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Truely Healthy Nails

Your nails protect the sensitive nerves at the tips of your fingers and toes. They are mostly made up of a protein called keratin. Your nails should be a pink color - due to the blood vessel below the nail. Any problems with the nails are usually a sign of a nutritional deficiency.

Your nails can tell you a lot about your general health.

Look at the following table for the nail condition and what underlying problem may be causing the condition.

Nail Conditions
As Indicators of Underlying Problems
Nail Condition Underlying Problem
White nails Liver or kidney problems or anemia
Yellow nails Liver, respiratory or lymphatic problems (not clearing the toxins from the body)
Dry and brittle nails Vitamin A or calcium deficiency or both
Round or dark nail tips Vitamin B12 deficiency
Thick nails Poor circulation or thyroid disease
Wide square nails Hormone imbalance
Splitting Reduced hydrochloric production
White spots Zinc deficiency
Concave or vertical ridges Iron deficiency or poor general health
Inflamed around the nail bed Arthritis or vitamin c deficiency
No moons at the base of the nail An overactive thyroid
Brittle nails Thyroid problems or iron deficiency or poor circulation and biotin, calcium, zinc deficiencies and too much selenium
Cut or cracked nails Dehydration

What you can do to improve the health of your nails

Look at the underlying problem with your nails, for example, if you have the white spots you will probably need to improve your zinc levels. The following foods are a good source of zinc:

If the underlying problem is a vitamin B12, iron, vitamin C or other deficiency, you will need to correct this. A good multivitamin and mineral supplement will go a long way to help.

If your liver or kidneys or circulation are not working as well as they might then correcting any nutritional problems will also be of assistance for you.

The following food can be of assistance for the general improvement of your nails:

These foods are both high in silicon and sulphur and carrot juice is high in calcium and phosphorus.

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References

Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

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Some people spend a fortune seeking attractive nails. Frequently the expense is external or "purely cosmetic" and functions as a cover-up.

The truth is, really healthy nails are easily the most attractive and simpler to keep looking good.

What's the secret? It's on the inside! The nails reflect overall health and the best way to keep them looking and feeling great, is to take care of all of you.