Keratin is a type of structural protein found in your hair, skin, and nails. It’s especially important for maintaining the structure of your skin, supporting wound healing, and keeping your hair and nails healthy and strong. Keratin supplements are often said to help prevent hair loss, increase nail growth, and improve skin texture. Yet, plenty of healthy foods may naturally support your body’s synthesis of keratin. Several specific nutrients are essential for keratin synthesis, including protein, biotin, and vitamin A. Enjoying a balanced diet filled with foods rich in these nutrients can help promote keratin production in your body. Not only do these foods enhance hair, skin, and nail health, but they’re also rich in many other beneficial nutrients.
Eating eggs is a stellar way to boost keratin production naturally. In fact, they’re a great source of biotin, an essential nutrient involved in keratin synthesis. A single cooked egg provides 10 mcg of this nutrient or 33% of the Daily Value (DV). What’s more, eggs’ protein promotes keratin production, with 6 grams of protein-packed into one large, 50-gram egg. Other healthy nutrients in this ubiquitous food include selenium (Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning it must be obtained through your diet. It’s only needed in small amounts but plays a major role in important processes in your body, including your metabolism and thyroid function), riboflavin, and vitamins A and B12.
Onions are not only great for flavoring your favorite dishes but also ramping up keratin production. This allium vegetable is especially high in N-acetylcysteine, a plant antioxidant that your body converts into an amino acid called L-cysteine — a component of keratin. Onions also provide folate, an essential micronutrient necessary for maintaining healthy hair follicles.