Goodbye Manicures and Pedicures: Secrets to Natural and Healthy Nails
Last updated on : August 06 2017
Being sexy and attractive starts from the inside out - literally. Healthy hair, a trim waistline, and natural nails complete your look and are all directly impacted by the food choices we make everyday.
In the past we’ve covered a host of insights that encourage you to love your curves alongside a few other guides on style and fashion. In this post we zero in on one of the smallest yet obvious parts of your unique style - your nails. From the color you choose to length and texture; your nails communicate a lot more about you and your moods than you think. Natural nails show off your health. Bright flirty spring colors add soft femininity. Fiery reds and mauves tends to evoke explicit sexual intentions. Blacks and grays communicate that you’d rather keep things brief and non-conforming.
However, what matters more than the color and hues of your nail polish is your nail bed itself. Are your natural nails strong and shapely? Strong healthy nails are sexy, feminine, and easy to maintain with a bit of care. If your nails are cracked, brittle, or discolored, your body is asking for healthier food choices so that it may gain the nutrients it needs to grow stronger nails.
Cosmetic styling such as manicures and pedicures only do so much to beautify unhealthy nails. The secret to healthy and natural nails begin with healthier food choices. The strength of your nails largely depends on the amount of keratin and collagen in your diet.
We recommend that you incorporate these superfoods packed with much needed nutrients in your daily diet to improve the strength and beauty of your nails. But first, a short introduction to who we are...
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Perhaps the best dietary change to make for healthier nails is the addition of fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is full of lean protein that boosts the strength and growth of your nails naturally, as well as hair and skin.
However, not just any fish delivers the right nutrients to support healthy nail growth. Stick to fish that have beauty-friendly proteins which are easy to assimilate, such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, and whitefish. Easily add these types of fish to your diet by baking, grilling or broiling them. Steer clear of fish that contain high amounts of mercury such as mackerel, swordfish, and sushi. Include the good varieties of fish in your diet at least three times a week for natural nails that no longer need mani-pedi treatments.
This dairy-based food contains high amounts of easily digestible proteins. Yogurt offers a number of other nutrients as well such as potassium, calcium, biotin, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin D – all of which are necessary for the health of your nails.
The trick is to choose a type of yogurt that is low in sugar but high in digestible protein. Reach for plain and unsweetened Greek yogurt for maximum benefit. Other than your nails, the nutrients in yogurt also promote better stomach health as well as supports hair and bone strength. Yogurt is best consumed as a stand-alone snack, dip, and can even when added to your choice smoothies.
These nuts are an effective memory and brain function booster. Almonds are also a rich source of a number of elements that are important for nail health such as zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, selenium, protein, and biotin. Instead of reaching for roasted almonds, pick the raw ones to get maximum benefit. They make for a great snack food and are tasty toppings on smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt. Raw almond butter goes well with crackers, and makes for a wholesome mid-day snacks during the spring.
Hemp seeds are an invaluable addition to your daily diet. The nutrients in hemp seeds are heart-healthy and great for your hair and skin too.
Not only are hemp seeds high in omega-3 fatty acids, but they also contain generous amounts of all the other amino acids, biotin, manganese, selenium, and easily assimilated proteins. All of these nutrients mean that hemp seeds are a great way to boost your overall health and support the growth of your nails naturally.
Remember that hemp seeds are used as a substitute in any recipe that requires nuts. Add a wholesome tablespoon of hemp seeds to your yogurt, smoothies, and oatmeal. If you prefer alternatives to hemp seeds consider chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds to boost nail health.
Eggs are fantastic for your nail health. A generous amount of biotin is not the only thing that eggs have going for them. They are also an excellent source of beauty-friendly proteins, healthy fats, Vitamin E and D, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and iron.
Research shows that biotin helps to boost nail thickness, thereby reducing the chances of splitting and breaking of nails. Eggs contain necessary amounts of iodine which helps to regain healthy thyroid function. If you are concerned about the cholesterol in whole eggs, consider adding just egg whites to your diet to get most of the benefits without the fat.
Sweet potatoes are inarguably the best vegetable source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Other sources of this vitamin include squash, cantaloupe, leafy green vegetables, and carrots.
Why is beta-carotene important? This antioxidant is perhaps one of the best things you can eat for better nail health. It works to strengthen the elastin and collagen in your skin as well as your nails, and also reduces the amount of chipping and splitting due to inflammations. Furthermore, beta-carotene works as a source of food for your hair, nails, and skin, thereby promoting healthy growth.
Spirulina was introduced by NASA. The government agency used this blue-green algae as a dietary supplement for astronauts. Since then, this miracle superfood has become an integral part of a number of nutritional supplements. Containing between 55 to 70 percent of protein (much more than sources such as chicken, soybeans, and beef), spirulina is also rich in beta-carotene, a number of body-friendly acids, iron, calcium, and a various amino acids.
Commercially available in the form of a green powder, the notable drawback of this seaweed is that the taste is nothing to write home about. However, it is a simple problem easily remedied by adding to food items that you like such as soups and smoothies that often mask its pungent taste.
These tasty nuts offer so many benefits that it would be nuts to not use them in your daily diet (pun intended).
Walnuts contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (when compared to other nuts), walnuts are also rich in magnesium, fiber, protein, potassium, zinc, copper, melatonin, and biotin. These nutrients are necessary for the growth and strength of longer healthy and natural nails. As an added advantage, walnuts also serve to keep your appetite in check by stabilizing the sugar in your blood, reducing inflammation in your body, and keeping your skin clear. Add walnuts to smoothies and yogurt or just snack on them as they are.
Nail Health: Simple Home Remedies to Healthier Nails
Getting a manicure and pedicure is an excellent way to steal time away, relax, and rejuvenate from everyday stress. However, they are not always recommended. Instead, pamper yourself in a spa with a full body massage and treatment. Remember that a manicure and pedicure is a quick fix solution but should not be your only solution to attractive, sexy, and trendy nails.
Take care of your cuticles
The health of your cuticles is another reason to say goodbye to manicures and pedicures – these salon processes are very hard on your cuticles, often leaving them feeling bruised and opening your body up to bacteria. The best way to clean your cuticles is to wipe them gently with a wet piece of cotton, and nip only the dead skin from the hangnails. If your cuticles feel dry, apply a little olive or coconut oil on your cuticles and nail beds before you sleep. Natural oils promote hydrated, strong, and healthy nails.
Do not use your nails as multi-tasking tools
Often when we cannot find a pair of scissors to loosen staple pins or open up a letter, we resort to using our nails as tools. However, when you do this, you run the risk of breaking or weakening them.
Wear rubber gloves when you do your chores
The excessive exposure to water and soapy chemicals is not good for the health and integrity of your nails.
Refrain from picking away at chipped nail polish
Picking at your nail polish may lead to damage to the surface of your nail beds. When applying finish, ensure that you use a base coat to protect your nails.
Moisturizing your hands
Adding moisturizing lotion to your hands and nails is one of those things we know we should be doing, but never seem to get around to. Remember to use a dollop of moisturizing cream or cuticle or coconut oil every time you wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer. This helps keep your nails hydrated and naturally healthy throughout the day.
Opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover
All natural nail polish remover is chemical-free and a safe alternative to traditional nail polish remover.
The key to natural nails and saying goodbye to manicures and pedicures is to make healthier food choices and incorporate fish, chia seeds, and the other mentioned foods into your everyday diet. Providing the necessary nutrients to your body that support and promote stronger nails simply requires a few lifestyle adjustments such as moisturizing them and taking better care of your cuticles. Give some of our tips a try for at least two weeks before expecting visual results.