One of the main things holistic health practitioners will look at to observe your health is your nails, therefore healthy nails are a sign of good health. But healthy nails are also aesthetically desirable and something to feel proud of.
Healthy nails typically have a smooth surface and even colouring, but as you age, you may notice vertical ridges or increased brittleness which is normal and harmless. However, abnormalities such as discolouration, nail separation or spots may result from injuries, infections or certain medications like chemotherapy, and some medical conditions that affect the appearance of your fingernails may require a doctor’s diagnosis based on other symptoms and a physical exam in addition to their appearance.
Nutrition plays a role in maintaining strong and healthy nails. To keep your nails strong you should ensure you have adequate nutrients such as protein, biotin, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E. In so doing, you should avoid/ treat nutritional deficiencies by consuming a nutrient-rich diet and getting nutrients supplementally if there is a requirement.
Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It's important to consume a variety of protein sources to ensure adequate intake of all essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein[i].
Antioxidants help protect your body's cells against free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, leading to inflammation and an increase in stress hormones. This damage can negatively impact all cells in the body, including those responsible for maintaining healthy hair and nails[ii].
Pure Encapsulations Biotin 8mg (60 caps): A study investigated the effects of biotin supplementation on nail health in patients with brittle nails. The study found that supplementation with biotin improved nail thickness and reduced nail splitting and breaking[iii] [iv].
Adequate hydration is also important for nail health. Make sure to avoid harsh chemicals, use gloves where necessary. Finally, take care of your nails by keeping them clean and moisturised, and avoiding harsh chemicals, can help promote nail health.
Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Hand Cream (50ml): The rich composition features olive and avocado oils as well as silky cocoa butter.
Nail Varnish Remover - Rose (100ml): A natural nail polish remover by Kure Bazaar allows a completely natural nail care routine.
Ultimate Beauty Organic Nail & Cuticle Oil from Viridian Nutrition: moisturises, supports healthy growth for both fingernails and toe nails. This organically-grown oil is a blend of soothing waxes, essential oils and botanical extracts which can be applied daily to encourage improved nail appearance and condition.
Kure Bazaar Rose Infused 100% Organic Cuticle Oil (10ml): 100% organic cuticle oil infused with an exclusive blend of 10 nourishing oils that deeply hydrate and strengthen dry and brittle nails.
Food Sensitivity Test (Dietary Antigen Test): Food sensitivities or allergies can contribute to inflammation in the body, which can affect nail health. Testing can help identify any foods that may be contributing to inflammation and poor nail health.
Complete GastroIntestinal and Microbiome Test: Poor digestion and absorption of nutrients can contribute to nutrient deficiencies that can affect nail health. Digestive function testing can help identify any issues with digestion or absorption that may be contributing to poor nail health.
Complete Hormone Panel - DUTCH Test: Hormonal imbalances can affect nail health, particularly in women. Hormone testing can help identify any imbalances that may be contributing to poor nail health. Hormonal imbalances can affect nail health, particularly in women. Hormones such as oestrogen and thyroid hormones play a role in nail growth and development[viii].
Heavy metal toxicity testing: Exposure to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium can affect nail health. Heavy metal toxicity testing can help identify any heavy metal exposures that may be contributing to poor nail health[ix].
[i] Colombo, V. E., Gerber, F., Bronhofer, M., & Floersheim, G. L. (1990). Treatment of brittle fingernails and onychoschizia with biotin: scanning electron microscopy. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 23(6), 1127-1132.
[ii] "Antioxidants and oxidative stress: a mutual interplay in age-related diseases" (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.go...): This review article discusses the role of antioxidants in reducing oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of age-related diseases.
[iv] Patel, D. P., Swink, S. M., & Castelo-Soccio, L. (2017). A review of the use of biotin for hair loss. Skin Appendage Disorders, 3(3), 166-169.
[v] Tosti, A., Piraccini, B. M., & Sisti, A. (2003). Zinc deficiency and its relationship with hair and nails. Clinics in Dermatology, 21(6), 463-468.
[vi] Lee, S. H., Lee, S. Y., Son, S. J., Jeong, W. Y., & Kim, M. K. (2015). Effects of hyaluronic acid and its derivatives on nail properties. Journal of Cosmetic Science, 66(1), 67-76.
[vii] Schagen, S. K., Zampeli, V. A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology, 4(3), 298-307.
[viii] Ozuguz, P., & Dogan, G. (2013). Evaluation of the nail in endocrine disorders. European Journal of Dermatology, 23(4), 438-443.
[ix] Kasperczyk, S., Dobrakowski, M., Kasperczyk, A., Romuk, E., Rykaczewska-Czerwińska, M., & Pawlas, N. (2017). Assessment of the content of toxic and essential metals in hair and nails of people exposed and not exposed to smelter emissions. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24(15), 13689-13700.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.