(Health Secrets) Want healthy nails? A lot of problems can contribute to unattractive nails, from a lack of nutrients to a biting habit. Chewing nails not only makes them look bad, it invites infections. Even if you don’t chew the nails, poor eating habits can rob the body of the nutrients it needs for strong, healthy nails. If nails aren’t as long and beautiful as you want them to be, try some natural remedies to stop biting, and consider making some diet changes,
Break the nail biting habit
Nervousness, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder are some of the emotional and mental causes of nail biting. These issues may require professional help, but simply chewing nails could just be a bad habit. There are several things you can do to fight the compulsion.
Keeping nails clean decreases temptation. Many people bite their nails because they are dirty, so cleaning, cutting and buffing them regularly may help avoid the temptation to bite.
Anti-biting nail polishes with a bitter taste deter some people from biting, but those nail polishes are full of chemicals. A simpler, healthier solution is to put hot sauce, lime juice or lemon juice on your nails. Pick the one that is the least appealing taste-wise and apply it regularly.
If making fingernails gross-tasting isn’t good enough, putting band aids on just finger tips can prevent teeth on the nails. This may not be fun at work, but if it’s a real problem, put the band aids on thumbs only. Those are the fingers most people go for first, and then put band aids on all the fingers when you get home. Keeping a coin in your pocket to play with can help you resist the urge to bite while at work.
Eating for healthy nails
Fingernails grow strong, smooth and quickly when you eat right. Here are a few key nutrients for healthy nails. Calcium and magnesium are essential for nail growth and repairing the damage done by teeth. Even if nails aren’t being bitten, they’ll still get damaged from minor scrapes and scratches. Also, a lack of these minerals can often be the cause of nail biting. Some foods that are high in calcium and magnesium include:
Garlic may be helpful too for healthy nail growth. If nails are growing fine but they are looking dull, it may mean there are not enough essential fatty acids in the diet. Nuts, seeds and salmon are high in these important nutrients. Too few B vitamins can lead to dry or dark fingernails. Vitamin B12 and biotin are especially important. A vitamin B complex supplement can cover all the bases, but some good sources of biotin include:
- Leafy, green vegetables
- Peanut butter
Nuts and beans are also great sources of protein. Nails can be weak without sufficient protein, which is needed to make the keratin that is a main component of fingernails. Whole grains, legumes and organic dairy products can also boost protein levels.a
Last but not least: vitamin C. Insufficient amounts of vitamin C in the diet may lead to hang nails. To avoid them, eat plenty of fruits such as:
A balanced diet rich in these healthy foods may improve the state of your nails and could also give you stronger, shinier hair as well as overall better health. The better the nails start to look, the more you’ll want to take care of them.
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