How to Grow Long, Healthy Nails

by | Feb 24, 2015 | Beauty, Health Articles

Do your nails break or chip easily? Today I’m sharing my best tips for how to grow long, healthy nails naturally without having to rely on polishes or hardeners!

My nails (and hair) have always grown really fast and they’ve always been quite strong. I occasionally get comments or questions on my nails so I thought I would share some of my tips on growing and maintaining long, strong, healthy nails! Naturally, of course.

1. Minerals

A very important component to healthy nails is ensuring proper mineral concentration in the body. Minerals like iron and zinc for example play a huge role in the health of our nails. A deficiency in iron can manifest as ridges on the nails, and white spots for low zinc levels. If you exhibit any of these signs, go get a blood test and check out your results. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, so throw ’em in your lunch bag.

Silica is a great mineral that strengthens connective tissue such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, nails, cartilage, bone and skin. Some excellent food sources of silica are leeks, strawberries, green beans, celery, asparagus, as well as the herb horsetail. More than anything, though, just eat plenty of real, fresh food!

A great way to add a boost of minerals and trace minerals into your diet are mineral drops that you can add to your water. This is particularly good if you consume reverse osmosis water, which has all chemicals and impurities removed, but minerals as well. I like the drops ConcenTrace.

2. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are very important for the integrity of our nails and surrounding skin. They help to reduce inflammation in the body and keep the skin soft and supple. Some excellent fats to include in our diet are:

  • avocado
  • coconut oil
  • flax oil
  • evening primrose oil
  • fish oil

Chia seeds are also a great choice: they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and they’re a complete protein. This is good news for our nails as they’re made of protein!

3. Topical Oils

I sometimes like to apply a good quality oil on my nails and cuticles to help soften and smooth the skin. Any good quality oil will do: coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, shea butter. I also like to use an aloe vera blend called Nature’s Aid that is particularly good if there is any dry, peeling skin around the nails (hello winter). Nature’s Aid contains aloe vera, vitamin e, witch hazel, rosemary and antibacterial tea tree oil to help the skin regenerate and heal. I find it makes a big difference within only a couple of days.

4. Good Quality Nail File

Something that has made a notable difference in the integrity of my nails is using a crystal nail file instead of those sandpaper emery boards. I use a nail file by the company Burton Spa: it lasts a very long time and can be used over and over. It’s excellent for filing the nails smoothly and the edges of my nails always feel super strong and healthy afterwards!

5. No More Nail Polish

This one might be one of the most important tips I can share. I’ve mentioned before that I rarely paint my fingernails. Mostly because I just prefer the look and feel of natural nail, but also because I find that anytime I have nail polish on for a week or two, my nails begin to feel weak and prone to peeling. Avoiding nail polish has undoubtedly contributed to the health and integrity of my nails.

Try completely removing any nail polish/chemical treatment for 3-6 months, and see what difference it makes!

What do you do for healthy nails? Have you ever tried any of the tips mentioned?

by Meghan Livingstone

Note: this post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.

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  1. Virginia

    I love your videos and website! I have osteoporosis and am trying to find information on improving my bone health naturally through diet and exercise. Could you please consider writing articles on this? Thank you!

    • Meghan

      Hi there! Absolutely, yes! Thanks so much for the suggestion — I’ll aim to chat about that sometime soon 🙂


  2. Name *Anonymous

    I have nails that grow really fast and naturally, but they always chip. What can I do for them to stop chipping off? And I do not use nail polish…

  3. Tara

    In the pic at top of the article, those nails look very pretty and healthy to me, but in researching nail abnormalities online, I read that nails with no lunula and mostly white nail bed with a reddish band at the top can be a sign of health problems. I think this is called Terry’s Nails and might mean liver or kidney problems or vitamin deficiencies. Doesn’t that describe those nails in that pic with this article? That’s what they look like to me, but I’ve been reading so much about this, I’m probably getting confused now! I’m just wondering because I noticed my nails have no lunula either, and I wondered what that meant. Then I found the pictures of Terry’s Nails and they look similar to mine too, so now I don’t know what to think if yours are supposed to be healthy. They do look nice though, much better than mine!


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Hi, I’m Meghan. I’m a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, blogger, and YouTuber with a passion for healthy, simple living. I’m here to inspire you to listen to your body, eat mindfully and wholesomely, and create a fulfilling life that’s completely unique to you.