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Food for Your Fingernails

Food for Your Fingernails

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"At OPI, it’s all about the food… and the travel," Suzi Weiss-Fischmann said to a group of beauty and fashion bloggers at their first OPI Bloggers Breakfast Wednesday at the Four Seasons in New York City. The group, including The Daily Meal, spent the morning talking shop — as in glitter, polish, and what’s really in a name.

OPI, a nail lacquer empire that Weiss-Fischmann and her brother-in-law George Schaeffer co-founded 30 years ago, is still very much booming, especially after being bought by beauty powerhouse Coty in late 2010. At the Bloggers Breakfast, the nail company debuted the new Bond Girls collection, a 50th anniversary collection highlighting James Bond’s favorite ladies.

But what we were really interested in, however, was the upcoming collaboration between Nicole by OPI and Kellogg’s, a three-piece limited edition nail set coming out in April. The colors are a Barbie-pink shade called Be Ama-zing , a lipstick red called Challenge Red-Y, and a teal hue named Pros and Confidence.

The trio will be released with purchases of Kellogg’s Special K products and the collaboration is meant to encourage women to show off their confidence with bold colors.

"You know, it’s funny, Kellogg’s reached out to us, just as Dell did and as other non-beauty brands have had before," said Weiss-Fischmann. "They understand what nail polish means for women — it empowers them. Women hold the power, and having a bold nail makes a statement. Men notice it, women notice it, and it makes you feel good about yourself."

In order to get your hands on all three full-size bottles, eight purchase codes from eligible Kellogg’s Special K products will need to be submitted. At the breakfast, the inevitable question arose: "How do you come up with the [nail polish] names?"

With a laugh, Weiss-Fischmann said, "Well, the same six people — me, George, two people from marketing, someone from purchasing, and the same woman from customer service — sit around a table with tons of food and we throw ideas out. We decide when we do a new collection if we want to go to the moon and be exciting or if we want to be farmers and lay the land."

From these brainstorming sessions have come some of the cleverest nail polish names. Names like Don’t Pretzel My Buttons, Hands Off My Kielbasa, and Gouda, Gouda Two Shoes speak volumes when they’re stamped on the bottom of an awesome shade — they certainly do make memorable conversation starters and make for great chatter over a glass of wine.

We can go for days naming our favorite nail polish names. What’s that? You like them, too? Sorry, I can’t hear you — I Have a Herring Problem.

What to Eat for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

How your diet can help you have thicker hair, younger-looking skin and stronger nails.

What you eat helps take care of your body fromt the inside out. Nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes. But what you eat also affects how you look on the outside. Here&aposs three key foods and nutrients to eat for better hair, skin and nails. And why not eat to look good too?

Vitamin D for Hair

Pictured Recipe: Salmon & Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce

For shampoo-commercial hair, up your vitamin D. Women with thinning tresses had nearly five times lower blood levels of vitamin D than those with fuller hair, according to Egyptian researchers. Other research in mice suggests that vitamin D helps create new hair follicles and wake up dormant ones. Falling short on this nutrient can lead to other health issues, so listen to what your hair is telling you and ask your doc for a blood test. And aim to get 600 IU of vitamin D daily, from salmon (450 IU in 3 oz.), canned tuna (154 IU in 3 oz.), milk (115 IU per cup) or eggs (41 IU each).

Healthy Fats for Skin

When it comes to eating for better skin, "no fat" is no good. In a study, Japanese women on a low-fat diet (50 grams of total fat daily) had less skin elasticity than those who ate 74 g per day. And women who ate only 14 g of saturated fat had more wrinkles than those who got 23 g (which is the recommended upper limit in the U.S.). Fat is a building block of skin tissue, so enjoying a healthy dose may help keep your face looking younger. Some evidence suggests that going overboard on fat may make wrinkles worse, so balance is key. Healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, fish and nuts.

Silicon for Nails

A Pinterest-worthy mani starts with healthy fingertips. And if you&aposve got brittle nails (super common!), the solution may be silicon. Women who took a 10 mg silicon supplement daily for five months had stronger nails (and hair), according to Belgian researchers. The mineral strengthens keratin, the protein nails are made of. Get this nutrient from green beans (8 mg per ¾ cup), dates (3 mg each), bananas (5 mg each) and best of all, beer. One study found silicon levels range from 3 to 27 mg per 16 ounces, with brews containing high levels of malted barley and hops, like double IPAs, boasting the most. Prost!

What Is The Right Age To Give Finger Foods To Babies?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a baby can have soft finger foods once they can sit straight without support and bring their hands to their mouth (1). Most babies achieve these developmental milestones by the age of eight months(2). Some babies might achieve these milestones before eight months, making them ready for finger foods earlier.

The development of the pincer grasp also plays a significant role since it allows the baby to use their thumb and index finger to pick finger foods (3). Pincer grasp usually develops by seven months and matures by nine months. Since each baby develops differently, a baby could be ready for finger foods at any age between six and 12 months (4).

