The answer is in your diet

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2005, 12:00am

Naturopaths say that diet, not genetics, plays a key role in nail health.

Central-based naturopath Jennifer Walker says that to help keep nails strong, supplements such as hair, skin and nail brands that contain calcium, zinc and silica can help. But it all comes down to food.

'You need protein in your diet,' she says. 'Eggs, for example, and tofu. Foods are the building blocks for all tissues. Vitamin C is important because it helps build up tissue.'

She also says nails can be the first things to show signs of weakness if the body is under stress. 'The health of the nails can fluctuate if the person has been a bit off-colour. Nails can get weak, but once people pick up their nutrition and take some supplements, things

can improve.'

Walker checks her clients' nails for white spots, an indicator of a lack of zinc. Vertical ridging could mean deficiency in a variety of nutrients.