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    Build Stronger Bones, Nails & Hair

    By Michelle Schoffro Cook
    6/29/2013 8:43:16 AM

    One mineral is essential to bone-building, immune system strengthening, calcium absorption and building strong nails, hair, and teeth, yet most people never give it a second thought. It is silica. Silica supports the body's production of an enzyme called prolyhydroxylase that is involved in the formation of collagen in bones, cartilage, and connective tissue.

    Credit: Care2

    Found in almonds, apples, beets, celery, flaxseeds (ground), whole grains, grapes, kelp, oats, onions, parsnips, strawberries, and sunflower seeds, silica is still deficient in many people's diets.

    Here are some of the most common signs of a silica deficiency:

    - Excessive wrinkling of the skin

    - Insomnia

    - Irritability

    - Muscle cramps

    - Poor bone development

    - Soft or brittle nails

    - Thinning or loss of hair

    Of course, these symptoms can be a sign of another health issue so it is important to see your doctor. But it's also important to be sure that you are eating enough foods rich in silica. It usually takes about two months after eating a diet rich in silica to notice a difference.

    Continue Reading on Care2.com >