Blueberries' Support For Strong Nails

  • Jialu Li Master of Science in Language Sciences (Neuroscience) UCL


Ever suffer from easily chipped nails? Perhaps Blueberries, often celebrated for their delectable taste and numerous health benefits, emerge as potential allies in promoting strong and healthy nails. While the nutritional advantages of these small, vibrant berries have been widely acknowledged, their specific role in supporting nail strength is a subject that merits closer examination. Strong nails are not only aesthetically pleasing but also indicative of overall health, reflecting the body's internal balance and well-being. This exploration seeks to unravel the nutritional components of blueberries, delving into their rich vitamin and antioxidant content and how these elements contribute to the enhancement of nail health. By understanding the intricate relationship between nutrition and nails, with a focus on blueberries' unique properties, we can uncover valuable insights into fostering resilient nails through simple dietary adjustments.

Basics of nail health

Nail health serves as a vital indicator of overall well-being, encompassing not only aesthetic concerns but also fundamental aspects of our physiological condition. Nails, composed of a protein called keratin, are complex structures that grow from the nail matrix at the base of the nail bed (essentially where your nail starts).1 Understanding the basics of nail health involves recognizing the interplay of various factors. Healthy nutrition is paramount, with vitamins and minerals such as biotin, vitamin C, and vitamin E playing pivotal roles in supporting nail growth and strength. The health of the nail matrix, where new cells are formed, directly influences the appearance and durability of nails. Furthermore, maintaining proper hydration is crucial, as dehydrated nails are prone to brittleness and breakage. Nail health is also intricately linked to systemic conditions, and changes in the nails' colour, texture, or thickness can signify underlying health issues. Some serious health issues can give rise to the appearance of “clubbed” nails, which is the appearance of swollen fingertips and nails. Below are some systemic conditions that can show symptoms that affect your nails

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia: Insufficient iron levels may lead to brittle or concave (spoon-shaped) nails.
  • Thyroid Disorders: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause changes in nail texture and growth, such as brittle or splitting nails.
  • Psoriasis: Nail pitting (small dents or punctures), discolouration, and separation of the nail from the nail bed can be associated with psoriasis.
  • Lupus: Systemic lupus can cause changes in nail appearance, including a characteristic "red lunula" or a red half-moon shape at the base of the nail.
  • Diabetes: Changes in the nails, such as fungal infections or yellowing, may be associated with diabetes.
  • Liver Disease: Conditions like cirrhosis can cause white or pale nails, while jaundice (a symptom of liver dysfunction) may manifest as yellowing of the nails.

Additionally, practising good hygiene and protecting nails from harsh chemicals and trauma contribute to their overall well-being. In essence, a holistic approach to nail health involves a combination of proper nutrition, hydration, hygiene, and awareness of potential underlying health conditions.

Nutritional composition of blueberries

Blueberries boast a rich nutritional profile, making them a noteworthy addition to a health-conscious diet. These small, vibrant berries are abundant in essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant found in blueberries, plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis, promoting skin and nail health.2 Additionally, blueberries contain significant amounts of vitamin K, contributing to overall bone health and potentially influencing nail strength indirectly.3 Biotin, a B vitamin present in blueberries, is recognised for its role in promoting hair and nail growth.4 The antioxidant properties of blueberries are attributed to compounds like anthocyanins and quercetin, which help neutralise free radicals and protect cells from oxidative stress.5 These nutritional components collectively contribute to the potential benefits of blueberries in supporting strong and healthy nails.

Vitamin C in blueberries

Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, plays a significant role in maintaining healthy nails. Fortunately, blueberries are chock full of this nutrient and here is an explanation on how it plays such a pivotal role in maintaining your nails. 

Vitamin C's pivotal role in promoting strong and resilient nails lies in its ability to support collagen synthesis. Collagen, a fibrous protein, constitutes a significant portion of the nail matrix, providing the structural framework for nail growth and integrity. Collagen synthesis is essential for maintaining the cohesion and elasticity of the nail tissues, thereby preventing issues like brittleness, splitting, and breakage.6 Think of vitamin C as the assistant in charge of making collagen, which is like the scaffolding that keeps your nails strong. When vitamin C jumps into action, it works with special enzymes to tweak the collagen structure by modifying important building blocks of collagen. This process is called hydroxylation and is similar to putting extra support beams in a building to make it sturdy. So, vitamin C ensures collagen stays tough and durable. Without enough vitamin C, these collagen fibres might not get the reinforcement they need, making your nails more vulnerable to damage and less resilient overall. Furthermore, vitamin C's role in enhancing iron absorption contributes indirectly to nail strength. Iron is a vital nutrient for the formation of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygen to the body's cells, including the cells involved in nail growth. By improving iron absorption, vitamin C supports the availability of this essential mineral for various processes, including the development of healthy and robust nails.7 

