Keratin is a protein with a high quantity of cystine: an amino acid, which takes care of the condition of your hair and nails. The looks, health and structure of our hair depend on the amount of keratin in your organism. This protein protects hair from damage. It protects it from the negative impact of the environment, like UV rays, chlorine in pools, heat tools (hair dryer, curling tong, hair straightener) and the severe temperature amplitudes. In time, however, the quantity of keratin in your organism starts decreasing and you need to supply some extra amounts. What are the first signs that you need additional sources of keratin? Your hair usually suffers from low quantity of this protein when its elasticity, volume and shine decrease.
There is a plethora of products that claim they contain keratin. However, that is not the panacea to the problem with keratin production in your organism. These products, applied on the outside, can work to a certain extent on your hair structure. Keratin in them is in liquid form, identical to that found in our own hair, but it is usually derived from wool or fiber crops, such as corn, wheat and soy beans. Keratin can fill in the damaged parts and create a natural protective layer on the surface of your hair. It is safe and can work both for damaged and healthy hair.
The good news is you can provide your organism with keratin not only via spending tons of money on high-quality hair products or treatments. You can also introduce particular foods into your diet and they will boost the amount of keratin in your organism, thus, keeping your hair healthier, stronger and more beautiful in the long term.
First, you need to consume lots of food rich in protein. The will help your organism produce keratin. Avoid fatty red meats since they can lead to cardiovascular disease. Instead, eat lean meats, lots of fish, eggs, yogurt and low-fat dairy to provide your body with the essential amino acids that will enhance your skin, hair and nails.
Also, maintain a diet rich in iron. It helps red blood cells transport oxygen to the follicles of your hair, as well as other tissues that can benefit from iron. Sources of iron include animal protein (turkey, duck, chicken, shrimp, eggs, pork, lamb, etc.) and also some plant foods like beans, soybeans, lentils and tofu.
Zinc can also facilitate hair and tissue growth and maintain the oil glands that surround hair follicles. If you want to consume zinc-infused foods, turn to meals with oysters, crab, chickpeas, turkey, chicken and peanut butter.
Remember that the effect is not going to come instantly: you need to wait for months until the complete health of your hair is achieved. The increase of keratin in your organism will boost the strength of your hair, but will not solve problems like baldness, unfortunately.