One of the key ingredients in our Beauty & Go range of beauty drinks is collagen. In addition to benefiting your skin, collagen can also help keep your fingernails healthy and strong. We’re outlining how to keep your nails healthy, including collagen’s role in doing so.
Collagen is one of the main structural proteins of the body, forming the various tissues known as connective tissues – these include the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and muscles. It has great tensile strength, (meaning strong when pulled), giving strength to these important structural tissues. As we age, collagen production in the body naturally slows down, and this results in signs of ageing such as wrinkled skin and deterioration in tissues such as fingernails, bones, joints and muscles. Other factors that can lead to collagen losses are an unhealthy diet, lacking in nutrients, stress and environmental damage such as overexposure to the sun.
Like other parts of the body, the health of our nails is affected by several factors, including the nutrients we get from our diet. Your nails require a variety of nutrients including protein, vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. A poor diet, lacking in essential nutrients can therefore soon lead to weak, splitting nails. This is not just about vanity though; the appearance and strength of our nails is an excellent barometer of our internal health. The fingernails can often be the first place to show visible signs of mineral deficiencies, for example, white spots can be a sign of zinc deficiency and vertical ridges can be a sign you need more iron.
Collagen & Brittle Nails
A study published in 2017 using VERISOL collagen, which is the type used in Beauty & Go, found some great benefits for those suffering from brittle nail syndrome. Brittle nail syndrome is a common condition, especially among women, affecting approximately one in five (versus one in ten men). It is characterized by dry, weak, peeling nails that break easily and are incapable of growing long. In the study, 25 women with brittle nails were given, 2.5g collagen supplements per day for 24 weeks. The results were a 42% decrease in nail breakages and a 12% increase in nail growth rate. 80% of the women agreed that the collagen improved the appearance of their nails and reported being very satisfied with the results of the treatment.
Nutrients for Healthy Nails
Nails are actually made of a protein called keratin, so getting adequate, good quality protein is crucial for providing the building blocks for healthy, strong nails. Top protein sources for nails are eggs, fish, chicken, turkey and plenty of plant proteins such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, nuts, seeds and tofu. Aim to include some protein with all your meals, but limit animal protein to small quantities and be sure to include plenty of the plant sources.
Zinc is needed for protein synthesis and cell growth in the body so is essential to nails, both helping with repair and boosting their growth. A deficiency can lead to white spots on fingernails. The best sources are seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, mushrooms, cocoa and lean meat in small amounts. Alcohol and caffeine both block absorption, so cutting back on these will also help keep your levels up. Get your daily dosage of zinc with the SKIN SHOT.
Iron deficiency can cause nails to split, become brittle and flattened and is associated with a condition koilonychias, which is a nail disease characterised by spoon-shaped nails. Include plenty of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, beans, seeds, fish, chicken and small amounts of grass-fed red meat no more than once or twice per week. Eating vitamin C rich foods (fruits, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, peas) with these foods will help the body absorb more iron.
Biotin or vitamin B7 is one of the less well-known B-vitamins, but is a real beauty hero. It has long been known to strengthen the hooves of animals like horses and the same applies to our nails. Studies have shown that biotin supplements strengthen brittle fingernails, improve firmness and hardness of the nail, nail thickness and reduce splitting. There are not many food sources, but peanuts and eggs contain good amounts, Swiss chard, other leafy greens and wholegrains contain some. You can also find biotin in the SKIN SHOT.
How to avoid brittle nails
Avoid harsh nails treatments such as acrylic nails. Always use a nail-strengthening product, as bare nails break more easily and use acetone free nail polish remover.
Eliminate nutrient-depleting foods and drinks. Alcohol, tea and coffee can block nutrient absorption, so limit these and drink away from meals.
Exercise increases circulation to the extremities, including the fingers, which helps deliver nutrients and oxygen here.
Stress causes a release of the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands and reduced circulation, both of which can lead to nail problems over time.
Include a daily Beauty & Go drink as part of your beauty regime, which contains collagen, essential vitamins and minerals and a host of other beneficial nutrients for you and your nails.