Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Nails: A Sign of Health and Beauty

One of the most obvious signs of health is the condition of our nails.  A smooth, pink nail without grooves or ridges that lies in a natural cuticle bed speaks of a balanced diet and intelligent care of the body in general.  Our nails are a great example of how we feel about ourselves, and with conscious care and some change in habits, there is no reason why they can’t reflect the beauty that we all deserve to radiate.

Nails are made of keratin, a protein that forms in layers underneath the nail bed.  As new keratin cells grow old they harden and push out towards the fingertips.  Nourishing the nail bed is fundamental in assuring a strong, healthy, shiny nail. 

A Healthy Diet for Nail Health
It is not difficult to obtain and maintain good nail health.  A balanced diet is the key.  Here are a few essential nutrients that are important to include in our daily regime:

Biotin is one of the B-complex vitamins. Biotin if fundamental in assisting the growth of cells and is found in egg yolks, goat and cow milk, liver, peanuts, almonds, strawberries and raspberries, Swiss chard, carrots, cauliflower, and cucumbers.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is filled with antioxidants and helps with the formation of collagen, which is essential for keeping nails at their best and hangnails at bay.  Eating foods containing vitamin C, such as fruits and brightly colored veggies, is key to having gorgeous nails.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Nail health increases dramatically when Omega 3 fatty acids are added to the diet.  Eating walnuts, flaxseeds, kidney beans, soybeans, sardines, herring, mackerel, sockeye salmon and other coldwater fish are a great way to get your dose.  You can also take on Omega 3 supplement in the form of fish oil, flaxseed oil, or evening primrose oil to keep your nails supple and in top form.

Good Nail Habits
Taking care of our nails often has to do with changing our habits. Here are some key suggestions to ensuring that your nails show off their natural beauty:
·      Keep you cuticles moisturized
·      Use hand cream several times a day
·      Use sunscreen on hands and cuticles during the summer months
·      Always wear gloves when doing dishes, housework, and gardening
·      Make sure all of your nail implements are clean and disinfected
·      Change your nail files often to avoid a build-up of bacteria
·      If you have cuts or tears in your cuticles, disinfect them with hydrogen peroxide
·      Avoid products containing formaldehyde or toluene
·      Never soak your nails as they expand and weaken with prolonged exposure to water
·      Don’t overuse nail polish remover and avoid getting it on cuticles and skin
·      Never push your cuticles back, just leave them alone
·      Don’t pull out your hangnails, instead cut them away gently
·      Don’t type with the tips of your nails use your finger pads instead
·      Use a letter opener instead of your fingers when opening mail

Please take a look at The Body In Form store to find hand-picked items for easy purchase online such as:  vitamins, herbs, beauty products, and self-help, health, and recipe books that encourage you to have a body - and life - in form!

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