Are you frustrated with brittle, weak nails that do not grow? Or tired of spending money on nail treatments that never seem to work? If your answer is yes, then you may have been overlooking one critical factor in your nail health - iron intake.
I’m quite sure that right now, you are trying to place how iron intake connects to growing healthy nails - well, read on!
Iron is a vital mineral that supports many body processes, including healthy nail growth. But since many people struggle to get enough iron in their diets, there are tons of nail problems, from ridges to breakage to slow growth and other effects of iron deficiency.
Fortunately, there are many easy ways to boost your iron intake and improve your nail health. And this article seeks to educate you on just that!
Effects of Iron on Nails
Iron plays a vital role in the health of your nails. Nails contain a protein called keratin and iron is needed to produce this protein. Without enough iron, your body can not produce healthy keratin.
The available iron is used to produce haemoglobin amid other essential proteins, leaving the nails and hair with little or nothing. This led to brittle, weak, and even ridged nails.
Iron is also involved in the oxygenation of tissues and the production of red blood cells. Of which the nail matrix is part. The nail matrix is where nail growth occurs. It requires a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to produce healthy nails.
Iron deficiency can cause reduced blood flow to the nail matrix, resulting in pale, thin, or spoon-shaped nails.
In addition, low amounts of iron can cause spoon-shaped nails. A condition where the nails become thin and concave with raised edges. It also leads to pale or white nails due to reduced blood flow.
While iron is essential, excess consumption of iron brings some adverse effects on the nails. The excess iron remains in the nails and other tissues, where they cause brittle, discoloured, and thickened nails.
Thus, balance is the key!
Sources of iron
There are many sources of iron, both in plant-based and animal-based foods. Some foods rich in iron are:
Animal meats are top sources of iron. Meats from cattle, sheep or even pigs are rich in heme iron. This is the animal form, hence readily absorbed by the body.
Chicken and turkey are good sources of heme and nonheme iron.
Oysters, clams, and shrimp are all high in heme iron, while salmon and tuna contain both heme and nonheme iron.
Many foods, such as cereals and bread, are fortified with iron, which is a great way to get extra iron in your diet. To increase the absorption of nonheme iron, consume vitamin C-rich snacks and foods.
Beans and legumes
Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans are all good sources of nonheme iron.
Tofu is a great vegetarian source of iron, with about 6 milligrams of iron per 100 grams.
Spinach is one of the most iron-rich vegetables, with 3.5 milligrams of iron per 100 grams.
Nuts and seeds
Iron could be seen in the seeds of pumpkin, almonds and cashew nuts.
Why is iron supplement important
While iron is abundant in many foods, some people may not get enough of this essential mineral in their diets. This is especially true for vegetarians, vegans, and people with certain medical conditions that affect their ability to absorb iron.
In these cases, iron supplements may be necessary. You can also consider checking out nail and skin gummies, as it helps you meet your body’s required vitamin intake and ensures the growth of healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Other functions of iron
Iron is a vital mineral that’s needed for making haemoglobin. The protein that transports oxygen throughout the body. Iron plays a role in the formation of myoglobin, a type of protein that preserves oxygen in muscles.
Iron is also vital for the immune system, cognitive function, and overall energy levels.
So, there you have it - who knew that irons could be good for your nails' health? Well, now you know you should always consume meals and supplements that meet your daily required iron intake to ensure healthy nail growth.