According to WebMD, there is nothing a person can do to make nails grow faster. Dermatologist Bruce Robinson states that all nails grow at a rate of approximately 1 millimeter per month.
Although there is no way to speed nail growth, the supplement biotin can be used to improve nail health. According to WebMD, studies show that taking biotin regularly can strengthen brittle nails and help prevent nails from breaking or splitting. Vitamin supplements geared for nail and hair health often combine biotin with silicon and calcium. If you prefer not to take a supplement, you can get your daily biotin by eating foods such as eggs, salmon, wheat germ and whole grains.
Reader's Digest recommends eating folate-rich foods such as spinach, beans and lentils to restore life to dull nails. The body needs plenty of protein to make keratin, which is a major component of nails, so eating high-protein meats, poultry and fish is also advised.
About.com notes that a zinc deficiency can have a detrimental effect on nail health and can cause white spots on nails. Zinc is found in oysters, beef, oats, lamb, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. An iron deficiency can cause thin, curving nails, so it is important to eat foods that are naturally rich in the nutrient, such as leafy greens, shellfish and red meat.