Jody-Anne Lawrence, Gleaner Writer
Most women take pride in their nails and try to maintain them with a manicure. But despite our best efforts, we all have at some point suffered from broken or chipped nails that refuse to grow or constantly looks discoloured.
But according to nutritionist Melissa Richards, your nails might be showing you what your body is lacking. The nails can be, "the windows to your body", revealing how healthy we are. "A balanced diet, that is, one that contains all the food groups in the right proportions, is key. As simple as the nails may appear, it can help to reveal some of the deficiencies in our bodies and tell a lot about your nutritional status," Richards told Flair.
According to webMD.com, "Yellow nails can be caused by medical problems such as chronic lung disease or cancer." Pale white nails may also be linked to anemia.
However, the key to great nails might not be as hard as you think.
To maintain healthy nails, there are some food groups that are more necessary, based on the minerals they contain.
According to Richards, there are certain nutrients that help in the growth and repair of nails, such as protein. "Calcium is important for strengthening the nail; it eliminates brittleness." She also notes that an adequate supply of iron in your diet helps to prevent spoon nails - nails that are dented in the middle, creating the shape of a spoon.
She recommends several foods that contain a rich supply of these nutrients. Meats, eggs and seafood are high in protein. Foods high in calcium includes milk, cheese, yogurt, canned fish (mackerel/sardine) and dark leafy vegetable. Red meat (beef and mutton), and organ meats such as liver and kidney, callaloo and egg yolks are high in iron.