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Home > Are your Nails tough as Nails?
Are your Nails tough as Nails?by Dave Foreman
Good looking nails are very important for most women.Yet, there is always a struggle to keep them looking nice. They may have ridges, chips, cracks and even yellow discolorations. The difficulty in maintaining healthy nails is the main reason women seek out false or artificial nails. These applied and filled nails are only a mask for what lies beneath. Nails can be a window to your overall health.
Your nail thickness, curvature and lines can be a sign of other problems such as connective tissue disorders, anemia and more. Exposure to chemicals, detergents, adhesives and aging can lead to other nail-health problems.
Mother Nature offers you several ways to strengthen and obtain healthy looking nails. To better understand how to do this, it's a good idea to have a short course on Nails. I call this Nails 101.Your nails are composed of a hard, strong protein called keratin, as well as small amounts of sulfur, calcium, fats, and water. The nail plate is the visible part of the nail, and it protects the sensitive nail bed underneath it. Your nails grow from the matrix, an area under the cuticle. Since your nail grows from the inside out, you can see why applying things topically will have little effect on the strength and beauty of your nails. Just like skin health, nail health begins from within.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Your nails grow at a rate of about 1/10th of an inch per month. Deal with it! Just as with most natural health programs, you didn't get bad nails overnight and you won't get great nails tomorrow. There are certain key nutrients you need to look for in your nail health program. (This will be part of your Special Needs in the Dietary Supplement Pyramid) Let's take a look at some of these and why they might work.(NO, they aren't in order of importance)
Biotin, a member of the B-complex family (yet not usually found in B-complex) has been shown to help increase nail thickness, hardness, firmness and to decrease splitting. A dose of up to 2.5mg per day may be needed to achieve these results.
Iron deficiency has been linked to 'spoon-shaped' nails and brittleness. How much iron you need to take will depend on the type of iron taken. For best results, consult your health care provider. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have blood work done to see if you have an underlying problem with Anemia. In most cases, I prefer to go 'herbal' when it comes to iron. Herbs like Yellow dock and Dandelion are at the top of my list to help increase iron/hemoglobin levels.
Zinc-deficiency has even been acknowledged by modern medicine for leading to poor nail health. You may have heard it being linked to those white spots you may see in your nails. Zinc-deficiency is also linked to hangnails and deformed nails.
Horsetail is often found in combination products designed for healthy nails. This is probably due to the herb's high silicon levels. Silicon is helpful in the process of forming collagen. Collagen is needed for healthy skin and connective tissue. Studies have shown that supplementing with silicon can make nails less brittle
Finally, Glucosamine sulfate may help increase the rate at which your nails grow. Since it is helpful in protecting and maintaining connective tissue, it may also be helpful at increasing the strength of your nails.
The above mentioned supplements can be purchased separately, but as I now teach in my seminars, synergy is where it's at. This means you really need to seek out combination products designed to support many nutritional needs for your nails. Hair Skin and Nails by Futurebiotics, or Skin Hair Nails by Natrol are just a few examples of the types of products you should seek out. Regardless of what you choose, nutrition, time and how you treat your hands and nails will all have an impact on your success.