How useful is protein for beautiful skin, hair and nails?

If you see signs of aging when you look in the mirror, and would like to reverse those and return to youthful, glowing skin, you are not alone. Millions of women are looking for ways to deal with age spots and wrinkles, hoping for the clear, smooth complexion that they used to have. One thing that you may not realize is that protein in your diet can be important in giving you the beautiful skin and hair that you desire.

Collagen and your skin When your skin is smooth and elastic, that is a sign that it contains enough collagen. This is a strong, structural material which holds the cells of your body together. Collagen is made of protein, and it makes up about 30% of the total protein in your body. It is made of thin white fibers, which are proportionally stronger than steel, and networks of fibers called elastin, which hold the tissues of the body together. Collagen helps to give you strong bones, teeth, blood vessels, and skin. If you see sagging muscles after you have been on a low-protein diet, you have probably lost too much collagen.

Proteins and amino acids
When you eat protein, your body breaks that down into smaller amino acids, which are then delivered throughout your body where needed. There are 22 different types of amino acids, and your body cannot make them all itself. You have to ingest these with your food, and then the body can use those amino acids to build the proteins that it needs.

Proteins from poultry, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and soy are known as complete proteins, because they contain all eight of the most essential amino acids. Proteins which come from peas, beans, and nuts contain a smaller set of amino acids, so they are sometimes called incomplete proteins.

Your body needs proteins, because your muscles, nails, hair, skin, and eyes are all made of proteins. The body continually replaces dead and dying cells, and it needs protein in order to do that. Proteins are also used in your brain's neurotransmitters, and your body's immune system that helps protect you against disease. Hormones are also made of proteins.

How do we recognize protein deficiencies?
Proteins are vital for our health. They’re required for building and repairing tissue; also, proteins are main substances that are used to “replace” dead cells. Our nails, eyes, skin, muscles and hair are made of proteins. If your hair is thinner or you have premature wrinkles, this could be a sign of protein deficiency. Further causes:
  • Bags around the eyes. If you have puffy eyes, especially early in the morning, that can be a sign that you aren't eating enough protein.
  • Water retention. If you feel puffy, and notice that you have swollen ankles, hands, or face, this can be another sign that you don't have enough protein.
  • Thin nails. Your fingernails are made out of protein, and if you don't have enough protein, you may find very thin, splitting nails.
  • Thinning hair. Your hair grows from hair follicles, which are made of protein. If you aren't eating enough protein, you may be losing more hair, and your existing hair could have thinner, weaker strands.

Aside from water, our body’s most plentiful substance is protein. Protein is considered the finest nutrient to include in your daily diet, and thus maintain a balanced blood sugar level. Some of the best sources of protein you can take from food are:
  • Casein (milk protein) – cottage cheese is an excellent source of casein
  • Egg protein – the best source are egg whites
  • Soy protein – a protein that comes from the soybean plan; it has almost no cholesterol
Omega-6 is another nutrient that's good for skin, hair and nails. This fatty acid is better known as linoleic acid. Since our bodies can’t produce omega-6s, we must take it from food. It features lots of health benefits meant to keep your hair, nails and skin in perfect shape. Also, omega-6s support brain function, metabolism regulation and bone health. Major sources of vegan omega 6 are found in several types of oils, such as: vegetable, avocado, flaxseed and olive oil. As for main types of foods that contain omega-6s, we should mention walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, and others. To have beautiful nails, hair and skin, include these into your diet. Combine them with salads or eat them raw to enjoy all the benefits.
(Contributed by Edward)

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