Did you know your nails can reveal clues to your overall health?
Many of the changes in your nails occur due to vitamin and nutrient deficiency. Here’s a list of symptoms that you may notice in your nails and what they mean for your health.
Horizontal Depressions of Your Nails
These depressions, also known as Beau’s Lines may occur the fingernails and/or toenails.
They are often caused by a Zinc deficiency, but also could be due to injury or infection of the nail, certain drugs and an illness that gives you a high fever.
Beau’s lines usually grow out as your nails grow. If the lines are due to zinc deficiency, eat foods high in zinc, such as red meat, seeds, eggs.
Spoon nails or Koilonychia are extremely thin and have a spoon-like shape. The outer edges of the nails may turn up and come out of the nail beds as well as crack.
Iron deficiency, or anaemia, is the most common cause of spoon nails.
However, it can also be caused by your body’s inability to absorb nutrients, as well as injury to the or even chemotherapy or radiation.
On way to combat this is to eat foods rich in iron, such as red meat, chicken, legumes and dark green leafy veggies.
If your digestive system is absorbing nutrients correctly, you will likely get enough iron from these foods. However, you may benefit from iron, and possible vitamin B12, supplements.
Vertical Ridging Of Nails
This looks like longitudinal ridges running from the cuticle at the base of your nail to tips of your nail. It’s typically due to ageing or a vitamin B deficiency
A balanced diet rich in all essential vitamins and nutrients is key to eliminate vertical ridging. A multi-vitamin supplement containing B vitamins will also help to smooth the ridge out.
Pale Nail Beds
Anaemia, where your have low iron levels, is a possible cause of pale nail beds. A diet to combat anaemia, includes green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, red meat, beans and calcium rich foods such as broccoli and dairy.
White patches or bands on the nails
Deficiencies of calcium, zinc, and B vitamins are the main causes of white spots or bands on the nail. Other factors may be diabetes, eczema, anaemia, manicures or side effects of certain drugs.
If it’s due to nutrient deficiency, eat a balanced diet and add in a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. The white marks usually grow out as the nail grows. It may be wise to visit your doctor if this does not solve the problem.
These look like thin red, brown, or blackish lines under the nails and they run longitudinally towards the direction of nail growth.
These are mostly caused by trauma but may also be a sign of vitamin C deficiency. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits and possibly a Vitamin C supplement.
Soft nails, where the top of the nail becomes thin, soft and brittle, is usually due to poor nutrition and a deficiency of vitamins A, B6, C, and D, as well as low calcium levels.
The best remedy is to improve your diet and eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fish and fish liver oil. A vitamin supplement including biotin can also help
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