Protein is essential not only for your overall health, but especially that of your hair, nails and skin (at any age). We consulted dermatologists and skincare experts for three timeless, must-have nutritious food suggestions to add to your diet if a higher protein menu is your goal. Read on for tips, suggestions, and insights from Dr. Elaine F. Kung, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Future Bright Dermatology and Dr. Enrizza Factor, MD, board-certified dermatologist and My Vitiligo Team researcher.
1. Oily fish
Fatty fish, like salmon, Factor explains, are “high in omega-3s and are a good source of lean protein. Fish choices like” salmon, herring, and mackerel contain nutrients that may promote healthy growth. hair,” she adds, while they’re great sources of protein, selenium, D3 and B vitamins, nutrients that can help promote strong, healthy hair. “When it comes to your skin, oily fish also offer many benefits, confirms Kung. “Fish is an excellent source of protein, which provides our bodies with amino acids to make collagen,” she says.
Collagen, she continues, is the protein responsible for skin’s suppleness and elasticity, and can be taken daily in supplement form while also being 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 “protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants,” as well as 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. Besides 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 says are important for maintaining the lipid layer of our skin. “Eggs contain B vitamins which are important antioxidants, help skin retain moisture and repair DNA damage,” she points out, and zinc is “another key mineral in the production healthy collagen”.
Factor agrees and points out that eggs are also a great source of “selenium and other hair-healthy nutrients.” This, she says, makes it “one of the best foods to eat 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 biotin has been “scientifically proven to increase nail thickness and reduce brittleness and splitting.”
Spinach contains “calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, choline, folic acid, riboflavin and vitamins A, C, E, K, B6”, which , according to Kung, are all vital to the appearance of your skin, hair and nails. . “Foods that contain vitamins A, C, E and carotenoids are wonderful for skin health and prevent skin aging as they are powerful antioxidants,” Kung adds. She tells us that vitamins A, C, E, and E prevent “discoloration and pigmentary changes that age our appearance.” Vitamin C in particular, she reiterates, is a “really important part” of collagen synthesis.
Factor agrees and notes that this healthy green vegetable is loaded with beneficial “hair growth-promoting” nutrients like “folate, iron, and vitamins A and C.” Spinach is also what she considers an “excellent plant-based source of iron”, which is “essential for hair growth”. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism, Factor adds, and promote growth and repair. “Spinach provides your body with enough iron, folate, and calcium to get your nails back in shape,” she concludes.