Fingernail Health:

Vitamins and Minerals for Fingernail Health

When it comes to the recommended daily levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it's best to be motivated by what is best for the health and functioning of our bodies and minds. That said, the many cosmetic benefits that are directly related to good nutritional habits can certainly be great motivation for some of us. One such asthetic side benefit of good nutrition are healthy, strong, and nice-looking fingernails.

Fortunately, fingernails themselves demonstrate which vitamins and minerals our bodies are deficient in. Pale, fragile nails that have vertical ridges can indicate a deficiency in iron. Sometimes too little iron can make the fingernails take on a spoon shape. White spots on the fingernails can indicate a lack of zinc.

Fingernails that are brittle and easily broken may be a sign that you are lacking in Vitamin B12. A Vitamin B12 deficiency is also associated with fingernails that are very dry, have ends that curve too much or are too round, and can also cause the fingernails to be darkened and discolored. Vitamin C deficiency and low calcium intake can also make fingernails dry and brittle. Folic acid deficiency and low Vitamin C levels contribute to hangnails, which, in addition to being unattractive, can be painful and prone to infection.

While healthy and strong nails are primarily a cosmetic concern, the vitamin, mineral and other nutritional deficiencies indicated by weak, malformed, and/or discolored fingernails are of great importance to lasting health. Nutritional deficiencies can have long-term negative consequences for both physical and mental health. It's a good idea to take fingernail problems as a warning sign that important health needs are not being met, and to take immediate action to rectify the situation, before you find yourself with serious health problems.

Using nutritional supplements as a means of helping to meet the recommended daily intake levels of vitamins is a safe option for most people. However, it's important to recognize that when taking nutritional supplements you should always follow the suggested dosage levels, unless directed to do otherwise by a qualified health care professional. Failure to do so can result in different types of health problems, some quite serious.

If you are unsure of the specific nutrients and dosages that will best meet your dietary needs and health goals, the best choice is to consult with a licensed nutritional specialist, who will be able to help you to devise a regimen best suited to your individual needs. Before making any great changes in your diet, including the addition of dietary supplements, consult your health care professional if you are suffering from obvious symptoms of deficiencies of nutrients. Once you start on a more healthy nutritional program, you’ll soon be looking good and feeling great

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