Proteins are used to build tissue cells, including the cells of your hair, skin and nails. 80-85% of your hair is composed of a protein called keratin. Dietary proteins are your hairs’ building blocks – they make your hair strong and help keep it in its growing (anagen) phase.
Without sufficient available protein, your hair can become brittle and fall out before it reaches the length that it’s capable of. This is one of the reasons why people with a low-protein diet often find their hair won’t grow past a certain length. We suggest including at least 120g of a protein with breakfast and lunch.
The best sources of proteins are ‘primary proteins’ or ‘animal proteins’, which include fish, eggs, lean meats, red meat, poultry and cheese. However, cheese can cause or worsen eczema and dandruff in some people and also takes over two hours to digest, so it’s not the best option for everyone.
Beans, lentils, nuts, tofu, and pulses are ‘secondary proteins’ or ‘plant proteins’ – classed as such because they don’t contain the same amount of essential amino acids as animal proteins, and also aren’t as easily absorbed.
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EGGS: The ‘Perfect’ Protein
It could be said that eggs are the ‘perfect protein’ for your hair. The amino acids (protein) found in eggs whites are in fact the most complete and easily absorbed form of protein for your body! Dietary protein is essential to hair growth and health as hair is made primarily of keratin – a special hair protein that gives your strands their strength, flexibility and elasticity.