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How can you grow strong, healthy nails?

How can you grow strong, healthy nails?

Why do we have nails? They sit innocently on the ends of our fingers and toes and aren't really thought too much of until we need to peel a fast-stuck sticker or pick up coins. Many scientists believe that our nails are an evolutionary trait, from primates that used them to hook on to trees and branches.

Over time, while we may climb trees a lot less, they're still needed in everyday life. Those that have naturally stumpy nails could probably lament to you about all their troubles trying to complete the simplest of tasks, whereas those with nails probably don't realise the benefits as much.

For many women (and some men, too!), it's also become something of a fashion accessory - you'll see extravagantly painted nails, occasionally filed into fabulous shapes that extend long beyond the tip of the finger.

However, many are faced with nails that are less than strong. Weak and brittle, their nails will chip at the slightest bump. What can you do about it?

Understanding the matrix of our nails

Sometimes, damaged nails can be an indicator of poor health.

Nails are made of keratin, a protein which also makes up your hair. If you have ever painted your nails a bright colour, you'll realise exactly how much wear and tear they face in everyday life, when, at the end of the week, you end up with chipped polish.

Our nails protect the tips of our fingers and toes. Ever stubbed your pinky on something? It hurts, but imagine how much more pain it'd be if you only had the soft, fleshy portion of your foot in the collision.

If you've ever jammed your finger or nail in a door, your nail may grow another layer - this is your body's response to add extra protection, especially while your finger is recovering.

What's the state of your nails like?What's the state of your nails like?

What can you do about weak nails?

You need to support the keratin in our nails. There are many supplements out there specifically for this purpose, which also aid in the health of our hair.

Firstly, if you bite or nibble at your nails, stop immediately. Because your hands come into contact with so many surfaces, it is unhygienic for both you and everyone around you. Secondly, it could be why your nails are so weak. Your saliva will soften and dehydrate your nails, and biting them can cause rips or tears in the nails themselves, or the skin around them. This can lead to infections, which can be both irritating and painful.

If you have trouble with this annoying habit, there are a few things you can do to stop. Painting your nails a bright colour may stop you, for fear of swallowing chips of nail polish.

There is also a specific type of polish that is made to taste acrid, so any biting of your nails will eventually cease.

Keeping your nails clean and short will also prevent any extra length for you to bite off. Your teeth are not clippers, so invest in a good pair to help stop this habit.

Hand cream can help to strengthen your nails - find a product for this specific purpose.Hand cream can help to strengthen your nails - find a product for this specific purpose.

What can you eat to help strengthen your nails?

As your nails are made of protein, you need to supplement your body with such. Lean meats such as chicken and beef are required for a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Eggs are another great source of protein, and can be consumed during all meals of the day. 

To promote cellular growth, you'll also need to supply your diet with antioxidants and mineral-rich foods. Think blueberries, grains and nuts.

Another structural element of your skin and nails is collagen and elastin. As we age, the production of both slow down, so turn to vitamin C to help. You'll find this in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

Last, topical applications of creams and moisturisers can also help your nails. As your nails grow at the root, the old cells are pushed out, attributing to length. They'll need more moisture and vitamins to stay strong, which you can add via hand creams.

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How can you grow strong, healthy nails?

Not everyone has healthy, strong nails. What can you do to fix this? You may have to break a few habits, and eat a well-balanced diet.

Why do we have nails? They sit innocently on the ends of our fingers and toes and aren't really thought too much of until we need to peel a fast-stuck sticker or pick up coins. Many scientists believe that our nails are an evolutionary trait, from primates that used them to hook on to trees and branches.

Over time, while we may climb trees a lot less, they're still needed in everyday life. Those that have naturally stumpy nails could probably lament to you about all their troubles trying to complete the simplest of tasks, whereas those with nails probably don't realise the benefits as much.

For many women (and some men, too!), it's also become something of a fashion accessory - you'll see extravagantly painted nails, occasionally filed into fabulous shapes that extend long beyond the tip of the finger.

However, many are faced with nails that are less than strong. Weak and brittle, their nails will chip at the slightest bump. What can you do about it?

Understanding the matrix of our nails

Sometimes, damaged nails can be an indicator of poor health.

Nails are made of keratin, a protein which also makes up your hair. If you have ever painted your nails a bright colour, you'll realise exactly how much wear and tear they face in everyday life, when, at the end of the week, you end up with chipped polish.

Our nails protect the tips of our fingers and toes. Ever stubbed your pinky on something? It hurts, but imagine how much more pain it'd be if you only had the soft, fleshy portion of your foot in the collision.

If you've ever jammed your finger or nail in a door, your nail may grow another layer - this is your body's response to add extra protection, especially while your finger is recovering.

What's the state of your nails like?What's the state of your nails like?

What can you do about weak nails?

You need to support the keratin in our nails. There are many supplements out there specifically for this purpose, which also aid in the health of our hair.

Firstly, if you bite or nibble at your nails, stop immediately. Because your hands come into contact with so many surfaces, it is unhygienic for both you and everyone around you. Secondly, it could be why your nails are so weak. Your saliva will soften and dehydrate your nails, and biting them can cause rips or tears in the nails themselves, or the skin around them. This can lead to infections, which can be both irritating and painful.

If you have trouble with this annoying habit, there are a few things you can do to stop. Painting your nails a bright colour may stop you, for fear of swallowing chips of nail polish.

There is also a specific type of polish that is made to taste acrid, so any biting of your nails will eventually cease.

Keeping your nails clean and short will also prevent any extra length for you to bite off. Your teeth are not clippers, so invest in a good pair to help stop this habit.

Hand cream can help to strengthen your nails - find a product for this specific purpose.Hand cream can help to strengthen your nails - find a product for this specific purpose.

What can you eat to help strengthen your nails?

As your nails are made of protein, you need to supplement your body with such. Lean meats such as chicken and beef are required for a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Eggs are another great source of protein, and can be consumed during all meals of the day. 

To promote cellular growth, you'll also need to supply your diet with antioxidants and mineral-rich foods. Think blueberries, grains and nuts.

Another structural element of your skin and nails is collagen and elastin. As we age, the production of both slow down, so turn to vitamin C to help. You'll find this in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

Last, topical applications of creams and moisturisers can also help your nails. As your nails grow at the root, the old cells are pushed out, attributing to length. They'll need more moisture and vitamins to stay strong, which you can add via hand creams.

How can you grow strong, healthy nails?
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