How I’m Strengthening My Nails

Some of you may remember a couple weeks back when I shared on my Instagram stories that my nails are getting very thin. Well first off, thank you to all of the suggestions/replies to my story! I really appreciate the feedback; it has helped so much. I also got quite a few people saying “same girl, help!” So I’m going to share what I’m doing in hopes that it may help some other people as well. I also think I will make another most in a few months to see if what I’m doing has really helped, so stay tuned.

I’ve done a little research (pharmacist here, remember?), and I summarized some of the key players for healthy nails.

First off: a few things to DO. The first is to be careful about water and chemicals around your nails; these things can weaken your nails. This means I’ll be using rubber gloves to clean more often and keeping a hand cream to keep my hands and nails moisturized. The next thing pretty much EVERY place I read suggested: use a soft nail file. Filing your nails actually weakens them.

And now for the important vitamins to have strong healthy nails (the part I wanted to mainly focus on for myself):

  1. BIOTIN BIOTIN BIOTIN. Literally everything I read mentioned biotin. Biotin is found in dairy products, salmon, nuts, avocado, and sweet potatoes. A biotin supplement is never a bad idea either. I already take a biotin supplement, but it was good to know that it must be pretty important, so I’ll keep up with part of my routine.
  2. Iron. Iron is most simply needed to provide your cells with oxygen. You need oxygen for healthy nails. Therefore, iron is important! Iron can be found in meats, but more so in red meats, dark leafy vegetables like spinach, beans, and fortified cereals.
    1. Also, your body absorbs iron better when consumed at the same meal as Vitamin C. AND vitamin C is important in the production of collagen, which is important for hair, skin, and nails. Think citrus fruits, tomatoes, and green veggies. So if you’re thinking of adding iron, don’t forget to look at Vitamin C.
  3. Magnesium. Magnesium’s main importance related to your nails is that it is involved in protein synthesis. Magnesium is found in whole wheat, eggs, dark leafy veggies, quinoa, and others.
  4. Protein. Nails are made of keratin, which is made of protein. Therefore, having enough protein in your diet is ESSENTIAL to having stronger nails. Protein is found in a lot of things, but most commonly you think of meat, fish, dairy, legumes, soy, and eggs.

There are several other vitamins and nutrients that help your nails, but I just wanted to summarize the ones I thought seemed the most important for my thin nails. This website was EXTREMELY helpful!

So what am I actually doing to make these kinds of positive changes? Well first off, I bought the Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies. They have collagen, biotin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. The taste is pretty good. I’m going to keep taking my daily multi-vitamin and 10,000 mcg of biotin as well.

I did a pretty thorough review of the labels of foods in my apartment. And you know what? I think my diet could use a little improvement! I noticed I have essentially no or very little iron.  Now I did not go to the doctor or have blood work done, so I can’t know this for sure. But based on the vitamins I get from my multi vitamin and the food I eat on a regular basis, I would bet I am pretty low in iron. So I have made a conscious effort to eat more iron. Ways I’m doing this, you ask? Well before, I pretty much only kept romaine lettuce at home to make salads. Now I have the 50/50 spinach and spring mix.  I am trying to eat more red meat (beef tacos, hamburger helper because I am quite the chef haha,etc). Also, I used to drink a lot of orange juice when I was growing up but hardly ever have it anymore. So now I am keeping orange juice at home to have with some of my meals.

I am also trying to eat more protein. I’m a snacker; meaning I could eat snacks and appetizers all day every day instead of a sit down meal. This isn’t too good when I look at the amount of protein I probably eat. It’s also much easier for me to snack at work because I do not get breaks. Being at work from 7:30 am to 9 pm can be tough on my food choices, so I am trying to pack foods like Greek yogurt and healthier granola bars to eat throughout the day along with my sandwiches or small meals I eat while working. I am specifically eating more meals with meat. (not a vegetarian here, but I’m perfectly happy with a meatless pasta, pizza, flatbread, sandwiches, and so on!) I’m adding more chicken to my lunch salads and making eggs for breakfast a couple days a week. Overall, I am trying to just eat what most people would just consider “healthier.” To me, it means my eating is more balanced and conscious.

I still have not had my nails done in these last few weeks. I did purchase a few polishes to use at home right now and if I need to take these “breaks” in the future. I already know I’ll have my nails done again soon with some travel and the holidays coming up. I will keep you updated on this

Helpful websites:

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