Vitamin K in blueberries

Another important vitamin involved in promoting nail strength is Vitamin K. Blueberries provide this vitamin, which plays a pivotal part in supporting the synthesis of a compound called osteocalcin, a key protein in bone mineralization. Similar to how vitamin C helps with scaffolding and such, if we were to imagine our nails as a construction site, then mineralisation is the workers adding the essential building materials to make the structure strong and sturdy. In this case, the building materials are calcium and phosphorus, and they are inserted into a framework made of proteins like collagen. This helps the nails be tough and resilient, similar to cement filling the spaces between the bricks of a building. If there was too little mineralisation occurring, the nails would be weak and brittle, as such vitamin K is very important in supporting healthy nail formation.8 This dynamic protein production by vitamin K contributes to the strength of the bone matrix, providing a sturdy foundation for the nails' growth and resistance against breakage. 

Biotin in blueberries

Biotin, often hailed as the "beauty vitamin," plays a crucial role in promoting strong and healthy nails. Also known as vitamin H, biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that acts as a cofactor for various enzymes involved in metabolic processes, including the synthesis of fatty acids and amino acids. In the context of nail health, biotin is particularly noteworthy for its influence on keratin, the protein that forms the structural basis of nails, hair, and skin.9 Biotin supports the conversion of certain amino acids into keratin, contributing directly to the structural integrity of the nail.

Moreover, biotin is believed to enhance the nail's thickness and hardness, reducing the likelihood of brittleness and breakage. Its role in promoting cell growth and division also supports the renewal of nail cells, contributing to overall nail health.10 While biotin deficiencies are rare, individuals who experience issues like brittle nails or hair loss may benefit from biotin supplementation provided by blueberries. Biotin's involvement in the synthesis of keratin and its impact on nail structure make it a key player in fostering strong and resilient nails, emphasizing the significance of adequate biotin intake for optimal nail health.

Antioxidants in blueberries

Blueberries are also rich in antioxidants, which combat molecules called “free radicals”. Free radicals are uncharged molecules with unpaired electrons and pose a constant threat to the health of our nails by initiating a process called oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can lead to damage to our cells, including proteins in the nails, resulting in weakened, brittle, or discoloured nails. These free radicals are generated in response to various factors such as exposure to UV radiation, pollution, and the natural ageing process.11 Enter anthocyanins and quercetin, powerful antioxidants found in abundance in blueberries. These compounds act as defenders against oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals and preventing them from causing harm to the nails. Anthocyanins, responsible for the vibrant blue and purple hues in blueberries, have been shown to possess these protective properties.12 

Antioxidant-rich meals with blueberries

Consider adding a dash of blueberries into your breakfast meals or smoothies to help shield your nails from environmental damage, allowing you to avoid any breakages. Embracing antioxidant-rich meals featuring blueberries is a delightful and health-conscious approach to bolstering overall well-being, with a particular focus on supporting the health of your nails. A vibrant Blueberry Spinach Salad, for instance, combines fresh spinach, blueberries, walnuts, and feta cheese, topped with grilled chicken slices and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Alternatively, a nourishing Blueberry Smoothie Bowl blends frozen blueberries, bananas, Greek yoghurt, and spinach garnished with chia seeds, granola, and sliced almonds. For a satisfying breakfast, a Quinoa Blueberry Breakfast Bowl offers a mix of cooked quinoa, fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries, almond slices, and a touch of honey. These antioxidant-packed meals not only delight the taste buds but also provide essential nutrients to fortify nails against oxidative stress. Whether it's a Grilled Chicken and Blueberry Salsa, Blueberry Oatmeal Parfait, or Blueberry and Almond Overnight Chia Pudding, the incorporation of blueberries into diverse dishes ensures a delicious and nutrient-dense culinary experience that contributes to overall health, including the resilience of your nails.


In conclusion, blueberries are not just a tasty treat but a formidable ally in the pursuit of strong and healthy nails. Beyond the superficial allure of well-groomed nails lies a deeper connection to overall well-being, with the basics of nail health extending into various facets of our lifestyle. Blueberries, rich in vitamins C and K, along with biotin and powerful antioxidants, contribute significantly to fortifying nails against both internal and external challenges. Thankfully, blueberries are incredibly versatile, meaning you can incorporate them into smoothies, salads or breakfast bowls and truly revel in their benefits whilst satisfying your tastebuds.


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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Oussama Allouaji

Master's degree, Biological and Molecular Sciences Research, King's College London

Oussama Allouaji is a biomedical scientist specialising in molecular research and healthcare communication. With advanced training in Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Research, he has contributed to projects in cancer biology and dermatology at respected institutions. His skills range from scientific writing to laboratory techniques, honed through various professional experiences. He has also demonstrated proficiency in medical communication, fostering engagement through informative content creation. With a strong foundation in data analysis and effective communication, Oussama is poised to make meaningful contributions in the field of biomedical science. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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