We’ve all heard the statement, “You are what you eat.” This is so true, especially when it comes to being physically healthy. Do you remember the way your mom made you eat all those veggies on your dinner plate? You probably dreaded dinner time, like me. Turns out she was right though. Not only do the nutrients found in the veggies maintain good health, but they are also indispensable for beautiful hair, lustrous skin, and strong nails. But another – and actually more important – part of healthy skin, hair and nails is proteins.
Amino acids, which are essential organic compounds, are the foundation of proteins. About 500 amino acids have been identified and categorized. Of the 500, 22 are used by the human body; 9 are absolutely necessary to human life but are not produced within the body, requiring that they be taken into the body in some way. The other acids fall into two other categories – conditional amino acids and non-essential amino acids. But let’s refocus. Structural amino acids – particularly sulphur containing compounds like methionine and cysteine – create the connective tissues found in skin, hair, and nails and are of paramount importance when it comes to increasing the speed of hair growth. They also happen to be essential because our bodies don’t synthesize them, so that means that we need to consume them by eating the right foods.
Here is a list of the best food sources of methionine and cysteine:
The last four items are pretty much expected but the first four might be surprising. One reminder. Brazil nuts and sesame seeds contain larger amounts of sulphur and should be consumed in a balanced fashion. In other words, don’t overdo it. Two or three Brazil nuts a day is all that’s needed to fill your body’s need for methionine and cysteine. The key is to ingest them daily so that your body gets used to having a steady supply of these amino acids.
Consuming sesame seeds is another great way to ensure that methionine and cysteine enter into the body. Again, balance is key. One teaspoon a day will supply your body’s daily requirement for these sulphuric compounds, so don’t overdo it. Having a consistent level of methionine and cysteine in your body is what will increase the rate of hair and nail growth and skin rejuvenation. As always, if you have any preexisting health conditions, definitely check with your doctor before trying this out. These foods are naturally occurring in nature so it really doesn’t get any better than this, but they are potent and if you are already having health issues, you should consult your doctor before embarking on this supplementation regimen.
How to include sesame in meals
By the way, sesame seeds are very bitter (due to their sulphur content), so many people add them to salads or encrust fish with them when making coatings. Or you can add a little honey to a spoonful of sesame seeds and be done with it; really yummy!
You should also try sesame oil out for hair, it is a light oil that still works great for sealing in moisture.
Which has the most nutritional punch
Edamame (immature soybeans) contain not only high amounts of methionine and cysteine but also almost all of the 22 amino acids that the human body uses. This makes them exceptional – you’re able to consume a full range of all the amino acids, and that’s definitely a plus. My recommendation? Be sure to purchase edamame with the non-GMO seal. This means that it has not been genetically modified. Edamame is also excellent because it is a minimally processed form of soy, and when left intact, this food really packs a great nutritional punch! For more information about the health benefits of edamame and the soy debate, please check out this recent article.
When you make a lifestyle chance to include amino acids in your diet aspect your hair to gradually grow faster, so it won’t be overnight. In a month or two, though, you should definitely see a real difference, especially if you are eating one of these foods daily. Keep it up, and the results might really surprise you!