What Do Your Fingernails Say About Your Health?

What do your fingernails look like?
What do your fingernails look like?

Have you ever taken a look at your fingernails? I mean a long hard look, noticing every crevice, ripple, and ridge. In fact, health professionals have long tied your health to the health of your cuticles.

According to WebMD:


"Just like the eyes are the window to the soul, so are the nails," says Tamara Lior, MD, a dermatologist with Cleveland Clinic Florida. Lior says she once convinced a patient to have his lungs checked after noticing a bluish tint to his nails, a sign that he wasn't getting enough oxygen. Sure enough, he had fluid in his lungs.

An article by holistic nutritionist Mary Reed highlighted what your cuticles say about your health down to the nitty gritty details.

Keep reading to learn what your fingernails say about your health.

Little White Spots

I was especially curious about those little white spots that can sometimes crop up on the surface of my nails. Turns out, according to Dr. Reed, this is a zinc deficiency.

Zinc is a building block of the body and a deficiency in zinc can lead to stunted growth, diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, and depressed immunity. You can get zinc from toasted wheat germ, oysters, sesame seeds, tahini, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and peanuts.


What about the other parts of the cuticle? What should you be looking for?

White Half Moon

The white half moon at the beginning of the nail is an indicator of good thyroid health. Each nail that is missing a half moon shows a weaker thyroid. Weak thyroid health can lead to depression, mood swings, and thinning hair, according to Dr. Reed.

Here's how to improve your thyroid function.


Nail Ridges

Vertical ridges on the nail mean a possible iron deficiency.

The daily recommendation is 18 mg of iron a day. You can get 14 mg from ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, 6.2 mg from ½ cup tofu, and 7.4 mg from 3 oz of steamed oysters. Other good sources of iron include sun dried tomatoes at 9 mg per ½ cup, Jerusalem artichokes at 5.4 mg per cup, pine nuts at 9 mg per ½ cup, and sunflower seeds at 6.7 mg per 1/2 cup. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron into the body.


Horizontal ridges mean a deficiency of vitamins A and C. You can get vitamin A from sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, butter, kale, spinach, collards, and on and on. You can get vitamin C from papayas, strawberries, oranges, kale, lemon, melon, cauliflower, and so on.

But this is really just the beginning.

Take this Fingernail Analysis

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