What does protein do? This isn’t just a list of protein rich foods for healthy hair and skin – it’s a description of how protein increases our hair, skin, and body health.
These tips are from doctors and medical estheticians, as well as a dermatologist who wrote a book about improving aging skin.
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“Protein can be found in a wide range of foods…while most aren’t labeled “superfoods,” they certainly act as such, helping to rebuild and restore the body, from building bone and muscle tissue to making sure your cells are in top condition. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to bulk up or slim down – protein is a vital part of your daily diet.” ~ Dr Oz.
I want to eat more superfoods! Since I’m not a big fan of milk, meat, or cheese, I need to find other ways to get my protein. Luckily, I love nuts, beans, and salmon. These sources of protein contain other nutrients for healthy hair and skin, such as omega-3’s in fish oil.
Here are several types of protein rich foods for healthy hair and skin – even vegans and vegetarians will find something to eat in this list!
What Do Protein Rich Foods Do? Make Your Hair and Skin Healthy
Red and white meat, cheese, and beans repairs skin cells
It may take 10 pounds of milk to make a pound of cheese, but luckily you don’t need to eat that much dairy or protein to repair your hair and skin cells! As you age, your hair and skin cells get damaged, which makes you look older. The protein in red meat, chicken, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, and certain vegetables has the anti-aging effect of repairing hair cells and reducing skin problems. Healthy cells translate to younger-looking skin, fewer wrinkles, less hair loss, and thicker fuller hair. If you want to eat less meat or dairy, you can get healthy hair and skin by eating protein rich foods such as soybeans and lentils.
The protein in almond or hemp milk makes your skin glow
Almond milk is a nutritious dairy alternative to protein rich foods such as meat, eggs, or beans. Almond milk has high levels of magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, vitamin E, selenium, and calcium. Licensed Medical Esthetic Tina Seitz says, “Hemp milk is a delicious, nutty-tasting non-dairy beverage that provides essential balanced nutrition. It’s a fantastic alternative to soymilk or dairy, and has a natural well-balanced ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids to keep your mind sharp, your immune system strong, and your skin glowing.”
Both almond and hemp milks are plant-based sources of protein, and don’t contain lactose. They offer high-quality protein that gives hair a radiant, healthy shine and keeps skin soft. Also, when it comes to glowing skin, make sure you’re aware of these tips for buying natural makeup.
Shellfish, sunflower seeds, and sardines nourish healthy skin
These foods may not taste great together, but individually they offer a powerhouse of essential fatty acids, which has anti-aging effects on skin. Dr. Steven Chang, staff physician for RightHealth.com, says fatty acids nourish the skin, help maintain skin integrity, and keep skin cells performing optimally. “Essential fatty acids, a component of all cell membranes in the body, regulate the flow of nutrients, waste materials, and water in and out of cells – which keeps you looking young.”
Flax seeds, tuna, walnuts, canola oil, soybean oil, and pumpkin seeds are also good sources of fatty acids. These protein rich foods reduce skin problems.
The protein in egg yolks, organ meats, and whole-milk products helps repair skin damage
Dr Chang says, “Vitamin A is especially important for skin repair, and decreased levels can lead to dry, flaky skin.” Dr Day adds that a lack of vitamin A causes your skin to heal poorly and wrinkle easily. Vitamin A also helps create smooth skin and healthy cells – which can reduce skin problems. The main sources of this vitamin are foods from animals, such as liver, eggs, and whole-milk dairy products.
Oregano, thyme, and parsley for healthy skin and less bloating
Okay, these herbs aren’t protein rich foods, but they will give you healthy hair and skin! “If you have puffy bags under your eyes in the morning, you are almost certainly consuming much more salt than you need,” says Dr Doris Day, author of Forget the Facelift: Turn Back the Clock with a Revolutionary Program for Ageless Skin. “Another problem is alcohol: it dehydrates you and can make your skin sag. The worst combination is alcohol and salt, which causes puffy dark circles under your eyes.” Dr Day recommends reducing your sodium intake to eliminate bloating. Instead of salt, season your meals with herbs and spices such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and garlic.
For more information on how protein rich foods affect your health, read What Are Nutrients? 5 Easy Ways to Add Nutrition to Your Diet.
To learn more about how food affects your skin and hair health, read Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles: Eat Your Way to Firmer, More Beautiful Skin with the 100 Best Anti-Aging Foods.
And finally, if you have any thoughts on these protein rich foods, please comment below…