This spinach artichoke dip takes this classic to a new level! The tangy, creamy dip is such a crowd pleaser that it might interfere with the conversation when you serve it (sorry!). When we serve it, everyone parks themselves around the bowl! This version is baked in the oven and served warm. It's made with Greek yogurt and less mayo and cheese than the typical dip, giving it a healthy-ish spin. Serve with pita chips, crostini, or crackers to make it a finger food.

These green beans are very lightly coated by a quick soak in buttermilk and then a shake in some seasoned flour for a crispy coating that's almost like a tempura batter before being quickly fried. Serve these buttermilk fried green beans with cherry tomatoes on the same plate or platter for color and brightness. Sit back as guests pop one after another in their mouths.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

For a less layered affair, artichokes and spinach join forces for a crowd pleaser that's healthier than you'd expect, and roasted green chiles add a welcome hint of spice. Tip: Use frozen spinach to cut the cost in half it's an affordable shortcut and nobody would taste the difference if you used fresh.

Get our recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip.


Satisfy that craving for Chinese with this quick and easy meal. Chock full of veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and mushrooms, this filling and flavorful bowl will give you the energy you need to power through the rest of the workday without making you feel bogged down or foggy.

It doesn’t get more nourishing than this perfectly balanced salmon and veggie grain bowl. The salmon and avocado are the perfect complements to the cozy grains and absolutely delightful turmeric dressing. This recipe is also a fabulous springboard for your own lunch creations—the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a grain bowl.

This simple pasta dish will be just as delicious served warm as it will be cold for your lunch the following day. The combination of veggies and comforting pasta will keep you full and focused for the day and keep you from wandering to the cookie jar in the late afternoon. And how beautiful are those colors?

This light and refreshing quinoa bowl is loaded with crisp radishes, sweet and juicy tomatoes, and a delicious smattering of feta cheese, hitting all the necessary 60/20/20 diet spots. Make your own green goddess dressing or buy some from the store for a truly delectable lunchtime feast.

It doesn’t get much better than a poke bowl, and this vegan version of the Hawaiian classic is a real lunchtime treat. The fresh flavors all come together for a truly transportive meal that will make you feel like you’re on a beach far, far away. Tofu substitutes traditional tuna, but you won’t miss it.

5. Sunflower Seeds

Whether added to baked goods or sprinkled on various dishes, alkalizing sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients. One of the most important ones for building bones is magnesium, which is plentiful in sunflower seeds.

In addition, sunflower seeds contain the trace minerals manganese and copper, which are essential for the synthesis and production of connective tissue in bones and cartilage.

These crunchy seeds also contain Vitamin B6, zinc, and Vitamin E. All of these minerals and vitamins contribute to healthy fingernails and strong bones. Vitamin E in particular contributes to healthy bone remodeling, and it can protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

8 Foods That Make Your Nails Stronger

Before you pop those nail vitamins, consider what you can be getting from your diet first.

Don't forget to pin it for later!

If your fingernails are feeling dry and/or darkened, it may be due to a B12 deficiency, so it's time to up your salmon intake. Bonus? The fish is also high in Vitamin D to help your nails grow and stay strong.

You already know eggs are a great source of protein (and also vitamins and minerals), and all are essential for strong nails. Get your scramble on.

Whole grains like oats, brown rice, and buckwheat are full of biotin and protein, which lead to healthier nails.

In addition to a serious boost of protein, red meat contains iron, which is crucial to nail health. So go ahead and treat yoself to a juicy steak.

At this point, you have to ask yourself what aren't antioxidants good for? Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant properties of all fruits, which can help reverse damage and inflammation in the cells in your nails. So basically, go eat all the blueberries.

Dark, leafy greens like spinach are packed with calcium, iron, and antioxidants, which is like good for your nails to the third power. Bonus points if you top it with steak for an extra boost of iron.

If you've been popping biotin pills, consider getting it from your diet instead. Beans are rich in biotin, so they can help repair weakened nails and keep them strong.

This is not a drill&mdashbeer is totally good for your nails. The drink is a rich source of silicon, which reduces nail brittleness. Cheers to that.

Ask a Dietitian

"Diana, just a quick heads up to let you know we are still using your cookbook and the guys will often be heard saying what would Diana say about this or that. really good feed back. I made your potato salad and the oriental coleslaw on Sat. for a family luncheon and had rave reviews so thanks again."

What Your Fingernails Say About Your Diet

As seen on BCTV Noon New s


Believe it or not, what we consume on a day to day basis can effect our fingernails making them look sturdy and strong or shabby and worn out. We use our nails for almost everything that we do whether it is peeling an orange, scratching a lotto ticket or drumming our nails on the dash board waiting for the light to go green. Depending on the nutrient deficiency, our nails can show different signs of wear and tear. The following are some of the different concerns that many people may run into, the possible reasons for the problems and some suggestions to reverse it.

1) The Nail bed is spoon-shaped or pale rather than pink

This problem may reflect low iron. To increase your iron intake eat more fish, meat and poultry. Plant sources that are a good source of iron include artichokes, kidney beans, nuts, tomato juice and broccoli. Just remember that plant sources are better absorbed with a source of vitamin C or animal protein. Try a mixed green salad with strawberries, artichokes and nuts for an iron rich meal.

