Protein A Beauty Building Block – Vegan/Vegetarian
Today we’re going to talk about protein. Yes, I know, decidedly unglamorous sounding topic, isn’t it? Kind of conjures visions of piles of red meat. Ugh. I want to talk to you about the best vegan/vegetarian sources of protein but before we even get that far, maybe it’s time to review exactly what protein can do for you and your beauty routine. After all, most people know how important it is to drink lots of water but few people realize that after water, protein is the next most common element in your body. It accounts for half of your weight!
Let’s start with the basics: what does protein do and, more importantly, what can protein do to boost your beauty? Firstly, protein helps to build and repair cells. It’s also a building block for collagen, which helps strengthen the skin and keep its elasticity. Voila, fewer wrinkles! Protein also helps boost your immune system and keep those hormones running.
How does all that work? When protein is broken down in your stomach, it becomes amino acids, which then pass into your bloodstream and are carried through your body. Any cells that need amino acids just help themselves, using the amino acids to create new tissue, antibodies, hormones, enzymes, or blood cells. Since the body can’t make its own amino acids, it relies on YOU to munch on some protein every day. Amino acids are key in how we feel each day because they are essential in the making of serotonin and dopamine.
Muscles, hair, nails, eyes, and skin are all made of protein. That means that if you skimp on the protein, you may start to lose hair or start getting wrinkly skin at an early age. Eating protein also helps keep blood sugar levels stable since it takes awhile to metabolize it. If you’re a victim of wild food cravings, then eating more protein can stop your blood sugar from plummeting and put an end to cravings for starchy or sugary foods. Cooked animal protein is not a great choice! It is very hard to digest and causes tissue inflammation. Plants have polypeptides (free-form) amino acids, which equates to an excellent choice for absorbable protein.
So, with all those faddish low-protein diets, what do you end up with? Maybe a few dropped pounds but what aren’t they telling you? What does a protein deficiency leave you with? How about bags under the eyes, bloating and water retention, and weak nails and hair that grows slowly. Here are my favorite sources of protein: green-leafy vegetables (arugula, spinach, parsley, collard greens, kale, cabbage), spirulina, chlorella, hemp seeds, hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein powder, hazelnut protein powder, durian, olives, chia seeds, brazil nut protein powder, super green powders (Healthforce makes a great one), maca, nuts & seeds, sprouted buckwheat, sprouted quinoa, sprouts and sprouted amaranth.
Remember, the best beauty regimen starts from the inside out! Gorgeous hair and radiant skin are just a little protein away!