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Top 8 Nutrients for Healthy and Strong Nails

Beautiful nails are on everyone's checklist these days, be it a man or a woman. And as surprising as it may seem, nails are one of the best indicators of a person's health. Yes, that's true. If your diet is missing the key nutrients, it will start to show on or around your fingernails.

A simple, tiny color change or spot of color on your nail speaks a lot. That means nails are not here for just aesthetic purposes. The harsh chemicals in soaps and sanitizers that you use for washing your hands strip all the moisture off your nails, leaving them vulnerable and brittle. That is why you must ensure your nails get all the necessary vitamins crucial for their healthy growth.

In this blog, we will talk about eight different nutrients essential for your goal of getting healthy and strong nails.

1. Biotin

Biotin is a member of the B-complex family and is a water-soluble vitamin that your body needs. It is also known as Vitamin B7 and works towards converting food into fuel for the body. Biotin is one of the essential vitamins for nail growth. It prevents nail breakage and brittleness.

Taking natural biotin supplements or food rich in Vitamin B7 can thicken the nails and improve their strength. Biotin is found in organ foods like liver and other foods like egg yolks, dairy products, vegetables like cauliflower and sweet potatoes, and fruits like avocadoes, nuts, and seeds. Beauty supplement providing biotin, collagen and other crucial nutrients also may help improve your nail health along with improving hair and skin health.

2. Other B Vitamins

Other B Vitamins, like vitamins B12, B9, etc., are also beneficial for nail health. Vitamin B9 or folate ensures that the nail beds get enough oxygen and nutrients to stay healthy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to unusual darkening or discoloration of nails. A healthy B12 intake ensures healthy blood flow to the nail beds. Vitamin B9 or folate is rich in green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, citrus fruits, fish, avocado, etc.

B12 is found mainly in dairy and meat products. However, you can add it to your vegan diet by opting for fortified foods, nutritional yeast, etc. Opt for Hair,Skin & Nail supplements that provides you vital nutrients that are not easily provided by your diet.

3. Iron

Iron dominates the center part of your red blood cells that transport oxygen to every cell of the body, including your nails. A deficiency of iron in your body can have an adverse effect on your nails. First of all, your cells won't get enough oxygen, and because your nails require oxygen for healthy growth, you might start noticing vertical ridges, sloping, or spoon-shaped nails that start to curve inwards.

Iron is rich in foods like beef, chicken, eggs, dairy products, etc. Plant-based iron sources include dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, peanuts, fortified food, etc. Remember, eating Vitamin C-rich food will allow better absorption of Iron in the body.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a huge role in providing your nails with a solid shape, strength, and a beautiful finish. This vitamin boosts the production of collagen, the building block of nails.

Citrus fruits, like oranges, strawberries, kiwi, etc., are considered the best sources of Vitamin C. However, vegetables like red bell peppers, and green vegetables like broccoli, are also great Vitamin C food sources.

5. Magnesium

Magnesium plays a huge role in major processes in the body, like protein synthesis essential for cell growth and nail growth. A magnesium deficiency in the body has symptoms similar to iron deficiency, like vertical ridges on the nails. Whether or not you suffer from a magnesium deficiency, you must ensure to add it to your diet for both preventative measures and as a potential treatment.

Whole grains like quinoa, wheat, etc, vegetables like spinach, and nuts like almonds and cashews are rich in magnesium.

6. Protein

Low protein intake leads to brittle and weak nails. Nails are made of a fibrous protein called keratin, and consuming the right amounts of protein will boost keratin production, giving your nails strength and resilience and protecting them from damage. It will eventually allow your nails to grow stronger and shinier.

Animal-based foods like meat, dairy, poultry, fish, and eggs and plant-based protein foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, etc., are all great protein sources. Addding superfood protein supplement also will help provide provide and another antioxidants that prevent further damage to nails

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Having strong nails isn't just the only thing you would want for your nails. Your nails should also give off a healthy shine which is made possible by omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient moisturizes and lubricates the cells. Omega-3 also prevents inflammation of the nail bed, along with ensuring healthy growth of the cells that further lead to the growth of the nail bed.

Tuna, sardines, salmon, cod and other fatty fish are known to be the top sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. But there are several other plant-based sources of omega-3, like walnut, soy, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc., enough to provide you with the required omega-3 in your diet if you are a vegan.

8. Zinc

Zinc performs several crucial functions that promote the smooth functioning of the body. It includes cell division and development. As zinc allows the development and division of cells, the nails grow efficiently. But a deficiency of zinc in the body can lead to problems further leading to a degeneration of the cells, resulting in white spots on nails.

Animal food sources, like beef, poultry, eggs, etc., are rich in zinc. Plant-based sources like chickpeas, black peas, nuts like walnuts and cashews, etc., are also great zinc sources. A combination of vitamin C and Zinc is crucial for collagen synthesis which is also important for maintaining healthy nails.

Wrapping Up

If you want strong and shiny nails, you must focus on consuming a well-balanced diet every day with all the necessary nutrients. Eating the right foods is the best way of taking good care of your nails. But, if you think it is difficult to add all the nutrients to your diet, nail growth and health supplements will always have your back!


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  • Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 12;9(8):866. doi: 10.3390/nu9080866. PMID: 28805671; PMCID: PMC5579659.

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  • Afra TP, Razmi TM, Narang T. Reversible Melanonychia Revealing Nutritional Vitamin-B12 Deficiency. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2020 Sep 19;11(5):847-848. doi: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_13_20. PMID: 33235865; PMCID: PMC7678521.

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