Melanin is a natural pigment that is present in the body of every person. The main purpose of this substance is to color epidermis, hair and eyes. Many people often mistakenly deem melanin to be a coloring substance, but this is not entirely true. Pigment plays another important part. It has protective properties. If the body does not have enough melanin, a person often and quite quickly gets sunburn under the influence of ultraviolet and a lot of age spots appear on the skin. A deficiency of this pigment reduces the protective properties of the dermis, so the question often arises of how to increase its concentration in the body. Although this may sound paradoxical enough, melanin can be constantly replenished with consuming products enriched with this pigment.
Functions of melanin in the body
The main and most important role of melanin is to protect the skin from ultraviolet negative radiation. This pigment helps in partial absorption of carcinogens. In people with a lot of melanin, burns do not appear on the skin, and the tan ends up beautiful and even.
The remaining safe part of the ultraviolet is basically heat, some of which is involved in the photochemical reaction. Thus, the cells do not degenerate, which means that malignant formations do not form, and the number of radionuclides decreases sharply. The highest concentration of pigment accumulates in the immediate vicinity of the cell nucleus, due to which the genetic material receives excellent protection.
UV protection is not the only function of melanin. The pigment has a number of other effects:
- neutralization of free radicals
- acceleration of biochemical reactions and processes
- reduction of the impact of a variety of stress factors
- normalization of the protective functions of the body
- support of the normal functioning of the liver and thyroid gland
- definition of the eyes and hair color
The older a person gets, the less melanin there is. It causes hair to turn gray, becomes the cause of gray hair and uneven pigmentation. Therefore, if you wish to look beautiful and attractive even in old age, you should consider your diet. It is necessary to keep it balanced, with products stimulating the synthesis of melanin present.
Pigment is normally produced in the body when a person leads a healthy lifestyle – he is in the fresh air, is not in the sun longer than the recommended time, he travels to the sea, is moderately engaged in physical activity. In some cases, specialists prescribe various nutritional supplements to patients with reduced melanin, which increase pigment production.
Table of foods containing melanin
In order to prevent the lack of the substance, it is reasonable to include some of the following products and monitor for their sufficiency in your diet:
|Animal products||Beef, dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, milk), seafood (mussels, oysters, shellfish, low-fat fish, seaweed), turkey, offal (liver, kidneys)||In addition to melanin, these contain copper and protein, which are necessary for the production of the pigment. Substances also make the skin more elastic|
|Beans, cereals, greens||Sesame and pumpkin seeds, beans (soy, kidney beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas), any types of cereals (mainly buckwheat and oats), lettuce, spinach, celery, dill, parsley, green onions||The listed products are rich in vitamins A, E, B, which contributes to the significantly affects the assimilation of other useful components obtained directly from food|
|Orange fruits and vegetables||Pumpkin, Carrot, Apricot, Melon, Peach, Persimmon, Mandarin, Orange||These contain a large amount of carotene, which gives the fruits of these plants a rich orange shade, and also increases the amount of melanin produced and the efficiency of its production|
|Other||Nuts (peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts), some fruits (bananas, avocados, coconuts), vegetables (cabbage, beets), leaf crops with dark shades||All of these contribute to an increase in the production of melanin, but this happens to a lesser extent in comparison with the previous groups|
By including these products in your diet, you can significantly increase the concentration of melanin in your body, even if you are not quite young already.
The most useful foods providing the increased production of melanin are orange fruits and vegetables, cereals and beans, as well as animal products. If you eat these products regularly and in large quantities, you can delay the manifestation of gray hair and dark spots on the skin.
However, mind the balance. It is necessary to observe the measure. If you get overly attached to foods producing melanin to the detriment of other products, it can negatively affect your general condition.
What food reduces the production of the compound
There are plenty of products that, on the contrary, reduce pigment production. If these foods are present in the diet on a constant basis, melanin production is reduced. People who want to have a beautiful and even tan should avoid eating these products on a beach holiday and before going into the hot sun in general:
- Overly salty crackers that are eaten with beer, potato chips, as well as peanuts, marinades and any overly salted food
- Pastries, cakes, buns, ice cream, sweets, jelly beans, marshmallows, waffles and cookies
- Alcoholic beverages, such as wine, martini, cognac, rum, aperitif, vodka etc.
- Carbonated drinks, strong coffee or tea
- Boiled corn
Additionally, you need to know that melanin depends not only on the food consumed, but also on genetics. It is impossible to change the genetic factors, but a properly designed diet allows you to increase the concentration of melanin, and thus, avoid early gray hair and dark skin spots.