Wellness Wednesday: What Your Nails Say About Your Health
Just like your skin and hair, the condition of your nails is a strong indication of health. Often, when nails change color, shape or texture, it is a sign of an internal issue that may need to be addressed. So next time you give yourself a manicure, study your nails for the following symptoms:
Brittle and Flaky:
What it means: Nails that split and flake away are often a sign of chronic malnutrition and can signal a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Dry and brittle nails have also been linked to thyroid disease.
What it means:
- Yellow: Yellow nails could indicate a number of things including a fungal infection, diabetes or even a respiratory disease. If yellowing persists and is accompanied with pain or other symptoms, be sure to follow up with your doctor.
- White Spots: Often a zinc deficiency or injury to the nail bed.
- White Lines: White spots or dashes are common and nothing to worry about, but if you have white lines that extend across the entire nail bed, it is a sign of low levels of protein in the blood. This can indicate liver disease or malnutrition.
- Bluish: If the tissue that lies beneath your nail bed is blue, it is a sign of low oxygen levels in your blood and can indicate lung disease.
What it means: When nails are soft and curve up with a dip in the middle, creating a spoon-like effect, it can signal a number of internal issues that need to be addressed including anemia, hypothyroidism or heart disease.
What it means: Do you have small dips and holes in your nails? This can happen from normal wear and tear, but if you notice this in multiple nails, you may want to take a look at your health. Nail pitting can indicate an autoimmune disorder, tissue disorder or psoriasis.
What it means: Healthy nails are smooth to the touch; if you notice ridges across your nail beds, it may be a sign that you have an iron deficiency or inflammatory arthritis. When combined with red lines at the base of your nails, it could indicate lupus.
What is means: We all strive for strong nails, but if they are abnormally thick or resemble talons, you may want to see a doctor. Thickened or textured nails can be a sign of a fungal infection, circulation problem, or thyroid or lung disease.
5 Nutrients for Nail Health:
Vitamin B: A lack in B vitamins will result in brittle and flaky nails. Take a daily biotin supplement for hair, skin and nail health.
- Eat This: Leafy greens, oats, beans, nuts and eggs.
Zinc: Avoid white marks on your nails by getting your daily dose of zinc.
- Eat This: Pumpkin seeds, oysters, spinach and cashews.
Protein: Make sure you’re getting plenty of high-quality protein to make keratin - a tough protein needed for hard and strong nails.
- Eat This: Beans, nuts, chicken, eggs and leafy greens.
Vitamin A: Prevent nails from becoming dry and dull by filling up with foods full of vitamin A.
- Eat This: Sweet potatoes, leafy greens, carrots and melon.
Omega-3s: Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to help keep nail beds moisturized and prevent flaking.
- Eat This: Ground flax seeds, chia seeds, salmon and walnuts.
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