Exploring the relationship between diet and nail strength

In the glamorous world of the salon industry, where beauty takes the top spot, we often see clients vying for pretty manicures and nail enhancements in order to achieve a well put together look and stunning nails. However, what if the most overlooked yet critically vital part of nail care isn’t solely in the polish but also in what’s on your plate. Our nails are made up of a protein called Keratin that dictates the strength and growth of our nails. Therefore, it is an important factor to consume a healthy diet to support the health and growth of our nails. So, let’s explore this fascinating link between a balanced diet and healthy nails.

Let’s discuss some of the essential nutrients that affect nail health.


Protein tends to take the center stage when it comes to nail health and nutrition. It forms the building blocks of our nails and a deficiency will lead to weak and brittle nails. To avoid brittle nails, make sure to consume protein rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, paneer, soy and beans in your daily diet.

Vitamin C:

This is also quite important as it promotes collagen production in our cells making it essential for healthy nail growth. Some foods that are rich in Vit-C include citrus foods, berries, kiwi and red bell pepper.

Vitamin E:

This antioxidant helps protect nails from damage, Vitamin E can be sourced from nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.


Having an iron deficiency leads to brittle nails and also vertical ridges. Remember to incorporate iron rich foods like lean meats, beans, spinach, tofu and leafy vegetables into your client’s diets to ensure their nails receive these essential minerals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids found predominantly in chia seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish like salmon and tuna contribute to nail health by preventing brittleness and promoting flexibility.


Biotin also known as Vitamin H is also an essential nutrient that affects the nails. A Biotin deficiency can lead to breakage of the natural nails. Some foods that are rich in Biotin include nuts, whole grains, eggs and vegetables like sweet potato, spinach and broccoli.

When speaking about supplements that help with nail health, Keerti Joshi, Proprietor of Keerti’s Nail Box and Nail educator said, “Some supplements like Vitamin B-12, Vit-B-2, Calcium, Vit B-6, Omega-3 can be taken in order to aid in maintaining healthy and strong nails. I always recommend my clients to take Vitamin B-12 supplements as it plays a vital role

pertaining to the nails. Even a slight deficiency of Vitamin B-12 in the body immediately manifests as brittle nails with cracks appearing in them.”

She also shared, “In case the client wants to steer away from taking supplements I advise them to include foods like broccoli and avocado (rich in Vit B-12 and Omega-3) in their diets. Overall maintaining a balanced diet that covers all the necessary food groups in the optimal amounts is what’s really necessary.”

Hygiene practices and tips:

Apart from fulfilling your client’s dietary information recommendations, we must also look into hygiene practices that can help them get better nails. These are some tips that can be shared:

  • Massage the hand using an essential oil with coconut oil mix and apply it to the cuticles for hydration.
  • Practice this religiously at least twice a day once in the morning and once before going to sleep.
  • Regular manicures and pedicures (at least once in three weeks) at your salon is highly recommended.
  • Visit a nail professional to check your nails for healthy nail care.
  • Keep the nails away from any dirt.
  • Do household chores using gloves as most cleaning supplies like soap contain chemicals that can be harsh for our nails.
  • Avoid using bare hands for household cleaning can prevent any fungal infections from inflicting our nails.

In conclusion taking care of our nails goes beyond just regular grooming practices and nail care routines. It is paramount to understand that our diet and nutrition plays a vital role in having strong and beautiful nails. So, let’s not forget that nutrients in our diet play a vital role in nail care and make them healthy inside out.