Nailing It

Raise your hand, or maybe not, if you’ve broken a nail in the past few days.

Brittle nails which split, flake and crumble can catch on woolly jumpers, look unsightly and make putting tights on an exercise in precision.

Nails are made of a tough protein called keratin and are similar to the claws, hooves and horns in other animal species.

The width and thickness of our fingernails is determined by the size, length and thickness of the nail matrix (the skin underneath our fingernails) but it is the shape of our fingertips which determines if our nails are flat, arched or hooked.

Fingernails can dry out, just like skin. To keep you nails in tip top condition, be sure to wear gloves when using household cleaners to provide a barrier of protection against harmful chemicals that can harm the nail.

Essential fatty acids play a large role in healthy nails. These strength-giving nutrients can be found in abundance in evening primrose oil.

Evening primrose, sometimes called Sun drop or Evening star, have long seeds which, when mature, contain almost 7 – 10% gamma-linolenic acid, a potent essential fatty acid, which helps to build the nail bed and repair damage to skin.

Iron deficiency anemia can lead to a pale color under the nail bed along with a thin, brittle, ridged texture and may cause the nails to become flat or concave.

Iron can be found in animal sources, called heme iron, such as meat, fish, and poultry, and can also be found in fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts, and grain products, also known as non-heme iron.

Heme iron is absorbed fairly easily in comparison to non-heme iron; however, both types provide the necessary bodily functions.

Herbs such as nettles offer an alternative way of boosting your iron levels.  Steep a pinch of dried nettle leaves in a teapot of hot water for ten to fifteen minutes and drink daily.

A healthy diet can help protect and nourish your pinkies and perhaps, promote a faster growth.