The condition of your nails can be a good indicator of your health.
Dry, brittle, and damaged nails can be not only unsightly – even if you’re the only one who notices them – but they can indicate low levels or deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.
Give these remedies a try for strong and shiny nails that your friends will envy!
1. Make sure you’re getting enough essential vitamins
A vitamin B group deficiency is not only more likely as you get older, but it can lead to dry and brittle nails, amongst other health issues. Increasing your intake of vitamin B rich foods such as pork, poultry, soya beans, fish, bread, and wholegrain cereals, or taking a supplement if necessary will have you on your way to healthy nails (and probably feeling better all over). Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as iron, vitamin C, and zinc can cause issues such as nails splitting, so look at your diet, and get a good multivitamin.
2. Drink lots of water
It’s one of the simplest things, but so many people in our busy society just aren’t drinking enough water, which can really wreak havoc on the condition of your skin, hair, and nails. One great way to start drinking more water is to have a glass or two each time you walk into the kitchen.
3. But avoid water on your nails
Yep, you need to drink lots of it, but too much water contact can weaken nails. When you’re washing up, make sure you wear gloves, and use a protective hand cream.
4. Get plenty of protein in your diet
Your nails are made up of keratin, the same protein that makes up your hair. It only makes sense that to produce protein, your body needs to be fed plenty of protein! Lean meats, dairy, nuts and soy products like tofu can be included in your diet more regularly to help strengthen and grow your nails. The other bonus will be luscious, shiny hair!
5. Keep your nails cut short and moisturise
At least in the beginning. It sounds counterintuitive, but in the same way your hair needs regular trims, so do your nails. Keep them short and filed while you get the other steps under control, and use a good hand and nail cream with vitamin E oil.
You’re on your way to healthy, strong, and long (if you wish) nails!
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.