What can our Nails tell us about health?


Have a look at your nails, what are they trying to tell you about your health and nutrients you may need? Are you thinking 'if only I stop biting them I could do this'? 

Biting nails can indicate a deficiency of magnesium and B vitamins, as these are nutrients needed when stressed or tense. Eat more green leafy vegetables and avoid all processed (white) flour. Instead eat wholemeal or wholegrain flour products. White spots on the nails can have a few possible causes; they can be caused by a lack of calcium, zinc, silica or by heavy blows to your nails, watch that hammer! Nails that peel back in layers or have horizontal ridges show you may be low in calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate is found in nuts seeds and seafood as well as dairy products. 
Ridges running vertically along the nail and vertical splitting of the nails can indicate you are low in silica. Cracking of the skin around the base of your nails and cracked skin elsewhere in the body may mean you are low in calcium fluoride; this is needed for elasticity in the tissues of the body. Goats cheese is an excellent source of this nutrient.
Very thin nails which may curl upwards can show your body is low in iron; foods high in iron include meat, fish, eggs and green leafy vegetables. If you include some vitamin C rich food at the same meal such as fruit and (even more) vegetables you will increase your absorption of iron.  
Yellowing of the nails can have a few causes such as tobacco staining from cigarettes; not a pretty sight but the damage cigarettes cause inside your body is much more disgusting - make a date to stop right now. Fungal infections and psoriasis can also cause yellow nails this often also distorts the nails and may cause it to detach. Try using a drop of tea tree oil on nails that have fungal infections. You may have to continue this for several weeks.

Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation which will include the your nail analysis; if needed your naturopath will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best.  Call 07 571 3226 or email us: ask@bayhealth.nz


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