I have been eating paleo for almost one year now. I have always had the healthiest, strongest nails. Never had a problem with them breaking or splitting.
.... until about 3 weeks ago. Now they are breaking left and right! Peeling off in large pieces and it's kind of making me wonder.
Is this a common side effect of paleo? Could it be from not getting enough dairy? Gelatin? Any ideas from you, paleo community?
Edit As requested, here's what I usually eat:
Breakfast - eggs muffins with bacon and veggies and a piece of fruit - usually berries or an orange. Lunch - Salad with chicken, turkey, or beef. Dinner - Chicken, Steak, Beef, Buffalo, Fish, usually with veggies. Occasional paleo cheat - almond butter, dark chocolate.
Veggies include Broccoli, spinach, green beans, butternut squash.
The only dairy I eat is kerrygold butter for cooking or for my bulletproof coffee.
I would try adding in gelatin-rich foods. I supplement now with the Great Lakes kosher gelatin, but also make a ton of bone broth (which I didn't see you mention in your usual diet). My nails are really strong now, but weren't before I regularly started consuming gelatin.
If it were me, I'd try using Fitday for a week or so to see how much calcium & other minerals you're getting from your current diet. When I first started paleo, I had problems w/ nails & gums, and found I was not getting nearly enough minerals, esp. calcium. I solved the problem with cultured dairy (yogurt, aged raw milk cheese) but obviously that's not the only way.
Also agree with the bone broth suggestion. If you can find chicken feet (and if you can stand to deal with them!) you'll get a nice rich broth with lots of gelatin.
I don't supplement with calcium and rarely eat dairy - but I've experienced the opposite... my nails grow fast, as does my hair. I know this doesn't help you, except to know that in my case, calcium is definitively not causing my nails to become brittle.
I'd look into getting your vitamin d levels checked. You are no longer eating fortified foods so deficiencies can, and do occur on a Paleo diet. You are also getting about 1/4th of the weekly sunlight that I believe you need to be healthy.
I want to see other peoples answers. I have the same problem. My nails were fine, now they peel and I cannot get any length on them. I cannot figure out what the low fat, whole grains did for my nails that paleo does not. And for the record, this has been an issue for me since I went paleo about 2.5yrs ago...
you probably want to consider taking a good multivitamin every day just to ensure proper levels of vitamins. weak nails are a sign of nutrient deficiencies (although i'm not sure EXACTLY what).
I am having the same issue - I have been eating Paleo (at least 80%) for the last 1.5 years. My nails were perfect for 30 years and now the tips peel like crazy - I live in Europe, so I have decided that Euro dairy is safe enough for me (a lot less hormones/preservatives than US dairy), so I don't think it is a calcium or vitamin D issue. I eat eggs quite a bit as well.
I am open to suggestions!
Typical diet: breakfast: steamed greens, poached egg and salmon lunch: salad with meat and lots of veg, steamed veg & seafood or grilled meat dinner: meat, fish or chicken with veg snacks: 0-1 servings of fruit or hazelnuts
It could also be a sign of elevated cortisol levels, and LC will do that, your liver isn't going to produce sugar before your body elevates cortisol as a stress response (which LC is).
You seem to eat very high protein, and low carb, so you might want to consider if your cortisol levels are high, other things that seem to happen after the nails have started to become brittle is brittle hair, and thin skin.
I had extremely shitty nails on low carb, now they are ok. I had always had long strong nails, but a semi LC diet made them so brittle in something like half an year, I ate more carbs than you do now, and I still had elevated cortisol and problems from it.
Other problems could be just that you are not getting enough biotin, and also that your body uses some stuff much more quickly with an LC altered metabolism (for example selenium, and --> thyroid problems which I won't get into here, also cortisol is an antagonist to thyroid hormones).
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