Protein is hailed as the building block of the body, the mainstay of your health and an essential nutrient for your muscles. But its function is not limited to your muscles. It is also required for many other functions. From counting macros to following the keto diet, there’s always debate about how much protein your body needs. It is natural because protein affects the health of your muscles, bones, joints and metabolism. It is also good for the brain and your immunity. In fact, proteins are also good for your skin. That’s right, it’s the talk of the town in the beauty industry, because a protein deficiency can also lead to skin problems.
How does a protein deficiency affect your skin, hair and nails?
Did you know that your skin, hair and nails are made of proteins, which consist of amino acids? Proteins play a role in building bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and every part and tissue of the body. So it is important to eat a high-protein diet for your skin, hair and nails. The amino acids enter your body through your diet. These are a kind of raw materials for making proteins that your body needs.
According to the National Library of Medicine, skin, hair and nails are made of several proteins, including keratin, collagen and elastin. An adequate amount of protein as part of a healthy diet is essential to support the body’s ability to synthesize all types of proteins, including your skin.
Also read: 6 Warning Signs That You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Research into the connection between proteins and skin health
Sufficient amounts of high-quality protein can use the protein’s amino acids to form keratin, collagen and elastin. Research has shown that low-protein diets can cause collagen breakdown and skin damage. A study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that following a protein-free diet for eight days reduced both type I and III collagen in rats. Another study published by the National Institutes of Health found that a protein deficiency can cause atopic dermatitis and skin problems.
Because nails are composed primarily of hard proteins, brittle or breaking nails are also associated with protein-related problems. In other words, a protein deficiency can occur in your nails. The best way to tackle this is to eat protein-rich foods or take protein supplements.
How to tackle protein deficiency to prevent skin problems?
You can include protein in your diet to prevent skin problems such as redness, flaky skin and depigmentation. According to Harvard Health, Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) data suggests that you should consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. This is the minimum amount of protein an individual should add to his or her nutritional needs to avoid any kind of imbalance. You can include oily fish, avocados, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, soy, dark chocolate, green tea, red grapes and more such foods in your diet.
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Also, protein needs can vary from person to person. Pregnant or menopausal women may need more protein than others. However, you should consult your doctor to know the protein needs of your body.