Personally, I find nothing is a truer reflection of my overall health, then the health of my hair, skin and nails. Throughout my modelling past, I tried every diet out there, I cut carbs, I then cut fat, I went vegan, vegetarian and the rest and it was during this time of restricting foods from my diet, that my nails were at their unhealthiest. Now, by eating a healthy and well balanced diet, my nails won’t stop growing long and strong. Whether your digestion needs a kick start, or your diet is missing a few essential ingredients, my top tips for healthy nails are revealed right here.
- HEALTHY DIGESTION
Many people recite the old saying “you are what you eat” and in many cases, that is true; however my studies in nutrition have led me to believe it is more a case of “you are what you absorb”. We can’t eat a healthy diet and expect to gain the full benefits of all those delicious organic whole foods, if our digestion isn’t working effectively. This brings me to my first point: healthy digestion = healthy nails. To help kick start your digestion, sip on some lemon juice and warm water. This will help stimulate your digestive juices and assist you in breaking down foods more easily. For the full benefits of lemon and water, click here.Stress is a major player in poor digestion and hence practices like meditation, tai-chi and yoga, or simply practice diaphragmatic breathing in your lounge room, will help support optimal digestion and hence, healthy nails!
If you struggle to breakdown proteins, foods like pineapple and papaya may assist with boosting your protein-digesting enzymes.
- AMP UP YOUR PROTEIN
Nails are made up of mostly amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Including adequate protein into your diet, is essential for strong nails.
- LOVE YOUR LIVER
When I first started studying Anatomy and Physiology, I was blown away by the size and sheer importance of our liver – it does a whole lot more than we give it credit for. We all joke about the damage alcohol does to our liver, but we never really seem to show it much TLC. If you are suffering from brittle or weak nails, this can be a sign of a weakened liver. Increase your consumption of filtered water daily, and include lots of delicious cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower.
- NOURISH WITH ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Peeling cuticles can be a sign of an iron deficiency, or a deficiency in essential fatty acids. Rub some coconut oil into your cuticles to try an address this (benefits of coconut oil can be found here), while again, increasing your consumption of dark leafy greens, pasture/grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish.
- INCREASE YOUR ZINC
White spots on our nails is more commonly a result of zinc deficiency. Increase your consumption of foods rich in zinc, like that of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, activated nuts (to read about why we opt for activated nuts click here), free-range organic eggs and grass-fed red meat.