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Keratin-rich foods

10 foods that are loaded with keratin

Keratin is a protein that can improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Here are 10 foods that boost keratin levels.

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10 foods that are loaded with keratin
Last updated on April 13, 2024, and last reviewed by an expert on February 18, 2024.

Keratin is a crucial protein in our hair, skin, and nails, playing a key role in their health and structure. It helps keep our skin intact, aids in healing wounds, and ensures our hair and nails are robust.

10 foods that are loaded with keratin

Taking keratin supplements is often recommended to stop hair from falling out, speed up nail growth, and enhance the skin’s appearance. However, eating certain foods can naturally boost your body’s keratin levels.

Below are 10 foods that can help increase keratin production.

1. Eggs

Incorporating eggs into your diet is an excellent method to naturally up your keratin. They are packed with biotin, a vital nutrient for producing keratin, with a single cooked egg offering 10 mcg, which is 33% of what you need in a day.

Eggs are also rich in protein, which is crucial for keratin production, providing 6 grams of protein in a large, 50-gram egg. They’re also full of other beneficial nutrients such as selenium, riboflavin, and vitamins A and B12.

Suggested read: Top 10 health benefits of eating eggs

2. Onions

Adding onions to your meals not only enhances their flavor but also boosts keratin production. Onions are loaded with N-acetylcysteine, a plant-based antioxidant that turns into L-cysteine in your body. L-cysteine is a keratin-building amino acid.

Moreover, onions offer folate, a vital nutrient for keeping hair follicles healthy.

3. Salmon

Salmon is packed with protein, offering nearly 17 grams in just a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving.

It’s also rich in biotin, crucial for keratin production, with a 3-ounce serving of canned salmon providing 5 mcg, or 17% of your daily needs.

Moreover, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial fats that support heart health and have been found to boost hair growth, increase hair density, and prevent hair loss in supplement form.

Suggested read: 11 impressive health benefits of salmon

4. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not only colorful and delicious but also packed with nutrients that enhance keratin production.

They are a prime source of provitamin A carotenoids, such as beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. This nutrient is vital for producing keratin and maintaining healthy skin and hair. A medium-sized sweet potato provides more than 100% of the daily recommended intake of provitamin A.

Besides, these vibrant root vegetables offer plenty of potassium, manganese, and vitamins B6 and C, making them an all-around nutritious choice.

Suggested read: Sweet potatoes: Nutrition facts & health benefits

5. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients beneficial for keratin production. Just a quarter cup can provide 7 grams of protein and 2.6 mcg of biotin, fulfilling 9% of the daily biotin requirement.

These seeds are rich in vitamin E, copper, selenium, and pantothenic acid, making them a powerful snack for boosting overall health.

6. Mangoes

Mangoes, hailing from South Asia, are not just delicious but also nutrient-rich, aiding in keratin production. A single cup of mangoes delivers 89 mcg of provitamin A, which is nearly 10% of your daily needs.

They’re also loaded with vitamin C and folate, key nutrients for maintaining the health of your skin and hair.

7. Garlic

Similar to onions, garlic is rich in N-acetylcysteine, a compound that the body converts into L-cysteine, a key amino acid in keratin.

While more human studies are needed, some research indicates garlic could benefit skin health. For example, a study showed that garlic extract could protect cells responsible for keratin production from UV damage.

Other research points to garlic’s potential in promoting wound healing, combating infections, and reducing signs of aging, thanks to its array of beneficial micronutrients like manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Suggested read: 11 proven health benefits of garlic

8. Kale

Kale stands out for its rich nutrient content. Just one raw cup (21 grams) of this leafy green provides 50 mcg of provitamin A, about 6% of the daily requirement, aiding in keratin production.

It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts collagen production. Collagen is vital for keeping the skin strong, structured, and elastic.

Suggested read: 10 proven health benefits of kale

9. Beef liver

Beef liver is a powerhouse for biotin, offering a natural way to enhance keratin levels. A 3-ounce serving delivers 31 mcg of biotin, which is 103% of the daily value.

This portion also contains a substantial 24.5 grams of protein and 7,960 mcg of vitamin A, equating to 884% of the daily intake. Beef liver is loaded with other essential nutrients too, like vitamin B12, folate, riboflavin, and iron.

10. Carrots

Carrots, a nutritious root vegetable, are packed with provitamin A, providing 1,070 mcg per chopped cup (128 grams), exceeding the daily requirement.

They are rich in vitamin C, which is important for collagen synthesis, supporting the health of hair, skin, and nails, and promoting wound healing. Carrots are also a good source of biotin, vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin K1, contributing to their health benefits.

Suggested read: Carrots: Nutrition facts and health benefits


Keratin is a protein that enhances the condition of your hair, skin, and nails.

Key nutrients like protein, biotin, and vitamin A play a crucial role in the production of keratin.

Eating a varied diet that includes foods high in these nutrients can boost your body’s keratin levels.

These foods not only improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails but also contain a variety of other beneficial nutrients.

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