10 Best Foods for Stronger Nails

23 June 2021

Good nails come to those who eat well, or at least, most of the time (you know we love a good *glazed* donut!) What goes on inside your body affects the health and state of your nails. A lot. Cuticle oils and nail hardeners can only do so much, but when it comes to having stronger nails, what goes in quickly shows up on the outside (cue us drastically thinking about what we’ve consumed this past weekend). 

Another big part of having stronger nails comes down to actually eating enough. You know how when your body is in panic mode, its natural reaction is to protect the vital organs before anything else? Well, if you aren’t nourishing your body enough your nails will probably be one of the last things your body defends. So, to keep those nails poppin’ you’ve got to make sure you’re 100% satisfied, and ideally with biotin-rich foods. Biotin (AKA vitamin H) helps against brittle nails, the thing we’re all trying to stay away from. 

Don’t worry though, we’ve done the work so that you don’t have to. Read on and add these good-for-you foods onto your shopping list, along with a bad bitch note about the gorgeous nails you’ll be on the way to achieving…

One more thing about biotin 

This vitamin is necessary for helping convert food into energy. It’s water-soluble, which means that your body doesn’t store it - it passes through you. So, actually, too much biotin in your body won’t do you any good as the excess will just flow right out of you, if you know what we mean. You’d think this would make it tough to consume the right amount to be effective on your nails, right? Well, that’s the catch. You have to eat biotin-rich foods regularly enough to have sufficient levels all the time. It’s much easier than you might think though, we promise, and with the right diet, you hopefully won’t need any biotin supplements!

1. Nuts & seeds

(Image: Minimalist Baker)

Who doesn’t love a handful of roasted almonds or some sunflower seeds sprinkled on your salad? You’ll be happy to know that this delicious snack is a good source of protein & biotin, which nails love! Depending on which nuts or seeds you choose, their biotin levels will differ. For example, 32g of roasted almonds offer 1.5 mcg out of the suggested daily intake of 30 mcg of biotin for adults, while 32g of sunflower seeds offers 2.6 mcg.

2. Eggs

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Eggs, particularly the yolk, are extremely rich in biotin. A cooked egg offers 10 mcg of biotin, ⅓ of the daily recommended intake! Here’s an idea: have some scrambled eggs for breakfast, with a side of avo (also great for nails) and a handful of nuts, and boom. You’ve started your day with a satisfied stomach and on the right path to stronger nails! See, we told you we’ve got you.

3. Sweet Potatoes

(Image: Claudia Ficca)

The ‘sweet’ in sweet potatoes is not the only thing sweet about them. They are also really great for achieving stronger nails and we think that’s pretty, well, sweet. Aside from being ridiculously yummy and fairly easy to whip up, sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of biotin when it comes to veggies. 133g of sweet potatoes gives you 2.4 mcg of biotin and when you think about all the delicious ways you can serve them (fries, mash, noodles…) you really can’t beat that.

4. Bananas

(Image: Getty Images)

Bananas are a tough one because when you think of how good they taste when used for banana bread or muffins, you nearly want to let them ripen for that purpose only (surely that’s not just us?) But on the other hand, when eaten alone, bananas are great as a source of biotin. A small banana can offer you 0.2 mcg. It might not sound like much but when you begin to add up all your meals of biotin-rich foods, a small banana can be the final snack needed to reach your daily biotin intake.

5. Avocados

(Image: Getty Images)

We mentioned avos as a side for your eggs but they’re also a good standalone source of the vitamin. Medium avos have 1.85 mcg of biotin just waiting to fill you up and strengthen your nails. Not only that, but they also soften your cuticles making them easier to look after. Stronger nails AND soft/hydrated cuticles? Now that’s the dream.

6. Salmon

(Image: Food Hacker)

Oooh, now we’re talking! Give us any kind of salmon and we’re here for it. As you probably already know, salmon is rich in Omega-3 but it’s also a good meal choice if you’re looking for a sufficient biotin intake. A serving of 85g of salmon in water contains 5 mcg of biotin. So, you not only feel bad and boujee with your salmon meal but you can rest easy knowing that your nails will be feeling the same!

7. Broccoli? Ew.

(Image: Juan Moyano)

We all know that green veggies are unparalleled in how they benefit us health-wise but among all the green veggies, broccoli is the only one that’s rich in biotin! No wonder our mothers wouldn’t let us leave the table until we finished our broccoli #ThanksMum. 70g of the green goodness offers you 0.4 mcg of biotin among all its other obvious benefits.

8. Cheese

(Image: Mark Roper)

Yes. You read that right. CHEESE! The delicious food we all know and love is on the list of biotin-approved foods and we’re very happy about that. Biotin levels depend on the type of cheese, naturally, but cheddar cheese, for example, contains 0.4 mcg of biotin per 28g of cheese.

9. Soybeans

(Image: Vanillaechoes)

Soybeans are extremely rich in biotin, like actually really REALLY rich. We’re talking 20 mcg of biotin per 100g of soybeans. That’s basically your entire daily biotin intake in one serving of beans! Crazy right? They’re an easy addition to your diet too, as you can include them in so many different ways (meat substitutes, tofu, edamame, and so on).

10. Yoghurt

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Biotin is also found in yoghurt, which is amazing if you enjoy it for your breakfast or in your morning smoothie. Typically, 245g of yoghurt will offer you 0.2 mcg of biotin. To add to this, include a banana and a handful of nuts. You’ve just whipped yourself up a delicious meal AND a biotin-high intake. Perfect!

So, if you feel like taking Queen Lizzo’s advice for feelin’ good as hell, then check your nails and consider whether or not your daily food intake includes sufficient amounts of biotin. If not, you know where to come when filling out your shopping list. Your biotin levels are only going up from here, boo!