What Role Does Protein Play In Boosting Skin Health?

The global skin care industry is projected to reach a market worth of $177.15 Billion by 2024, yet many consumers seem to have forgotten than beauty begins with nutrition. The CDC notes that a majority of Americans do not consume their required fruits and vegetables a day, and high-sugar, processed foods continue to pose a big risk for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. If you’re after skin that glows and maintains its smoothness and firmness, a Mediterranean-style diet comprising lean protein sources, seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and essential fatty acids, is the way to go. We know that fruits and vegetables contain a wide array of vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acid, but why is protein also key for youthful, glowing skin?

Protein And The Building Blocks Of Skin

In her best-selling book, Skin Revolution, health writer Leslie Kenton advocates for the importance of protein. Skin, like many other organs, relies on protein for a plethora of functions, including the building of collagen and elastin (the building blocks of skin), muscles, hormones and antibodies (which keep skin in good condition). Our skin, says Kenton, needs the very highest quality proteins to make glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) – which support collagen, elastin, and bounce in cellular spaces, helping collagen and elastin fibers retain moisture.

Good Sources Of Protein

Good quality, organic meat is a top source of protein, with studies showing that organic meat has up to 50% more beneficial Omega-3 essential fatty acids than conventionally produced meat. Omega-3s are key to heart healthy, neurological function and immune function, but they also play an important role in keeping skin looking plump and young. There are other vegetable-based fats that can also boost skin beauty. These include almonds, which are high in skin saving Vitamin E, and which are close to peanuts in terms of protein content (100 gr of almonds contain 21 gr of protein).


Protein For Vegans

If you’re a vegan and you’d like to ensure your protein consumption is as required, make sure that grains and pulses are part of your daily diet. Pulses generally contain about twice the amount of protein found in whole grains, and they’re excellent source of fiber. Legumes like lentils and beans, meanwhile, are excellent sources of the amino acid lysine, another building block of protein, known for its positive effect on our gut and brain health. On days that you’re busy and you don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal, vegan protein powder can be a big help. These products lack the typical problems caused by whey-based protein (including bloating and nausea) but pack a powerful punch in terms of protein composition.

Beautiful skin involves a blend of nutritional and lifestyle choices, as well as daily skincare and grooming. To keep your skin young, firm and elastic, ensure you consume the recommended daily amount of protein. Back this up with organic fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget healthy Omega-3 fats, which will also help keep inflammation levels low and boost your brain health.