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Beauty

10 Foods That Will Help You Grow Strong Nails

Good nutrition and a well-balanced diet are so important to your entire body. It’s important to eat well not just to achieve or maintain a certain weight or even to get a flat tummy, but even more importantly so that your body will function optimally. A lot of the time, we may feel relatively healthy, but certain body parts are actually trying to tell us that something might be off-balance. For instance, if your nails seem weak and are breaking, chipping, or taking forever to get longer, you’re probably not getting all of the nutrients your body needs to grow and maintain strong, healthy nails. So if you want to rock the perfect manicure and protect your fingernails from damage from the inside out, you should think about incorporating some of these foods into your regular diet.

Avocado

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Since avocado is so common in Latin cuisine, this one should be pretty easy for most of us. Avocados are jam-packed with Vitamins A, B and E, which are all good for strengthening cells and thanks to the good fats they contain, all of those incredible vitamins are more easily absorbed meaning your body can use them more quickly. If you don’t like standards like sliced avocado, avocado toast or guacamole, you can blend avocado into a smoothie or bake it into chocolate muffins and you’ll hardly be able to taste it at all.

Eggs

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Nails (and hair) are made up of a protein called keratin and your body uses the protein you ingest as food as the building blocks for the creation of keratin that it uses to form your hair and nails. Eggs are a quick and easy source of protein and biotin that you can eat even a few times a day, prepared different ways in order to ensure you’re getting enough protein in. Plus, if you don’t like to eat eggs straight up, you’ll still get some of the nutritional benefits if when they are baked or cooked into things like bread, pasta and desserts.

Collagen Powder

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Last year my nails were severely damaged from getting routine gel manicures, so in addition to applying strengthening treatments topically once a week or so, I started adding a scoop of collagen protein into my afternoon coffee daily and within a couple of months my nails were repaired. Like keratin, collagen is one of the major proteins found in the nail bed and it also contains the amino acid arginine which is said to be excellent for nail growth. So, if you supplement with collagen protein or eat foods rich in collagen, you’ll be giving your body more to work with.

Salmon

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Salmon has long been known as a superfood and for good reason. It’s not only an excellent lean source of protein, but it’s also full of healthy fats including Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s definitely a powerhouse for nails, skin, and hair which all seem to flourish and literally shine when you’re eating enough of those nutrients. Try to stick with wild-caught salmon — it’s more sustainable, more nutrient-rich and it even has more flavor.

Bananas

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Bananas are a good source of biotin (Vitamin H) and can help strengthen and repair weak, brittle fingernails. You can purchase biotin supplements if you’re deficient, but bananas are a lot cheaper, easier, and tastier to consume than a manufactured pill. They are nature’s perfect, portable snack and they’re also excellent added to lots of other dishes and drinks like smoothies, protein shakes, muffins, pancakes, etc. There’s never a shortage of ways to eat bananas and benefit from all of the nutrients they contain.

Apricots

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Despite not being the most popular fruit, apricots are so incredibly tasty and because of their small size, they’re really portable too. They are also loaded with Vitamin A which helps strengthen nails. If you can’t find fresh apricots, dried apricots are readily available at most grocery stores and are often found in store-bought dried fruit bars and snacks, all of which are super-easy to take with you to work or school or even while traveling.

Coconut Oil

Chances are, you’re already using coconut oil somewhere in your beauty routine. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and incredibly moisturizing. Even better, you can use it in your cooking to start reaping the benefits from the inside out and you can apply it directly to your cuticles, nail beds and all over your hands so that you can absorb it’s nutrients and moisturizing properties from the outside as well. Try to stick with extra-virgin, unrefined organic coconut oil when possible, since the less processing the oil undergoes the more nutrients it retains.

Milk

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You’ve probably been hearing how good milk is for your nails since you were a kid and while lots of people choose not to drink dairy milk these days, it still holds true that the high amount of calcium in milk helps strengthen nails and bones and may even help them grow faster. If you’re not into drinking a cup of milk or pouring it over your cereal, you’ll get the same benefits if you use it in your cafecito, blend it into a smoothie or protein shake, eat yogurt, ice cream, etc.

Berries

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Berries — the darker the better — are full of antioxidants that protect your body from damage caused by free radicals, so you’re nails will have better opportunity to grow and heal. Many types of berries also have a high Vitamin C content, which helps with natural collagen production. That of course, is also beneficial to nail growth and health and a great supplement to anything else you might be doing to benefit your nails.

Beans and Legumes

Every time you tuck into a dish of habichuelas or frijoles, you’re doing something great for your nails! Beans and legumes are an excellent source of plant-based protein, zinc, biotin all of which are known for helping nails grow thicker and longer faster, as well as to help repair damaged nails. There are so many types of beans to choose from and they all can benefit your nail health — even green beans and lentils — so feel free to mix it up and eat whichever beans you like, however you like them.

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