How Diet Affects Nail Health
What we eat has a ‘push me, pull you’ effect on our nails...
...in that our diet heavily influences our general health, and our general health creates healthy and attractive nails (or sick and deformed ones).
Doctors often look at our nails to determine our general state of health, and can recognise ailments immediately by the state of our nails.
Have you ever had black nails?
“Yes” I hear you answer, “When I jammed my fingers in the door.” Well, you will perhaps be surprised to hear that people can suffer from brown, green, red, white and yellow nails! I hope you have none of the above.
Nails form a vital part of the protective infrastructure on our hands and feet. They sit on a bed of blood above our phalanges, which gives them a clear part made of keratin and a pink part coloured by healthy red blood. Keratin is a protein, blood is formed by minerals, and everything that promotes vital functioning is assisted by vitamins. These are all necessary in a balanced diet, even if only in small amounts, and must be ingested on a daily basis.
Protein in food is used to make bone, skin, muscle, hormones, enzymes and blood. Good blood means pink nails remember, and nails of another colour can mean nicotine or other poisons (brown), inadequate blood supply or heart disease (blue), severe anaemia or liver disease (white), or hepatitis (yellow nails). All of these can be related back to our diet, whereas green nails indicate fungal or bacterial infection and red nails are caused by bleeding or exposure to cold. The best sources of protein, and therefore keratin, are meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk, nuts and beans.
Our bodies need a variety of different minerals, or it does not work properly. The essential minerals are iron, phosphorous, calcium, sodium and magnesium and good sources of minerals are dairy products, meat and vegetables. Our bodies, and thus our nails, require a