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Protein: The building blocks of beauty

Discover the transformative power of protein for radiant skin, lustrous hair, and overall well-being. Uncover the beauty within through a balanced and protein-rich diet.

In the pursuit of beauty, it is often thought that skincare products and hair treatments are the answer. But what if I told you that one of the most potent beauty secrets lies within your diet? Adequate dietary

protein is a cornerstone of both internal and external beauty, contributing to the health of your skin, hair, nails and overall wellbeing. There are several ways that it contributes to your skin’s health and appearance.

Collagen production

Collagen is a protein that forms the structural foundation of your skin. It provides elasticity, strength and firmness, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Adequate intake supports collagen production, contributing to youthful-looking skin.

Wound healing

Protein is essential for the regeneration of skin cells and the repair of damaged tissues. It plays a crucial role in the healing process of cuts, scrapes and other skin injuries, helping to minimise scarring.

Moisture retention

Proteins help maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance. A deficiency can lead to dry, flaky skin, making it essential to include protein-rich foods in your diet.

Defence against free radicals

Antioxidant proteins help protect your skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. This defence mechanism keeps your skin looking youthful.

It’s not just your skin that benefits from a protein-rich diet — your hair and nails are also dependent on this essential nutrient for their strength and vitality.

  • Hair growth: Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Ensuring an adequate intake can stimulate hair growth, improve hair texture and reduce the risk of hair loss or thinning.
  • Nail health: Like hair, nails are composed of keratin. Adequate protein intake promotes nail strength, preventing brittleness and breakage. Strong nails also provide a beautiful canvas for nail polish.
  • Scalp health: Protein contributes to a healthy scalp by promoting blood circulation and reducing dryness and flakiness. A nourished scalp provides the ideal environment for healthy hair growth.

The benefits of dietary protein extend beyond the realm of external beauty; they encompass your overall health and wellbeing. A balanced diet that includes the right amounts can have a profoundly positive impact on virtually every body system.

  • Weight management: It known for its satiating effect, helping to curb cravings and promote a feeling of fullness.
  • Muscle maintenance: Adequate protein intake is essential for preserving and building lean muscle mass. This contributes to a toned physique, and supports healthy metabolism and energy levels.
  • Immune function: Many immune system components, including antibodies, are made up of proteins. Ensuring a balanced intake strengthens your immune system’s ability to ward off illnesses and infections.
  • Hormone regulation: Proteins are involved in the production and regulation of hormones, which play a critical role in various bodily functions, including mood, energy, skin health, menstruation and fertility.

Protein requirements

One of the easiest ways to ensure you are having sufficient intake is to ensure you are having a high- quality portion in each meal. Here are some examples of proteins: the key is to alternate your intake, having both animal and plant proteins throughout the day.

Meats :Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb and organ meats such as pâté are all rich sources of high- quality protein.

Fish: Fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, trout, anchovies and barramundi not only provide protein but also deliver essential omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit your skin and overall health.

Eggs: Eggs are a versatile and affordable source of protein. They contain biotin, a B-vitamin essential for healthy hair and nails.

Dairy: Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese and cream are good sources of added protein to meals.

Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas are excellent plant-based sources and an easy addition to curries, soups and slow cooks.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds provide protein, healthy fats and antioxidants that promote skin and hair health.

Tofu and tempeh: These soy-based products are rich in protein and can be used as meat substitutes.

Quinoa: Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a valuable protein-rich option.

Article featured in WellBeing 208

Ema Taylor

Ema Taylor

Ema Taylor is a naturopath, clinical nutritionist and certified fertility awareness educator. For more, visit emataylor.com or @emataylornaturopathy on Instagram.

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