3 High-Protein Foods to Promote Healthier Hair, Skin, and Nails, According to Derms
Protein is essential not only for your general healthbut specifically yours hair, nails and skin (at any age). We checked with dermatologists and skin care experts for three timeless, must-have, nutritious food suggestions to add to your diet if you’re aiming for a higher protein menu. Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Dr. Elaine F. KungMD, FAAD, board certified dermatologist and founder of Future Bright Dermatology and Enrizza FactorMD, board certified dermatologist and researcher at My Vitiligo Team.
1. Fatty fish
Fatty fish, like salmon, explains Factor, “are high in omega-3s and a good source of lean protein. Fish choices like “salmon, herring, and mackerel have nutrients that can promote hair growth,” she adds, and are also “great sources of protein , selenium, vitamin D3 and vitamin B, nutrients that can help promote strong, healthy hair.” When it comes to your skin, oily fish also has many benefits, agrees Kung. “Fish is an excellent source of protein, which supplies our the body with amino acids to make collagen,” she says.
Collagen, she continues, is the protein responsible for supple skin and its elasticity, and can be taken daily in the form of supplements, and is also found in many foods. “Fish skin is a rich source of collagen, and salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve collagen formation,” Kung points out.
Kung calls eggs a great source of “skin-loving protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants,” along with iron and many other vitamins and minerals like “zinc, biotin, choline, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins A, B12, and D “, all of which promote glowing skin, thicker hair and stronger nails. In addition to bone health, Kung notes that the vitamin D in eggs “has been shown to protect the skin from UV damage and reduce inflammation.” Eggs also contain “oleic acid and palmitic acid,” which Kung explains are important for maintaining our skin’s lipid layer. “Eggs contain B vitamins that are important antioxidants, help the skin retain moisture and repair DNA damage,” she emphasizes, and zinc is “another key mineral in healthy collagen production.”
Factor agrees and points out that eggs are also a great source of “selenium and other hair-healthy nutrients.” This, he says, makes them “one of the best foods for optimal hair health.” Eggs also contain B12, vitamins A and E, iron and biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, and part of the B-complex vitamins), and Factor says that biotin has been “scientifically shown to increase nail thickness and reduce brittleness and splitting. “
Spinach contains “calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, choline, folate, riboflavin, and vitamins A, C, E, K, B6,” which Kung says are vital for the appearance of your skin, hair, and nails. . “Foods that contain vitamins A, C, E and carotenoids are great for skin health and prevent skin aging because they are powerful antioxidants,” adds Kung. She tells us that vitamins A, C, E and E prevent “discoloration and pigmentary changes that age our appearance.” Vitamin C in particular, she repeats, is a “really important part” of collagen synthesis.
Factor agrees, noting that this healthy green vegetable is packed with beneficial “hair growth-promoting” nutrients like “folate, iron, and vitamins A and C.” Spinach is also what she considers “an excellent plant source of iron,” which is “essential for hair growth.” Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to boost your metabolism, Faktor adds, and support growth and repair. “Spinach provides your body with enough iron, folate and calcium to get your nails back in fighting shape,” she concludes.
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