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What can I do to strengthen my nails? I have really soft and weak fingernails that
peel off in layers and they break easily. I keep my nails short and I do not use
nail polish so I think the problem might be diet-related. I am not a vegetarian but
I do not eat a lot of meat these days because they are getting expensive. My pottery
teacher said something about white iodine and nails. Can you tell me how to use it
as a nail strengthener and if possible, please also suggest a few home remedies to
make nails stronger and longer naturally. Thank you. – Jeynelle, Nevada.
What Can You Do to Strengthen Weak Nails Naturally?
From what you have written, it seems that your diet may be lacking in several essential
Vitamins and minerals – zinc, iron,Vitamins A, Band D, and omega 3 fatty acids –
which are needed to help promote healthy nail growth and increase nail strength.
Therefore, the first step is to fine tune your diet and make sure you consume enough
protein along with regular helpings of the following foods to fortify fragile nails.
What Foods Make Nails Stronger?
1. If you are not getting enough zinc in your body, you will find that your nails
are prone to cracking and breakage. In addition, white spots, bands or lines may
Aside from meat, fish and seafood, you can find zinc in foods such as eggs, wholegrain
cereals, nuts, pumpkin seeds, kelp (seaweed) and some vegetables like courgettes,
marrow and asparagus. However, some of these foods also have phytates, which interferes
with zinc absorption.
2. To grow stronger nails and keep them in tip top shape, I would also suggest you
increase your consumption of iron-rich foods. That means eating adequate amounts
of lean red meat, liver, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils, dried
apricots, and prune juice.
You also want to consume vitamin C-rich foods – oranges, berries, tomatoes, peppers,
and broccoli – at the same time to help your body better absorb iron. Keep in mind
that caffeine inhibit iron absorption so make sure to avoid coffee, tea, cola or
caffeinated beverages during meals.
3. Omega 3 fatty acids, like protein, also play a significant role in nail strengthening.
Omega 3 fats support healthy nail growth, restore strength to dry brittle nails and
prevent nails from splitting or peeling.
The best sources of omega 3 fats are available in oily fish such as salmon, herring,
tuna and mackerel. If you dislike fish or seafood, you can also find this nutrient
in eggs, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds.
4. Splitting, brittle or peeling nails may also be a sign of a Vitamin A, B and/or
D deficiency. Biotin, also known as Vitamin H or B7, is particularly good for thickening
weak nails and helps reduce nail splitting.
Biotin is available in many foods including tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, eggs, yogurt,
liver, and cauliflower. Alternatively, take a 2.5mg biotin supplement daily to help
strengthen nails. If you decide to use Biotin supplements, please consult your physician
Carrot, meat, liver, fortified milk, cheese, and margarine are rich sources of Vitamin
A. You can get Vitamin B by consuming red meat, peas, lentils, and unpolished rice
(brown rice). Vitamin D can be found in cod liver oil, eggs and seafood. It is also
produced in your skin when exposed to sunlight.
In addition to following a nail strengthening diet, you should avoid excessive hand
washing (or sanitizing). Soaps, detergents and alcohol based gels can strip and dry
out fragile fingernails. Wear gloves to protect your hands and nails when you do
housework, wash dishes, or work in your garden.
Natural Homemade Nail Strengtheners
1. Colorless iodine (also called clear, white or decolorized iodine) works miracles
on weak and thin nails because it supposedly binds the protein (keratin) in your
nails, causing them to naturally strengthen and grow. White iodine also cures nail
How to use white iodine on nails? Simply apply a thin coat on your fingernails every
day for the first week. Then use only once or twice a month to cure peeling nails.
Also, remember not use more than one coat of white iodine on your nails otherwise
it will actually weaken them. If your hands start to dry out, moisturize with olive
oil or coconut oil, or a rich hand cream (I recommend one that contains Shea butter,
or beeswax) in between iodine home treatments.
Just in case you are wondering where to buy white iodine, I suggest Wal-Mart, pharmacy
2. To repair and your fingernails, you can try soaking them in a strong infusion
of horsetail and dill. Horsetail is rich in silica, which helps your body absorb
calcium to naturally promote strong healthy nails.
Place 1 tablespoon chopped dried horsetail and 1 tablespoon dill seeds in a bowl
and pour in about 1 cup boiling hot water. Leave it to steep for 1-2 hours and then
To use, heat a small amount of the dill and horsetail nail soak in a small saucepan,
or heat in your microwave for a few seconds. Soak your nails for 10-15 minutes, every
3. Rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, olive oil works well as a natural homemade
nail strengthener too. The oil rehydrates dry brittle nails while nourishing and
protecting them from peeling or splitting.
Place 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small glass bowl, and stir in 1 tablespoon freshly
squeezed lemon juice (helps to whiten nails naturally) . Mix well and then warm your
homemade nail strengthener in a microwave for about 10-15 minutes.
Dip a cotton swab into the olive oil mixture, and gently apply over entire nail bed
and surrounding nail cuticles. You can also apply a tiny amount to the underside
of your fingernails. For best results, use olive oil nail strengthener every night
before you go to bed.
You can also use 1 teaspoon almond oil instead of lemon juice, and do not heat the
If your nails are not getting any stronger, consult your physician as weak nails
may indicate an underlying health problem such as anemia and thyroid disease.
What foods and vitamins can help tackle dry skin problem from within and let your
natural beauty shine through? Discover how to restore beautiful younger-looking skin
without overpriced anti-aging creams.