Are your toenails weak and brittle? Do you suffer from toenail fungus or ingrown toenails? Certain foods and supplements can help improve the health of your toenails naturally. Consider adding some of these foods and supplements to your diet, and see how your toenail health improves over time.
Yogurt: This simple food contains live cultures of a bacterium known as acidophilus, which is beneficial to the body and helps fight fungi, like the ones that cause toenail infections. Try adding a cup of yogurt to your daily diet, and watch your toenails become stronger.
Probiotic Supplements: If you don't like yogurt, try taking probiotic supplements instead. They're a concentrated source of acidophilus bacteria. Make sure you take them according to the package instructions, and store them in the refrigerator so you don't accidentally kill the bacteria they contain on a hot day.
Biotin Supplements: Biotin is a B vitamin that is essential for building healthy nails. Many people don't get enough in their diets. Purchase a biotin supplement from a reputable brand, and take it according to package instructions. Keep in mind that it may take you a while to notice significant improvements in your nails, since you'll have to grow out all of the old, weak nail before the stronger, biotin-enriched nail comes to the surface.
Tuna: This fish is especially high in biotin as well as omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good addition to your diet. Add a few servings of canned tuna to your diet each week, and your nails will slowly become stronger. Don't go overboard with tuna, however, since it may contain traces of mercury.
Swiss Chard: Another great source of biotin, Swiss chard also contains plenty of magnesium and vitamin C, two other nutrients that can help keep your nails healthy. Get into the habit of including this green in your salads and stir fries.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are known for their high zinc content, and zinc can help keep your immune system healthy. A healthy immune system leads to stronger, fungus-free nails. Try adding raw mushrooms to salads, and including a few when you roast vegetables. Only eat mushrooms from reliable sources; don't pick the ones in your backyard, since they may be a poisonous variety.
Keep in mind that these foods and supplements are not cure-alls. If you have severe toenail fungus or weak nails that are contributing to infections, contact Dr. Russell Newsom or another podiatrist.