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4 Vitamins and Minerals to Prevent Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are a remarkably common problem, but your risk of developing the condition increases as you enter menopause due to hormonal imbalance. However, there are some vitamins and minerals that can strengthen nails and help restore them. Learn about two vitamins and two minerals that every woman should include in her diet to avoid or improve brittle nails.

4 Vitamins and Minerals to Prevent Brittle Nails
1

Zinc

Zinc is a vital mineral in keeping your body healthy. Zinc contributes toward wound scarring, immunity, and nail and hair growth. A zinc deficiency can cause dry and brittle nails. Eating foods high in zinc can boost your levels and improve brittle nails. Try consuming more zinc by increasing your consumption of seafood, lean meat, and zinc-fortified breakfast cereals. However, take care not to eat too much of this mineral, as an excessive intake can upset your stomach and cause diarrhea.

2

Iron

Iron is necessary for your body to produce red blood cells – over half of your body's iron supply is found in the blood. Iron deficiency can cause many health problems, like the development of concave-shaped and brittle nails. Iron deficiency can be combated eating more dried fruits, beans, and dark leafy vegetables. You can also find iron in red meat, turkey, and eggs.

3

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a well-known vitamin, and one that cannot be produced by the body; it must be consumed through food. Vitamin C deficiency can result in brittle nails and cause the growth of both your hair and fingernails to slow down. Vitamin C is essential to the production of collagen, which is a component of hair, skin, and fingernails. Since the body cannot produce vitamin C, it is important you consume foods that are rich in this nutrient, like berries, citrus fruits and juices, and green vegetables.

4

B-Group Vitamins

Biotin, part of the vitamin B family and also known as vitamin H, is essential for maintaining fingernail health. The chance of developing a vitamin B deficiency increases as you age, and it can lead to dry, brittle nails. Biotin helps the rest of the B-complex of vitamins work together to maintain strong, shiny fingernails. One of the best ways to avoid a biotin deficiency is to eat liver, cauliflower, carrots, and salmon.

Recommendation

Taking care to ensure your diet includes enough of these four nutrients will help keep you healthy, and this will be reflected in your nails. However, while these nutrients can help your fingernails, they may not remedy the source of the problem of brittle nails and other menopause symptoms – menopausal hormone imbalance. Click on the following link to find out how to treat the hormone imbalance behind brittle nails and other symptoms.

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Caring for Brittle Toe Nails during Menopause

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Eat Avocados to Fight Brittle Nails during Menopause

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Sources:
  • National Health Service UK. (2013). Vitamins and minerals. Retrieved August 16, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/vitamins-minerals.aspx
  • National Health Service UK. (2012). The B Vitamins. Retrieved August 16, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-B.aspx
  • PubMed. (2013). Vitamin C. Retrieved August 16, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0003056/
  • British Broadcasting Corporation. (n.d.). Vitamins and Minerals. Retrieved August 16, 2013, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/hi/sa/healthy_eating/features/newsid_2166000/