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We were all born with good, healthy nails. Unfortunately, our lifestyle and diet play a big part in making our nails brittle and dry. Too much damage will not only make our nails look ugly, but also affect our self-esteem. When looking for ingredients that help make our nails stronger and healthier, go for these four important nutrients:

One secret to strong nails? Berries!

One secret to strong nails? The biotin found in berries!

1. Zinc
Lack of zinc in your diet could be the reason why your nails are weak and brittle. If you have peeling and easy-to-break nails, it’s time to load up on this important mineral. The next time you eat out, order oysters, lamb, beef, or dishes that contain sesame seeds and oats. You may also take additional supplements to fast-track the effect.

2. Iron
If your nails are thin, curved, or have ridges, it’s usually a sign of anemia or an iron deficiency. Load up on red meat, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and shellfish, all of which can supply your body with much needed iron. I personally like kale as it is rich in anti-oxidants, too.

3. Biotin
The B-vitamin Biotin promotes healthy cell growth and helps the body metabolize protein-building amino acids–all good things when it comes to helping nails grow stronger and healthier. Food items rich in biotin are quite challenging to find, but the best choices are Swiss chard (also known as pechay), eggs, wheat germ, whole grains, and salmon.

4. Protein
Nails are made of keratin, a protein, which is why a protein-rich diet is important in maintaining healthy nails. If you eat meat, eggs, or other protein-rich foods regularly, there’s no need to worry about brittle nails. You can also add quinoa, beans, and tofu to your diet.

Be happy. Stay pretty.

For more of Barbi’s makeup and beauty adventures, follow her on Instagram.

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