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The Beauty of Protein

The remedy to healthy hair, skin and nails 

One of the best remedies for dry skin, dull hair and brittle nails might already be in your cupboards! No, it’s not another cream, powder or soap. It’s some of your favorite foods, and maybe some new ones you’ll love and that will love you back, giving you a healthy glow! We’re talking about protein!

Protein is one of the three main macronutrients that make up all foods, the other two being fat and carbohydrates. Each of the three have specific and important roles in the body and protein is the foundation. Protein is the building block of ALL organs, muscles, skin and even hormones so the body needs plenty of it to function to the best of it’s ability. If we look even closer at protein, we see it is made up of molecules called Branch Chain Amino Acids, or BCAA’s and these are what make up things like collagen, elastin and keratin, the structural substances that make up healthy hair, skin and nails. When we exercise, muscle fibers are stressed and broken down, then the protein we’ve consumed rushes in to repair the damage and strengthen the muscle. This very same process is the method by which protein, with it’s many BCAA’s, helps maintain our hair, skin and nails, as well as build them to be stronger and healthier. While we don’t exercise these body parts as we do our muscles, things like stress, environmental factors, aging and changing hormones can cause damage to these organs. 

Since our hair, skin and nails are all made up of protein, consuming a sufficient amount is so important! Believe it or not, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body since it is involved in building and supporting bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Healthline says: You can think of it as the “glue” that holds all these things together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word “kólla,” which means glue.” (Healthline, 2020) Collagen plays many roles, such as:

  • Healing and repairing damaged tissue
  • Increasing skin-cell turnover rate
  • Contributing to skin smoothness and elasticity

Other key components include Elastin and Keratin. Elastin works together with collagen to keep the skin smooth and tight while keratin keeps it looking plump. Keratin also helps to regulate hair strength, volume and moisture, as well as prevent graying. And it’s even the main source of our nails’ strength.

Now that we know just how important protein really is, it’s time to add some more to the diet. Whether you are a meat-eater or tend to lean towards a plant-based diet, there are great food choices that are loaded with protein. Chicken, beef, fish, eggs and dairy are all fantastic sources of protein and healthy fats. If you are watching your carb intake, these are a win-win. Some great plant sources of protein include soy, amaranth, quinoa, chia seeds and hemp seeds. All of these options are considered “complete protein” sources because they include all of the amino acids your body needs. There are some foods that contain protein but only some of the essential amino acids. In this case, strategically combining two sources of plant based protein can get you the full package. A couple great food combos are:

  • Black Beans and Brown Rice
  • Soups or stews with legumes and grains
  • Salads topped with beans and nuts or seeds
  • Veggie Stir-fry with noodles and peanuts

Focusing on following a healthy diet is one of the most tried and true way to maintain our health. However, some people may find this challenging due to food sensitivities, auto-immune disorders or other complication. In these cases, diligently supplementing certain nutrients can be the best route to get all the nutrients you need. Nourage’s Hair + Wellness combines a balancing blend of powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, adaptogens and clinically-proven Keratin to nourish your hair and body from the inside out, resulting in fuller, healthier hair, stronger nails, glowing skin and renewed wellness.