Are your nails constantly chipping and breaking? If yes, then it’s time for you to improve your nail health. Most people in India associate nail care by having a manicure or pedicure. Nail care is obviously an integral part of hand and foot care. The nail plate from which the nails grow is several millimetres below the base of the nail and takes about nine months for a new nail to grow. Nails can indicate your state of health to a great extent. Pale nails with vertical ridges indicate anaemia or extreme dryness from using too many detergents. Blue nails point towards an inefficient circulation and not enough oxygen. If your nails are thin and constantly breaking, this may indicate inadequate intake of vitamins, minerals and protein.
So internally what are the things you should be eating to improve the quality of your nails? Calcium, gelatine and Vitamin B complex. The intake of Vitamin D cures vertical ridges, folic acid and Vitamin C cures hangnails and split nails. The former, which are cracks in the skin along the sides of the nails, can be particularly painful. Drink diluted cider vinegar to strengthen them and paint with two coats of lemon juice daily to strengthen them externally. Never pull the skin of the hand nails as it can damage the area; only cut carefully and remember to lavishly massage the area with a wheat germ based cream.
Foods you should include in your daily diet are lean meats like chicken and fish, which will provide the necessary protein for your nails. Also include lots of green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale; these provide enough iron, folate and calcium to help strengthen weak nails. I would also suggest the intake of berries like blueberries, strawberries, and even grapes and bananas, which are packed with nutrients.
Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and bell peppers not only bring in colour and flavour to your dishes but also are packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, which provides the necessary collagen and antioxidants that nails require to be strong and hard. Include nuts and seeds in your diet like almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds or panch magaz that provide the necessary vitamin E, magnesium and manganese and copper. Milk, eggs, whole grains, lentils, and dairy should also be a part of nail diet care.
If you have the following symptoms in your nails, here’s where you need to focus on-
-Vertical ridges often reflect a weak digestive system that does not metabolise minerals or proteins well and a deficiency in vitamin B12 and iron.
-White spots show calcium or zinc deficiency. They often appear after a period of eating sweets, especially refined sugars that deplete minerals out of the body.
-Bitten nails reflect nervousness, mineral deficiency, or intestinal parasites.
-Hang nails show a lack of protein, vitamin C and folic acid in the body due to low intake of these nutrients or poor absorption.
-Brittle nails show low iron or vitamin A, imbalanced thyroid or kidney function and poor circulation.
-Reddish-purple nails show weakening of the body and general fatigue.
-Dark red nails show blood stagnation due to eating heavy, salty or fatty foods.
-Pale nails show poor blood circulation, anemia and low liver and kidney energy.
Some simple natural solutions for your nail problems are enlisted below:
Things You Need:
2 tbsp fresh pineapple juice
2 tbsp papaya
1 egg yolk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Mash the papaya and mix in the pineapple juice. Beat in the egg yolk and add the cider vinegar and pour into a small bowl. Soak nails in this mix for about half an hour, massaging every now and then. Both these fruits contain an enzyme that helps soften protein tissue.
Cream for Damaged Nails
Things You Need:
Half a cup of honey
1 egg yolk
Half a cup of castor oil
1 tsp sea salt
Beat the ingredients and keep in an air-tight jar in the fridge. Rub into the nails daily leaving overnight or at least for an hour.
Cracked and Chipped Nails
These can be extremely embarrassing, especially when one is fond of applying nail paint. Try the following remedies to keep nails strong and smooth.
-Warm olive oil massaged thrice a week into the nails helps strengthen them.
-Never throw away lemon peels after you have squeezed out the juice. Instead, rub into the nails daily. This will help reduce any yellowishness and strengthen them externally.
-Take 1 tsp gelatine daily internally for 2 weeks for strong nails.
-Mix 2 tbsp vodka with 1 tsp lemon juice and store in a bottle and rub into nails and cuticles daily.
So now that I’ve geared you with some very effective natural nail remedies, incorporate them in your daily lives and see your nails transform!
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