Vegetarian proteins for gorgeous hair and skin - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Vegetarian proteins for gorgeous hair and skin

Bored with black beans and kidney beans? Expand your legume repertoire. © iStockphoto.com Bored with black beans and kidney beans? Expand your legume repertoire. © iStockphoto.com
  • From The Style GlossyMore>>

  • Day-to-night chic in a flash

    Day-to-night chic in a flash

    File these five fashion and beauty staples in your desk drawer for an instant after-5 makeover.
    File these five fashion and beauty staples in your desk drawer for an instant after-5 makeover.
  • Fashion trend: Mom used to be cooler than you

    Fashion trend: Mom used to be cooler than you

    Our mothers were style pioneers who brought the spirit of revolution, counterculture and women's rights into their closets, changing fashion for decades to come.
    Our mothers were style pioneers who brought the spirit of revolution, counterculture and women's rights into their closets, changing fashion for decades to come.
  • Are you using the wrong hair products?

    Are you using the wrong hair products?

    Using the wrong hair products can further hair damage instead of repairing it.
    Using the wrong hair products can further hair damage instead of repairing it.

By Jenny Hontz

Experts have long known that protein is an essential beauty nutrient, helping to replenish skin cells and keep hair and nails growing and healthy. Now there are more ways than ever to get the essential proteins your body needs.

Grocery stores and online specialty shops offer a stunning range of beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains that are high in protein and satiating fiber, low in cost and absolutely luscious. With benefits that go way beyond the cosmetic, these proteins may cut your risk for heart disease and cancer, and they help the planet as well.

"It's cheaper and healthier to eat vegetarian proteins, because they don't contain saturated animal fat and the contaminants of production-fed meat," says Paulette Lambert, director of nutrition at the California Health & Longevity Institute, who advocates quasi-vegetarian diets to help the environment. "Eating one vegetarian meal a week as a family saves 21,000 gallons of water a year."

Here's a guide to some of the fashionable and affordable proteins that can add new flavor to your culinary staples.

Heirloom Beans

Bored with black beans and kidney beans? Expand your legume repertoire. Top chefs, like Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame, are turning to heirloom beans that have been cultivated for centuries without genetic modification and are now being rediscovered and replanted. There are about 10,000 varieties of legumes, carrying exotic names such as Tongues of Fire, so you'll never have trouble finding something novel to try.

Consider dense Yellow Indian Woman beans and Good Mother Stallard beans, a meaty chef favorite. Both are available at ranchogordo.com for $4.95 a pound and offered at some of the top restaurants in the country. They're easy to prepare and great for soups, chili and spreads.

You can order fruity Moon beans and creamy Red Scarlet Runner beans at nativeseeds.org for $4 per pound. Or visit zursunbeans.com to explore a wide selection that includes marbled chestnut-flavored Jackson Wonders, which date back to 1888 and are delicious when cooked simply with butter, garlic and fresh herbs.

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients, beans help manage blood glucose levels and weight. You'll find basic cooking directions as well as recipes for soups, stews, dips, chili and bean salads on each of the retail Web sites. Or check out the Heirloom Beans cookbook, co-written by Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando, with an introduction by Keller.

Healthy Whole Grains

Most people think of them merely as carbohydrates, but grains can also pack a powerful protein punch. The ancient grain quinoa, considered sacred by the Incas in the Andes of South America, contains more protein than any other grain.  What's more, quinoa is a complete protein, which means it has all the essential amino acids for building muscle, skin and bone. With a wonderful nutty flavor, quinoa can be used as a substitute for rice or couscous.

The cereal-like herb amaranth, grown mainly in Asia and Latin America, is also a complete protein. Buy it in bulk for $2 to $3 per pound and use it as a flour substitute for baked goods. Or try buckwheat, sometimes referred to as kasha, which is found in such traditional Jewish foods as knishes and blintzes, Russian pancakes called blinis and in Japanese soba noodles. Buckwheat is not only high in protein and essential amino acids, but it has also been shown to help lower blood glucose levels and cholesterol.

Teff, another high-protein grain from Ethiopia, is used to make that country's fermented flatbread, called injera. It can be used as a flour substitute in pancakes and breads. Barley, spelt and kamut are also great grains for protein, although it's best to mix them with other plant proteins, such as nuts, to get all your essential amino acids.

Meat Substitutes

If you're seeking a veggie alternative that has a meaty texture and versatility, tofu is not the only option. Try meat-like substitutes such as tempeh, made from fermented soy, and seitan, also known as "wheat meat." They're both perfect for stir-fry.

Jenny Hontz is an investigative reporter and lifestyle writer for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Details, Harper's Bazaar, Sunset, People, Health, Shape and InStyle.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices