Healthy Nails, Healthy Body

May 21, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

HEALTHY NAILS: Having healthy nails is also a reflection of one's overall health. Be sure to take the time to care for them as you would care for your teeth and skin. (Photos.com)
HEALTHY NAILS: Having healthy nails is also a reflection of one's overall health. Be sure to take the time to care for them as you would care for your teeth and skin. (Photos.com)
Caring for your nails takes more than just clipping and polishing them.

A reckless lifestyle, bizarre eating habits, smoking, alcohol, and even household chores can get your nails screaming for help. It is therefore essential for you to know how to maintain healthy nails and ensure that they are well cared for at all times.

We all want smooth, healthy nails that glow. Pedicures and manicures do manage to make them look wonderful on the outside, but we also do need to nourish them and ensure that they’re healthy by following a few simple tips.

Some Tips on Nail Care

• A simple and effective technique to help make your nails glow with health is to squeeze a few drops of lemon on a cotton swab and dab it on each nail about five to six times. You can also rub the skin of the lemon on your nails once you’ve taken out all the juice. Wash your hands with water after a few minutes.
• Never, ever use an acetone-based or formaldehyde-based nail polish remover. Rather, stick to a remover that has acetate in it.
• Do not file your nails just after you have had a shower or have washed your hands. This is because wet nails tend to break easily.
• While filing your nails, make sure to go in one direction only. Do not move the filer in a back-and-forth motion, as it makes your nails brittle.
• If you want to keep your nails strong and shiny, try nail buffing. It augments the blood supply to the nail, in turn stimulating its growth.
• Stay away from artificial nails as much as possible. Apart from destroying the underlying nail with their chemicals and glue, they might also lead to fungal infection of the fingernails.
• Rubbing almond oil on your nails on a daily basis will help make them smooth and healthy.
• If brittle nails are a concern for you, treating them with extra virgin olive oil may help. Soak your nails in olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes every day for around a month. This wonderful indulgence will greatly help you get rid of damaged, weak, and peeling nails.

Natasha Kalra, a stylish student at The Centre for Management Studies, Bangalore, India, swears by four routine methods that she follows on a weekly basis to ensure that her nails are in the best condition:

“Filing and buffing nails weekly, and using a good hand moisturizer or a nail cream and clipping nails with the help of a nail scissor very regularly can go a long way in keeping your nails healthy. A good intake of water and healthy food should also be a part of your lifestyle. These little tips can go a long way in getting beautiful nails,” she suggests.

Ensuring Healthy Nails Through Adequate Nutrition

• If you are suffering from the problem of hangnails, it is advisable to eat food rich in protein, vitamin C, and folic acid.
• Ensure that half of your diet is made up of fresh fruits and raw vegetables. This will supply your nails with the required vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
• Supplementing your diet with spirulina and kelp will help make your nails strong and healthy.
• vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to dryness, rounded and curved ends and darkening of nails. So, make sure to include enough of the vitamin in your diet.
• If your nails are too brittle and dry, you should increase the consumption of food items rich in vitamin A (such as apricots, broccoli, carrot and cheese) and calcium (such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and almonds).
• Carrot juice is rich in calcium and phosphorus, and helps strengthen your nails. Try to consume as much fresh carrot juice as is possible for you.
• If your nails look dull instead of a healthy pink, try eating beets everyday. Beets are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin D and keep nail dullness at bay.
• Raisins that have been soaked overnight can be eaten to make your nails glow; this is due to the high content of iron in raisins that is sure to help make your nails glossier.
• Drinking water not only keeps toxins at bay and your skin glowing, it is known to boost your nail health as well. Water hydrates your nails, keeping them glowing. Don’t forget to eat biotin-rich foods, like liver, eggs, whole grains, and avocados for great looking nails.

Healthy nails aren’t far away if one follows these simple tips. Nails reveal a lot about an individual’s health status and one’s style quotient as well. It’s time we really gave our nails some care and ensure our tips and toes are healthy and pink!