Nails are positioned so far away from the vital organs housed in the center of our bodies that they seem to be an afterthought. Many of us treat our nails like an afterthought, too, using our digits as scraping tools while performing household tasks and failing to protect them from the elements, especially the cold weather.
No matter how conscientiously you try to eat right and keep fit, the less than optimal condition of your nails can be a clue that you can do more to improve your overall health.
Here are three solutions that can help “digitize” your well-being:
Biotin. An essential and water soluble B vitamin, biotin supports the action of enzymes that affect the skin and intestinal tract, and may help strengthen brittle nails. Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is water soluble and has been shown to support the breakdown of fatty acids into energy for the body.
MSM. An organic source of sulfur, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a mineral involved in the production of collagen, the main structural component of skin, connective tissue and cartilage. It’s also an antioxidant.
Shea Butter. For centuries, shea nut trees have been harvested for their exotic, rich butter which can offer nutritional benefits to dry, cracked or irritated skin, including nail cuticles.
What’s your favorite solution for keeping your nails in tip-top shape? Share it with us in the comments below.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.