed to protect the skin around the nail, improve growth, and keep your nails looking beautiful for longer. It’s not enough to leave your fingertips to fend for themselves between manicures. You need to show them some TLC every day. If you have parched cuticles they won’t stand a chance against our lightweight, velvety Grapeseed oil. Extracted from grape seeds, this nutrient powerhouse is rich in essential minerals which are highly moisturising and nourishing for caressing your cuticles.
You know the drill with your hair, right? Regular trims = luscious locks. Well, it’s no different when it comes to your digits. Set aside time to clip them every fortnight, adjusting this window to more or less often once you see how well your nails respond.
Cuticles: to cut or not to cut?
This is another myth we need to dispel. Cutting your cuticles is absolute blasphemy in the nail world. Your cuticles serve an important purpose because they seal the area at the base of your nails. So when you remove them, you break this vital means of protection and leave your nails open to all sorts of infections. The more you leave your cuticles alone, the more your nails will thank you. And if a nail technician goes anywhere near them, you have our permission to swat them away!
Your nails are delicate – respect their fragility. And try not to be so heavy handed when tidying them up. Did you know that roughly scrubbing your fingertips could actually leave you vulnerable to infection? Oh, and another no-no is using metal tools under the nail. Digging, picking and scrapping under the nail plate can cause it to separate from the skin, which could lead to an irregular white arching nail tip and no one wants that, do they?
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Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.