2) Nails that have side to side ridges

This can often occur with high fevers and inflammation in the body for extended periods of time. By boosting your immune system with nutrient dense foods you can help combat illness.

3) Nails that have longitudinal ridges from cuticle to nail tip

May be due to a lack of biotin which weakens the protein layers below the skin line where ridges begin. For biotin eat more egg yolks, dark green vegetables and green beans. For some, ridges are just a fact of life and actually develop with age. However, the good news is it is not a sigh of a health problem and not something to worry about.

4) Brittle nails

Brittle nails can often occur due to lack of protein, iron and/or the amino acid cysteine in the diet. For protein and iron eat more foods from the meats and alternatives group. For cysteine eat chicken whole grains, eggs, nuts and seeds.

5) Nails that are dry, combined with ridges

This may occur due to a lack of B vitamins in the diet. B vitamins are powerful coenzymes that assist particular enzymes in the release of energy from carbohydrate, fat and protein. Deficiencies of these vitamins can directly disturb metabolic pathways. B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin, can be found in a variety of food sources such as whole grains, milk products, eggs, fish, avocados, broccoli, soy products, potatoes and nuts.

6) Curved nail ends, or darkening of the nail

This may be the result of a vitamin B12 deficiency. This can sometimes occur in individuals who are vegan and have eliminated animal products from their diet (a primary source of B12). Vitamin B12 deficiency poses health risks beyond poor nails and should be taken seriously. One may need to take vitamin B-12 fortified soy milk or B12 supplements.

7) Nails with weak cuticles

This can occur due to an overall lack of good nutrition in the diet. Aim to incorporate at least 5 servings of vegetables a day and 2-3 servings of fruit, high quality proteins such as soy products, legumes, fish and lean meats, whole grain products such as whole wheat breads, pastas and brown rice.

8) Hangnails

The dreaded hangnails have been suggested to occur as a result of insufficient protein (refer below), vitamin C and folic acid. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, spinach and broccoli. If you are eating 2-3 fruits a day and 5-12 vegetables a day, you should be consuming enough vitamin C. Folate works together with Vitamin B12 to help synthesize DNA required for rapidly growing cells. Folate can be found in dark leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli, and legumes (kidney, pinto, garbanzo, black-eyed peas and lentils). However, heat can inactivate the vitamin, and aspirin, oral contraceptives and antacids can also interfere with how the body handles folate. By incorporating a lot of folate rich foods in your diet and taking a supplement if necessary one can combat the dreaded hangnail.

9) General nail growth and health

There are a number of nutrients that can effect the state of your nail’s general health.

Protein is the major building material that comprise nails and when depleted in the diet can have a major impact on the rate of growth and their ability to stand up to everyday tasks. Vegetarians and vegans often notice this if they are not completing their proteins sufficiently. By combining legumes with whole grains in ample portions, one can successfully complete their protein needs.

Biotin, a water-soluble vitamin from the B-complex group of vitamins, has also been noted for its ability to increase the thickness of the nail plate helping to defend against brittle nails. In a Swiss study, 63 percent of 35 adults that were given daily biotin supplementation showed clinical improvement in their nail structure. Biotin is produced naturally in the intestines as well as from dietary sources such as egg yolks, soybeans, fish and whole grains. While deficiency is quite rare, it can sometimes occur in individuals that are taking a long-term regimen of antibiotics, or in individuals that are on a calorie-restricted diet for a considerable length of time. Try incorporating soy into your diet by consuming soymilk or soft tofu in a smoothie with blueberries or tropical fruits.

Lastly, silicon has also been found to be critical for healthy nails. The highest concentration of silicon in the body is actually found in connective tissue such as skin and nails. Silicon is found in leafy, green plants and several grain products (the insoluble forms). Try incorporating dark leafy green salads into your menus with chopped tomatoes, green peppers and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Tip: Don’t subject your nails to harsh synthetic hardeners, polishes, and polish removers. These chemical-laden products can be harsh on nails and even result in allergy or chemical sensitivity. In fact, the nail absorbs chemicals faster than does the skin. For a natural conditioning treatment, soak your nails in 1/2 cup of warm olive oil or vinegar with a few drops of essential oil, depending on your particular needs.

W atch for the Eating for Energy segment every Tuesday on BCTV’s Noon News Hour!

Taking a vitamin B-12 supplement may not improve your nail strength if you are already well-nourished, according to researchers of a review study published in 2007 in "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology." These researchers studied the role of several vitamins and minerals in nail health and found that vitamin B-12 supplements do not improve your nail health or strength if you are not deficient in vitamin B-12.

To ensure healthy nails, eat a healthy diet, which includes consuming adequate vitamin B-12. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B-12 is 2.4 micrograms daily. You can obtain vitamin B-12 from animal products including fish, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy, or if you do not eat animal products, you can obtain vitamin B-12 from fortified breakfast cereals or a supplement. Breakfast cereals can be fortified with 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin B-12, while 3 ounces of trout or salmon provide 90 and 80 percent, respectively 3 ounces of beef provides 23 percent 1 cup of low-fat milk provides 18 percent one egg provides 10 percent and 3 ounces of roasted chicken breast provides 5 percent of the DV.


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