In the past three weeks, I’ve looked at the value of protein for weight loss, body shaping, sports performance and recovery. For this protein packed week on The Healthy Chef Protein Series, I’ll be looking at protein for anti-ageing and wellbeing – a topic that’s more important as I’m getting older and wiser… I’ll be hitting the big 5-0 next year!
PROTEIN FOR HEALTHY SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS
Almost every cell in the body is made from the building blocks of protein, such as our hair, skin, bones and muscles.
Protein consists of 20 amino acids, two of which are called L-lysine and L-proline, which are used in the production of collagen. Collagen gives strength and structure to the skin but can break down as you age, leading to saggy, dehydrated skin and pronounced wrinkles. Including enough quality protein sources in your diet strengthens your collagen levels and therefore makes your skin firmer and less prone to wrinkles.
Including enough quality protein sources in your diet strengthens your collagen levels and therefore makes your skin firmer and less prone to wrinkles.
Nails and hair are also made of protein. A protein deficiency can be marked by split, extremely thin nails. Nails that fail to grow quickly lack protein. Hair loss may be caused by a lack of protein.
There are eight amino acids that the body does not produce and which therefore must come from quality complete protein sources such as eggs, grass-fed meat, poultry and fish.
Quality protein powders such as Healthy Chef Protein can fill your nutritional requirements for complete protein foods.
I’ve designed my Healthy Chef Protein to be the purest and highest quality protein supplements available and the highest source of amino acids for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Un-denatured whey protein isolate has been shown to increase your body’s stores of the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is a peptide made up of 3 amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid + glycine. Glutathione is naturally present in most of our cells with a higher concentration in the liver cells (hepatocytes). Glutathione plays an important role in skin health and the defence against pollutants.
Studies in female subjects have shown that glutathione supplementation had various beneficial effects on skin properties including elasticity, pigmentation and wrinkles.
Protein smoothie to try: Beauty-Boosting Smoothie
BEAUTY COMES FROM THE INSIDE. Amino acids in the diet help support healthy and firm glowing skin and thicker hair. Protein influences the skin’s structure and helps keep skin firm.
PROTEIN FOR HEALTHY MUSCLES + BONES
Both the elderly and the chronically ill frequently suffer from muscle wasting. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that a higher protein diet can help to prevent further tissue breakdown and reduce the effects of both ageing and chronic illness.
Quality protein powders such as Healthy Chef Protein can fill your nutritional requirements for complete protein foods. I’ve designed my protein powders to be the purest and highest quality protein supplements available and the highest source of amino acids L-lysine and L-proline, which are essential for the creation of collagen.
Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of muscle mass which starts from the age of 30 and accelerates after the age of 65. The loss of muscle tissue is estimated at about 3 per cent to 8 per cent every ten years from the age of 30, making you more vulnerable to falls and fractures.
A balanced nutrition program, which includes quality protein sources, combined with muscular strength training, can help prevent sarcopenia.
Protein smoothie to try: Banana + Chia Smoothie
PROTEIN TO BOOST YOUR MOOD + BRAIN FUNCTION
A diet that has adequate levels of protein also boosts your mood and helps maintain high brain function.
Certain amino acids from protein foods are needed to balance our hormones and control our mood. Many people lacking in key amino acids can, therefore, experience weakness, moodiness and increased anxiety. According to the US Institute of Medicine, proteins help neurotransmitters function and synthesise hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, that calm us and make us feel good.
Because protein also helps stabilise glucose in your blood, it also prevents mood changes, irritability and cravings that can occur from fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Certain amino acids from protein foods are needed to balance our hormones and control our mood. Many people lacking in key amino acids can, therefore, experience weakness, moodiness and increased anxiety.
Aside from a good mood, the brain requires a steady supply of amino acids in order to keep concentration and focus. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whey protein may help with memory scanning and cognitive performance for people vulnerable to stress.
Protein smoothie to try: Goodness Shake
As you can see, it’s more important for you to eat plenty of protein-rich foods as you age to support your natural beauty, strength, mood and mind.
WEIGHT GAIN WITH MENOPAUSE
Women over 40 or who are post-menopausal should strive to include protein during meals to maintain and promote lean muscle, which is essential to the body’s ongoing growth, repair and maintenance. I’ve noticed that I’m needing to work twice as hard in maintaining my lean muscle mass as I’m getting older, and as my hormones start to get out of whack.
Weight gain is a very common complaint in both menopausal and peri-menopausal women. Studies show that having more muscle mass protects the body against insulin sensitivity and weight gain. Making sure you include adequate protein at every meal meal will assist in maintaining lean toned, muscles.