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Have you ever wondered what those little white spots on your nails mean? Or why you have ridges that never seem to go away no matter how often you buff them? Many people run to the nail salon to cover up their weak brittle nails with unnatural materials like gel and plastic. This is very toxic and only makes matters worse in the long run.
Just as the tongue, hair, and skin show signs about one’s overall health; the nails can be a strong indicator of possible issues occurring in the blood and body as well. It’s empowering to have the confidence in deciphering the signals your body is sending.
In this article I’m going to help you gain this confidence and address what your nails are telling you about your health. Then I’ll recommend some changes you can make to heal your nails from the inside out, helping you to achieve strong, beautiful, healthy nails that you feel proud of.
5 OF THE MOST COMMON SIGNS THAT OCCUR ON PEOPLES’ NAILS
The moons of the nail represent fire in the body. If you have none or small moons, this is a sign of low immunity and weak digestion. This indicates poor metabolism and a likely build up of toxins in the system. It’s important that you get on top of this by cleaning out the bowels and detoxifying the body. Increase your strength and digestive fire by consuming warming herbs like turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper. These spices also stimulate the secretion of saliva and digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestines.
On the other hand, if you have large moons, this shows you have strong healthy fire and digestion that is efficient for breaking down and absorbing nutrients.
How big should the moons be? Chinese Medicine believes that clearly defined lunulas should take up around one-fifth of each nail for the best sign of health.
Deep lines that run widthways is an indication of an illness, infection or severe deficiency that occurred during the time that part of the nail was growing. In some cases it is also related to an under-active thyroid. I’d suggest getting a blood test to rule out anything serious. If you discover your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally, you can read about how to naturally heal your thyroid here.
In this case it’s very important to take care and restore your liver because it’s the main organ that detoxifies chemicals and breaks down damaged cells. Naturally rejuvenate and assist your liver by consuming nourishing foods high in vitamins and minerals that don’t weigh it down. Consume easy to digest foods like fruits and vegetables, and go easy on the protein (including plants high in protein – especially protein powders) as this can stress the liver. Beetroot, bitter greens and peppermint tea are also great for restoring the liver.
When last did you embark on a cleanse of some kind? If it’s been longer than 6 months, it’s time to jump on board! Take on a juice or water fast for 7 days, mono-meal on one type of fruit for a couple of weeks or drink only smoothies for a week. This will give your digestive system a break and allow it to heal while flushing out toxins, clearing the channels and igniting digestive fire.
Nails that split are usually from a hydrochloric acid deficiency. Your body’s digestion process begins when gastric secretions like HCL are released. This is the basis of good digestion and maintains the pH balance in the stomach. HCL is critical in digesting and absorbing vitamins and minerals, and aids in the absorption of fats and carbohydrates.
Drinking celery juice in the morning on an empty stomach is one of the best ways to restore your hydrochloric acid. Celery contains unique sodium compositions, and these mineral salts are bonded with many bioactive trace minerals and nutrients. Celery juice will strengthen the digestion of everything you eat that day, and over time, the minerals and mineral salts will help to restore your stomach’s HCL. Spirulina and barley grass juice powder, fermented foods, green juice, olives and raw apple cider vinegar are all foods that will increase your body’s ability to make HCL,
White spots on nails are very common these days. If they are a recurring issue this represents a magnesium and zinc deficiency. This can be caused by an unhealthy diet, or if you’re eating a healthy diet, malabsorption of nutrients. Causes of malabsorption include poor digestion, build up of toxins and inflammation in the GI tract, and parasite infections.
A fantastic habit to incorporate that will heal your gut and enhance absorption of minerals like zinc and magnesium is drinking a glass of celery juice every day on an empty stomach. Eliminate hard to digest foods which may damage the digestive lining like processed foods, gluten and dairy. Foods that inflame our cells also tear apart the collagen, keratin and elastin that provide strong, fast-growing nails.
Reduce or eliminate animal products. Meat takes much longer to process and breakdown and often causes sluggishness, blockages or obstruction in the GI tract when consumed too often.
Stress is also a big factor because it depletes both zinc and magnesium in the body. Reduce your stress by meditating daily, taking walks in nature, gentle exercise, reducing your work load, going for a massage etc.
If you’re interested in eating foods high in magnesium, these include seeds like hemp, chia, pumpkin and sunflower. Raw cacao has one of the highest contents of magnesium in the world. Fruits like avocados and bananas have lots of magnesium and so do dark leafy greens, including spinach and kale.
In some cases, nail ridges may be due to nutrient deficiencies, including Vitamin B12 and magnesium. Most people are deficient in the most important type of Vitamin B12 these days because they aren’t getting it from the soil-based microorganisms on freshly picked fruits and vegetables. I always recommend people take a high quality, plant based B12 supplement like this.
To ensure proper mineral absorption it’s important you don’t have any bad bacteria or parasites stealing them from you. If you have never done, or haven’t done a parasite cleanse in a while, I’d recommend doing one. I outline how to do so in this blog post.
A plant-based diet provides all the nutrients your nails, hair and skin need to look their best. Some foods, however, do contain more nutritional properties that support their growth and overall health than others do.
TOP 5 FOODS FOR HEALTHY STRONG NAILS
Silica is the ultimate beauty mineral that helps you achieve beautiful healthy nails. Silica strengthens the immune system and promotes proper mineral balance. This incredible mineral carries essential nutrients to the nails helping to feed the nail bed with all the vital nutrients for encouraging healthy and strong nails. Drinking cucumber juice is also an incredible way to hydrate and alkalise your body on a cellular level resulting in healthy nails.
These magic little seeds are rich in protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also alkaline-forming so they build the body up instead of breaking it down. The high level of zinc protects cell membranes and plays a role in collagen production. The omega 3’s in pumpkin seeds are amazing for nourishing hair, skin and nails.
Leafy greens are rich in minerals which are essential for the health of your nails. They provide B vitamins, along with Vitamins A, C, E and K, and lots of iron and magnesium.
Butter leaf lettuce in particular contains a lot of omega 3’s which nourish the nails. Greens contain high levels of chlorophyll which is a powerful phytonutrient that attaches to toxins and heavy metals and helps remove them from your body. It also increases your blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity by stimulating red blood cell production. This all helps with achieving a clean and optimal functioning digestion important for effectively absorbing nutrients essential for nail health.
Almonds are rich in the natural antioxidant Vitamin E which is anti-inflammatory and supports collagen production while strengthening the nails. They are also high in calcium which gives additional nutritional support for the nails. Almonds also contain the B vitamin biotin (found in most nail and beauty products) that plays a major part in maintaining the health of our hair, nails and skin.
To gain maximum benefits, please remember to buy raw organic almonds and soak them overnight before consuming. Read more about the importance of soaking nuts and seeds here.
The phytonutrients in watermelon work together with the body to help utilise antioxidants that rid the body of toxins and free radicals. Watermelon is extremely hydrating which prevents weak and brittle nails. Eating the little black seeds is also very beneficial as they actually contain valuable fatty-acids that keep nails strong. They also contain protein, which helps to promote healthy nails.