Eating for strong, healthy nails

Eating for strong, healthy nails

Do your nails ever feel like they’re weaker than they used to be? Or maybe your nails are more brittle and starting to split. Our nails can be a good indicator of our overall health and keeping them in good condition can have a lot to do with the food we eat. Certain vitamins and minerals will contribute to good nail health. And many of these vitamins and minerals are packed into a variety of tasty foods.

Biotin rich foods: B7, coenzyme R and vitamin H

Biotin promotes healthy cell growth and is known as the super vitamin as it can help enhance hair, skin and nails.

Increasing your intake of biotin rich foods is easily done as it is found in a range of foods such as:

  • Egg yolks

  • Almonds

  • Cauliflower

  • Cheese

  • Mushrooms

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Salmon

Biotin rich food

B12 vitamin foods

Iron is absorbed more easily when you have good levels of vitamin B12 in your diet and both of these play an important role in keeping nails strong and healthy.

Foods rich in B12 include:

  • Wild fish

  • Poultry

  • Eggs and dairy

B9 or Folate

Another vitamin that is essential for nail health and growth is vitamin B9 or folate. This vitamin plays an important role in red blood cell formation and new cell development.

Folate can be found in:

  • Dark green vegetables

  • Citrus fruits

  • Beans

  • Peas

  • Lentils

  • Nuts

  • Seeds (Chia, hemp and flax seeds)

  • Whole grains

Variety of vegetables


The nail plate is made up of a protein called keratin. While keratin is actually dead cells, by eating enough protein in your diet it will help ensure that your nails are strong.

Protein is present in:

  • Meat

  • Poultry

  • Dairy

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • Soy

  • Whole grains

  • Legumes

  • Seeds

  • Beans

  • Lentils


Having good levels of iron is essential as it makes up the centre of your red blood cells, which then carry oxygen to your organs and every cell, including your nails. How much iron you need depends on your gender and age.

Iron is found in:

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Fish

  • Eggs

If you eat a plant-based diet eating foods with a source of vitamin C (berries, strawberries, oranges, kiwis) alongside plant-based iron rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, peanuts, seeds, beans will help increase absorption.


Magnesium plays an important role in the formation of new nails through a process called protein synthesis.

Magnesium rich foods include:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables

  • Nuts such as cashews, peanuts, almonds

  • Black beans