For ones suffering from the problem of peeling, brittle or cracked nails, milk is often referred to as the ultimate remedy. But is drinking milk really good for your nails? Does drinking milk really help to toughen the nails and make them stronger? Read on to find the answer.
The Relationship Between Milk & Nail Health
Strong and long fingernails are not just aesthetically pleasing, but are also an indication of good nutrition and health. Although strengthening nail polishes and topical creams can be used to help the nails grow, but the best way to have good nails naturally is indeed to start from within. Like hair, fingernails are also made of keratin. Nails grow up to 1/10th of an inch in a month and it usually takes 4 to 6 months for a fingernail to fully grow from the cuticle. Fingernails require proper nutrition to grow, and calcium is one of the most important minerals for the purpose. Optimal amount of calcium for keeping the nail healthy can be got by drinking milk every day. Like milk, cheese and yogurt are also rich dietary sources of calcium. Low-fat varieties of these foods should be chosen to keep the heart healthy and weight in check. Along with milk, calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, leafy dark greens and cabbage should also be consumed for healthy nails. Even snacking on calcium rich hazelnuts and Brazil nuts are helpful in enhancing nail health. Other sources of calcium are oysters, canned salmon and sardines.
Not only nails, calcium is also essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and proper functioning of nerves, muscles, and heart. Although, foods like milk are the best source of calcium, but milk alone cannot ensure strong fingernails in the long run. Nails can indicate certain deficiencies or health conditions in the body. Though milk provides essential nutrients, like protein and calcium, which are vital for good nail health, but it still does not prevent the nails from cracking. Milk is likely to help the condition of nail cracking and brittleness, and improve their symptoms to certain extent, only if the problems are caused entirely by a calcium deficiency. In fact, lactose intolerant people, or those who have problems in digesting dairy, can inversely affect their nails if they drink milk. However, people who still wish to drink milk to improve their nail health should try having organic dairy for its higher nutritional value, and also take omega 3 fatty acids to help support the overall nail health.
Other Essentials for Good Nail Health
Yes drinking milk is good for your nails and milk can boost the nail growth and health; however, it will not make the nails grow any faster. The condition of nail cracking and brittleness is caused by lots of things, like vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These nutrients are also required to facilitate calcium absorption. So, getting enough of vitamin D, vitamin K, phosphorous and magnesium is equally important along with drinking milk for nail health. A low-protein diet, and diseases like hypothyroidism and psoriasis, can cause nail cracking, too. Repeated exposure to water and, harsh drying chemicals like dish washing detergents and nail polish also cause nail cracking. A healthy lifestyle and diet, exercise, proper sleep, and supplementation, along with elimination of stress and chemical exposure are all essential for growing and maintain healthy nails.
Having enough milk is only the first step in growing healthy nails; so YES drinking milk is good for your nails. However, no simple cure is known for soft or breaking nails and ones suffering from the common nail woes need to consider much more than just milk consumption. The structure of the nails depends on the general health, diet, and even genetics of an individual. Although milk is rich in nutrients, like protein, calcium and vitamin D, which are all vital for healthy nail development, one still needs to do a lot more if they want healthy and pretty-looking nails. The nails should be kept well- nourished with cuticle oil, healthy with a diet rich in vitamins, protein and omega fatty acids, and in-shape with regular manicures. The nails should be filed in the strongest shape, i.e. straight with slightly rounded corners. The hands should be kept covered with rubber gloves while cleaning or handling harsh chemicals. The nails can break, even when on a high-calcium diet, if they are used for jobs they were not meant to do. So, the nails should be treated gently while the calcium in the milk does its work.
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