strong healthy nails

Nails represent the overall health of a person. Nails are made up of several layers of keratin – a fibrous protein, which is also used to make structural constituent of hair and outer layer of skin. Neat maintenance and manicuring is a great way to keep our nails healthy and shiny. Nails have to be taken care of, both internally and externally. Proper nutrition intake and regular cleaning helps to maintain healthy nails.

Home remedies to get stronger and healthy nails

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is rich in nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, acetic acid, pectin, and hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid plays an important role in nail and hair health. Deficiency of this acid leads to weak and dull appearance of nails and hair. So consuming foods that are rich in hydrochloric acid is essential. Some of the other hydrochloric rich foods are lemon juice, spinach, black olives and celery.

Soaking nails in apple cider vinegar makes your nails shinier.


  1. Take equal amount of apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl.
  2. Mix it well.
  3. Soak your nails in this solution at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat daily for a few weeks.

You can also consume a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water, thrice a day.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E foods and vitamin E oil are both essential for promoting nail health.  Combination of vitamin E and C rich foods will definitely supply more blood to your nail beds and makes it stronger and shinier. Vitamin E and C rich foods are broccoli, spinach, avocado, kiwi and pumpkin seeds. Regular intake of these two nutrient rich foods support our nail health.

Vitamin E oil can also be applied on the nails for extra shine and health.


  1. Open a vitamin E softgel capsule and extract the oil.
  2. Apply the oil on your nails and gently massage for a few minutes.
  3. Repeat this daily before going to bed for a few weeks.

Flax seed capsules


Lemon is rich in vitamin C that helps maintain the integrity of our nails by strengthening the skin. Vitamin C plays a vital role in nail strength and nail growth. Regular consumption of citrus fruits is the best way to support nail health.

Lemon juice is a bleaching agent and can remove yellow stains on the nails. Lemon juice not only clears stains but also makes your nails shine.

Lemon manicure


  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Tooth brush or nail brush


  1. Take lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Soak your nails for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix vinegar in warm water.
  4. Dip the brush in warm water and brush your nails gently for 2 minutes.
  5. Rinse your nails with warm water.
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Olive oil

Olive oil is one of the best remedies to make nails strong and healthy. Sometimes our nail looks dull since they are dry. Olive oil contains a component called linoleic acid that prevents water from evaporating and make them shine.

Method 1:

  1. Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of olive oil.
  2. Heat the oil for a few minutes until it becomes warm.
  3. Massage both the top and underside of your nails with warm oil.
  4. Leave it for 15 minutes.
  5. Wash off with water.

Repeat the process thrice a day.

Method 2:

  1. Take 3 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  2. Mix them together.
  3. Apply the mixture on your nails using a cotton swab. (Do this before going to bed.)
  4. Allow it to dry for sometime.
  5. Wear cotton gloves and leave it overnight.
  6. Rinse with warm water in the morning.
Image sourcce: Photo courtesy of Pompeian, Inc.

Green tea

The anti-oxidants in green tea help prevent fragile nails, and also remove yellow stains. Regular consumption of green tea helps you to get healthy hair, nails and soft skin.

Method 1:

  1. Boil a cup of green tea.
  2. Allow it to cool down.
  3. Soak your nails in it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Wash with plain water.

Repeat the same twice a week.

Method 2:

  1. Take 2 teaspoons of green tea.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of wheat germ oil.
  3. Mix it well.
  4. Soak you nails in this for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Wipe off with a cloth.

Repeat the process twice a week.

green tea
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Flax seed oil

Flax seeds are rich sources of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are basically good fats and they are needed to keep our nails and hair from over drying.

  • Adding flax seeds to our diet is helpful to maintain stronger and healthier nails.
  • Applying flax seed oil on your nails and cuticles makes your nails shiny.
flax seed oil
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Egg shell

Usually we use the egg whites and yellow for cooking and throw away the egg shells. But egg shells are rich in calcium, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and protein. Egg shells help to strengthen our nails and reduce the risk of damage.


  1. Break egg shells into small pieces.
  2. Place them in a blender.
  3. Add almonds, flax seeds and pecans.
  4. Blend it well, till powdered well.
  5. Eat a teaspoon of this powder daily (in the morning) with milk.

Vitamin rich foods

Nails are strengthened by different vitamins. If your nail looks dull and yellowish colour, it is sign of vitamin deficiency. Especially, vitamin A, D, and H are highly essential for nail health.

All dairy products, mushroom, eggs, oatmeal, and orange juice are rich in vitamin D.

Egg yolks, peanuts, liver, pork, yeast, banana, beans, and wheat bread are rich in vitamin H.

Carrots, spinach, lettuce, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A.

Regular consumption of these foods keeps our nails healthy.

Protein rich foods

Protein is important for every cell in the body, and nails cannot be an exception. Nails are made of a protein called keratin, and this protein is the building block for healthy shiny nails.

Some of the protein rich foods are Fish, egg, chicken, dairy, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, beans, and meat. Daily consumption of protein rich foods helps you to have healthy nails.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E, caprylic acid, lauric acid and healthy fats. All these are essential for healthy and shiny nails. Coconut oil not only keeps your nails healthy but also fights against infections. Coconut oil is also good for toe nail fungus.


  1. Take amfew drops of coconut oil.
  2. Apply the oil on your nails and cuticles.
  3. Gently massage.
  4. Repeat twice a day.

Baby oil for shiny nails

Baby oil is another simple remedy to make your nails shiny. Baby oil is just a mineral oil with some fragrance. Baby oil is safe to apply on your nails. It moisturizes the nails and cuticles and keeps dryness away. Apply some baby oil to your nails before going to bed every day to keep nails shiny.

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Few points to be noted:

  • Never use low quality nail polish and it is better to use chemical free nail polish. Nail polish and polish remover contain harmful chemicals, they block oxygen and nutrients from the nail. Lack of oxygen makes your nails appear dull.
  • Never use your nails as a tool, sometimes it may break or damage your nails.
  • Always keep your nails moisturized by regular application of lotion or oil or some good moisturizing cream.
  • Never bite your nails.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.