7 Foods that are Bad Your Nails

Your diet and your nails: discover which foods damage your nails and how they do it.

Which Foods Damage Your Nails?

There are great foods that make your nails shiny and healthy, and when combining them into your diet, your nails will look better than ever. On the other side of the spectrum, there are damaging foods that can negatively affect your nails, hair, and skin, and make them look dull and lifeless. If you consume the following foods regularly and in high amounts, you will notice their effects in the long run, and you should avoid them entirely or lower their consumption:

1. Bacon

Yes, those juicy bacon strips that you enjoy in the morning or during the day can wreak havoc on your nails. Proteins are great for your nails, but not all proteins have the same effect on the body. Fatty meats and proteins, like the ones in bacon, are harmful to your general health and your nails especially. Aside from fats, bacon also has high levels of sulfates, sodium, and nitrates that cause skin inflammation that is damaging to your nails.


2. Alcohol

Moderate consumption of alcohol is not only fun, but it can actually have positive effects on your wellbeing. However, overdoing it with booze will damage your skin and your nails as well. When you consume too much alcohol, your nails will become pale and brittle, and they will be more prone to breakage.


3. Fish with high mercury levels

Seafood, which contains high amounts of protein is great for your nails, but consuming foods that are high in mercury have the opposite effect. Consuming seafood with high levels of mercury, like Mackerel and Swordfish, leads to brittle nails – especially in cold weather.

Fish with high mercury levels

4. Refined sugar

Refined sugar has been deemed the enemy and the cause for many health problems, and for good reason. Eating sweets that are high in refined sugars damage blood vessels and leads to a spike in blood sugar levels. If you notice white spots appearing on your nails, it could be indicative of high sugar levels in your system.

Refined sugar

5. High glycemic foods

Aside from sweets, foods that have a high-glycemic value are also unhealthy for your nails. Cakes, pasta, white bread cause brittle nails, and damage blood vessels that lead blood to your fingertips. To avoid these issues, you should cut down on starchy foods and eat more whole grains.

High glycemic foods

6. Egg whites only

Egg whites are a great source of protein, and egg yolks are rich in Biotin. Biotin is vital for nail health as it is absorbed into the core of nails, making them thick and strong. When you skip on the yolks and eat egg whites only, your nails do not receive the biotin they need to be healthy.

Egg whites only

7. Foods low in protein, zinc, and iron

In addition to the foods mentioned above, there is also a group of foods that can damage your nails. If your diet is low in protein, zinc, and iron – you will notice your nails becoming weak, brittle, and pale. Nails are made of protein, so it is vital for you to combine protein-rich foods in your daily meals. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should supplement meat, eggs, and fish with vegetables and legumes that are rich in protein.

A lack of iron and zinc can also damage your nails in the long run; these two elements are essential to the formation of the keratin protein – a vital protein for nail formation and growth. When you do not consume enough iron and zinc, your hair follicles will become weaker, and you will suffer from hair loss. Also, a lack of iron and zinc leads to weakened nails that break, peel, and become unhealthy.

Foods low in protein, zinc, and iron

A lack of vitamin A can also cause nail damage; when you do not consume enough vitamin A, your nail will become brittle. Also, too much vitamin A will damage your nails. To make sure that your vitamin A levels are as they should be, get regular blood tests and consult your doctor about what to do.

Strong nails are the result of a healthy, well-balanced diet. When you consume harmful foods, your body reacts and your nails suffer as a result. By cutting back on certain foods, you will do yourself good, and you will see the beneficial results faster than you think, especially when you look at your nails.

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