Best Foods That Can Stimulate Keratin Production in Your Body

Updated on October 22nd, 2020
keratin rich foods

Keratin is a kind of structural protein present in your nails, hair, and skin. It’s incredibly important to support wound healing, maintain your skin’s structure, and keep your nails and hair robust and healthy [1].

Keratin supplements are often believed to help increase nail growth, improve skin texture, and prevent hair loss. Yet, plenty of healthy foods can naturally support your body’s synthesis of keratin.

What Is Keratin?

Keratin is a variant of non-living protein produced in the body from living skin cells. It is what makes up nails and hair, so it is crucial to the body’s structure.

Foods Rich In Keratin For Healthy Hair

Here are a few foods that promote keratin production.

Keratin Rich Foods

Various foods contain specific minerals, nutrients, and vitamins, such as biotin, that encourage keratin production and boost this protein’s infrastructure. Sources of keratin actually reside entirely in subgroups of foods, as against specific foods themselves.

Some of the following food groups provide excellent sources of keratin:

1. Protein-rich foods

Protein is made up of many amino acids that are necessary for various critical bodily functions, one of which is keratin production. High-protein foods that are also excellent sources for building keratin include red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, and yogurt [2].

If you are vegan or vegetarian, plant-based protein sources include beans, nuts, nut butter, and quinoa. 

[Also Read: High Protein Breakfast Recipes]

2. Biotin Rich Foods 

Biotin is required to metabolize amino acids absorbed from protein to create keratin. Hence, foods high in biotin and protein are critical to a high-keratin intake. Biotin is usually recommended to strengthen nails and hair due to its keratin-fortifying role in the body.

It is present in nuts, beans, cauliflower, whole grains, mushrooms, and the yolks of cooked eggs.

[Read: Biotin for Hair Growth]

3. Vitamin A dense foods

The presence of vitamin A is necessary for keratin synthesis. Increasing vitamin A’s amount in your diet will help prevent this crucial process’s inhibition and fortify the amount of keratin in your body.

Vitamin A is present in orange vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, sweet potato, cantaloupe, raw carrots, and butternut squash. Cooked green vegetables are also excellent sources, including collards, kale, and spinach. [3]

4. Vitamin D rich foods

According to the LPI (Linus Pauling Institute), due to its role in regulating the development of keratinocytes, vitamin D is an integral part of keratin production in our body. Sources include salmon, tuna, raw milk, eggs, mushrooms, and oatmeal [2].

5. Zinc-dense foods

Foods that are rich in zinc are also sources of keratin, so incorporating them into your diet is suggested. Foods high in zinc include oysters, crab, chicken, turkey, wheat germ, peanut butter, and chickpeas. Zinc actively encourages the growth of hair and tissues, while also helping to maintain and repair the oil glands around hair follicles.

6. Omega 3 fatty acids 

Key in keratin production in the body, omega 3 fatty acids are a beneficial addition to any diet seeking to fortify keratin. Foods rich in omega-3 are predominantly fish products such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, and trout.

Foods for Thicker Hair

Besides adding conditioners and shampoos that have keratin-fortifying ingredients to your beauty routine, you can add an array of foods to your diet to thicken hair and keep it strong. As keratin forms the building blocks of hair, anything that spikes its quantity in your body or strengthens reserves will have useful results.

According to a 2017 January review published by the DPCJ (Journal of Dermatology Practical and Conceptual), and a December 2017 article on the AARP website, the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that are best for encouraging hair strength growth and include:

1. Vitamin B5 

Gives hair strength, flexibility, and shine and can also prevent graying and hair loss. Dietary sources of vitamin B5 include yeast, broccoli, egg yolk, fish, peanuts, chicken, shellfish, yogurt, and milk.

2. Vitamin B6 

Helps to promote hair health and prevent dandruff. Foods high in vitamin B6 include egg yolk, cereals, and liver products.

3. Vitamin B12

Helps to prevent hair loss. Rich sources of vitamin B12 for you are eggs, fish, milk, and chicken.

4. Minerals

Different minerals play a part in healthy hair, particularly magnesium, zinc, silica, and sulfur.

5. Vitamins B1, B2, pantothenic acid, and niacin 

These vitamins promote hair follicle cells’ nourishment. The recommended daily dose of thiamin (vitamin B1) is 1.1 milligrams for women and 1.2 milligrams for men, and for riboflavin (vitamin B2), it’s 1.1 milligrams for women and 1.3 milligrams for men.

Lentils and beans are good sources of vitamin B1. Low-fat milk and Lean meats are high in vitamin B2. Salmon, chicken, and soy are all healthy sources of niacin. For pantothenic acid, mushrooms, kale, and avocado are all excellent sources [4].

6. Folic acid 

The deficiency of folic acid in the body can cause decreased growth and increased hair graying. Dietary sources of folic acid include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, and asparagus.

7. Biotin

The proper metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates relies on the presence of biotin in the body. Without these metabolic processes, hair follicles can weaken hair and become malnourished over time. Foods high in biotin include liver, eggs, and soy.

8. Beta-carotene

Once inside your body, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, which is critical to maintaining strand strength and hair growth. It functions to make a protective sheath around nerve fibers, strengthening keratin in nails, hair, and skin.

Add spinach, salmon, and carrots to your diet to increase the amount of beta-carotene in your system. Though keratin itself is not naturally found in foods, you can incorporate various foods into your diet to maintain your body’s keratin production.

Bottom Line

Keratin is a kind of protein that boosts the health of your skin, hair, and nails. Several specific nutrients are critical for keratin synthesis, including biotin, vitamin A and protein.

Relishing a balanced diet loaded with foods rich in these nutrients can help promote your body’s keratin production. Not only do these foods enhance skin, hair, and nail health, but they’re also rich in many other useful nutrients.

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