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iVillage.com: The Secret to Beautiful Hair? It's in Your Kitchen!

Quinoa

This grain is one of only a few plant-derived foods that provide a complete protein, complete with all of the essential amino acids in one food. (Soy is another). Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, and protein in your diet is important to the normal growth and turnover of hair cells. Too little protein in your diet can lead to dry, dull hair. A recent study in China found that animals fed a low-protein diet had thinner, shorter and fewer hairs in their coats than animals fed a higher-protein diet. In another study, German researchers found differences in the protein composition of the hair in people who were vegetarians and those who consumed meat. Women need about 46 grams of protein per day, while men need about 56 grams. One cup of cooked quinoa has about eight grams of protein (and a good amount of iron, too). Other great sources of protein: Low-fat milk and other dairy products, eggs, red meat, fish, poultry.

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