Foods rich in protein are displayed including steak, a chicken drumstick, fish, shrimp, eggs, and nuts.

How Protein Helps Heal Your Skin

It may not always seem like it, but your skin is on the mend 24/7. By knowing how protein helps to heal your skin, it can be a reminder to get good daily nutrition. With atopic dermatitis or any other types of rash, itching, or redness, allergies may come into play. Our family has gotten very creative about getting the foods needed to help skin cells recover and heal.

Finding the right form of protein

Protein can be found in many forms, and is so easy to buy today. I remember when my granddaughter was super sick and covered with a rash as an infant. She was losing weight and considered a failure to thrive at 6 weeks. A pediatric gastroenterologist wrote a prescription for an amino-based formula that had to be cooked in small batches. It was a miracle for her! She thrived on it for almost a year until we could introduce foods that she wasn't allergic to.

We found that a combination of proteins was best for Jill. She enjoyed soy based products and was eventually able to eat chicken. We continued to add foods as she could tolerate them with a happy belly and healthy skin.

How affects the skin and body

Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are important for daily energy, growth and healing. However, protein is used to make and repair tissue in your whole body. Many people associate healthy muscles with protein, but it’s used for so much more. It’s the core building block for enzymes, hormones, oxygen, and even brain function. It helps you fight infection, and grow skin, hair and nails, in addition to building healthy tissue.

Because protein is not stored, a diet low in protein rich foods can leave your whole body, including your skin, feeling malnourished. Our doctor gave us a simple formula as a good rule of thumb: Divide your body weight by 2. That’s the minimum grams of protein you need per day.1

Meat, dairy, or plant-based protein?

Meat protein sources are easy to get. Poulty and fish are high in protein. Red meat and eggs are also great. These are all considered “complete” proteins. They contain all the branch amino acids needed for growth and healing. Dairy products are considered to be part of the meat family, and contain complete proteins as well.

Plant proteins are easy to find too. For example many grains, vegetables, nuts, and beans are tasty sources of protein. They are not considered complete, but when combined with other foods, your body will get what it needs. Eating beans with crackers, or nuts with seeds are ways we combine proteins at our house. We also like whole grain bread with nut butter. This type of protein heals your skin and has healthy fats too.

Summing it all up

If you’re not getting enough protein in your daily diet, ask your medical provider about supplementing with a protein shake. They are made in a variety of ways using collagen, plant, and dairy. Whether you choose to use a ready made shake, or blend your own, you’ll definitely be able to find one that suits your taste. Once you understand how protein is needed to heal your skin, you will be looking for more ways to get the amount that your body needs.

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