Nutrition is important in the health of nails because deficiencies in some vitamins and minerals can lead to diseases of the nails, according to Podiatry Today. Examples of nutrients that are vital to nail health include biotin, folate, vitamin B-12, protein and iron.
A deficiency in biotin can result in an increased risk of fungal infections of the nail and nail plate discoloration, explains Podiatry Today. Folate deficiency can lead to abnormal fingernail pigmentation. A diet lacking in vitamin B-12 can cause a brown-gray discoloration of nails. Iron deficiency is associated with central nail grooves. Nutrition that doesn't include enough iron and protein can also lead to koilonychia, also known as spoon nails.