Onychorrhexis is the medical term for brittle nails. It is a condition characterized by the separation and breakage of the protein layers that constitute the nails. About 20% of people all over the world face this problem. Women are more affected than men. Brittle nails are usually caused by injuries, infections, poisons, diseases or different kind of medications. However, vitamin deficiency can also cause brittle nails, leading to a breakage and peeling of the horizontal layers of the nail tips.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Brittle Nails?
In order to have healthy nails, adequate nutrition is necessary. For brittle nails, vitamin deficiency in A, B, C, and D is often associated.
- Vitamin A deficiency affects the nails and makes them brittle as this type of vitamin aids the body to process proteins. Protein is the main constituent of nails; any inadequacy can make nails dry and fragile.
- Vitamin B deficiency can also lead to nail problems. Biotin, vitamin B12 and vitamin B7 make your nails stronger, preventing them from getting dry, dark and curved in the ends.
- Vitamin C deficiency will slow down the growth of your nails as well as of your hair. This vitamin is essential to the production of collagen, a very important component of your nails and hair.
- Vitamin D and calcium are very important to your nails as well. A deficiency of vitamin D leads to a poor absorption of the calcium, eventually resulting in brittle nails.
Other necessary nutrients include essential fatty acids, zinc, proteins, hydrochloric acid, copper, calcium, iron, iodine, and selenium. If your diet doesn’t contain these nutrients, you can have brittle nails.
Eat These Foods to Supplement Vitamins and Other Nutrients
For the health of your nails, it is very important to have a balanced diet. You should include more fruits and vegetables as well as drink plenty of water daily. If you have severe symptoms of brittle nails you should get a medical checkup and evaluation by a dermatologist. Some foods to consume include:
If you are having brittle nails vitamin deficiency may be the cause. Well, yogurt is something you should include in your daily diet. A high-protein yogurt with low sugar is always recommended. Not only it is just rich in proteins, but it contains other very important nutrients for the health of your nails like biotin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D.
Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense animal foods you can eat. They are very rich in biotin, vitamin D, vitamin E, proteins, selenium, iron, omega 3 fats and other nutrients. If you consume eggs regularly, you will have healthy and strong nails.
Fish is rich in proteins that help feed keratin and collagen, two compounds necessary for your nails. You can choose whichever you like, starting from white fish, tuna, shrimps, crabs, salmon, etc. You should eat fish at least three times a week. However, certain types of fish should be avoided because they can make your nails weaker. These include swordfish, sushi, mackerel, etc.
4. Leafy Greens
For brittle nails, vitamin deficiency may be the culprit. Then leafy greens are a must. Leafy greens are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, biotin, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and copper. There are so many recipes for salads, soups or dishes containing leafy greens. Eat them whenever you can and your nails will be thankful to you.
5. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in biotin, magnesium, copper, zinc, proteins, and vitamin E. You can include sunflower seeds in your salads, oatmeal, yogurt, as well as on a smoothie.
Almonds are rich in selenium, biotin, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese and proteins which are all very important for the health of your nails. Your nails, as well as your hair and skin, will look great in a very short time.
Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, green peas, walnuts, oat, beans or sweet potatoes are also good options for brittle nails; vitamin deficiency can be improved with these foods. They should be included in your diet in order to avoid brittle nails.
More Ways to Strengthen Brittle Nails
Here are some natural remedies which will help you strengthen your brittle nails.
1. Sea Salt
Everyone knows that sea salt is rich in minerals which are great for the health of your nails. You can mix two tablespoons of sea salt with water in a bowl. Soak your nails in the bowl for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can add lemon essential oil, wheat germ oil or frankincense into the bowl. Rinse your nails with warm water, dry them and apply some lotion. Repeat this about three times a week. Soon you will find out that your nails are healthy and strong enough.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a good remedy for your brittle nails. You should mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with three tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl. Heat it for a couple of seconds and then apply it to your nails. An easy way to apply it on your nails is by using a clean cotton swab. For better results, you should do this before you go to bed and wear gloves while you are sleeping. Another option for lemon juice is mixing it with argan oil in a bowl and soaking your nails in that bowl for 10 to 20 minutes.
3. Coconut Oil
Another great thing for your brittle nails is coconut oil. It’s saturated fats that are a great moisturizer for your nails, and they will also protect your nails from various infections. You should first warm the coconut oil a little bit before applying it on every nail. Massage the nails gently for about 5 minutes. You should repeat this process two or three times a day.
4. Tea Tree Oil
If you have brittle nails due to fungal infections, tea tree oil is a great remedy. As it is a powerful antiseptic, you will get rid of your infection very soon. You should mix tea tree oil with one-half teaspoon of vitamin E. Apply this solution in every nail and leave it for about half an hour. Rinse the solution of your nails using warm water, dry them and apply some moisturizing lotion. You should repeat this for about a month, twice daily in order to have strong and healthy nails.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in proteins, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and various vitamins. You can mix apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl. Soak your nails in the bowl for about 10 minutes. Remember to push down the cuticles once you have removed your hands from the bowl. In a very short time you will see your brittle nails go strong.