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Best Nails on the Block

Nails may appear like a small detail, but when they look bumpy you can make a unhelpful impression on peers, supervisors and others you encounter throughout the day. Well-groomed fingernails, on the other hand, demonstrate your attention to hygiene and a heightened level of professionalism. Glossy, graceful nails can even make an outfit pop or tie your whole look together.
"We talk a lot with our hands," said Willow Jarosh, co-owner of C&J Nutrition and a causative nutrition editor for "SELF" magazine. "Healthy nails are a reflection of inner health and paint a picture of who you are at initial meetings."

You can easily achieve nails that dazzle by maintaining a proper diet, apply inexpensive topical treatment and perfecting your polishing skills.

Eating Your Way to Healthy Nails

In the same way you need vitamins and nutrients to ward off disease and fight signs of aging, you also need to do the same to maintain robust nails.
"Nails and hair are both comprised mainly of a hard-edged protein called keratin," Jarosh explained. "Therefore, the same foods that contain nutrients that yield in good physical shape hair also help nails stay strong and healthy."
One vitamin you want to make sure you get every day is zinc, according to the Life Extension website. This nutrient is critical for nail growth and also repairs damaged tissue. You can find it in peanut butter, nuts, yogurt, wheat germ and garbanzo beans.
Get your daily requirement of iron to ensure that you have a high count of red blood cells and that they are carrying oxygen throughout your body -- including your nails. You can find the mineral in meats such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork and shrimp as well as tofu, lentils, asparagus and dark, leafy greens.
Also, make sure you're getting plenty of vitamin C by eating lots of citrus and green vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli and kale.
"Vitamin C helps your body use veggie sources of iron better," Jarosh said. "It also helps our bodies make collagen, which is necessary to maintain structure and optimal growth of nail tissue."
If you're already getting all the nutrients you need, adding more than what your body requires won't do any good.

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