Hair is far more complex than it appears on the surface. It not only plays a vital role in the appearance of both men and women, but it also helps to transmit sensory information and create gender identification.
Hair is constantly growing, with old hairs falling out and being replaced by new ones. It is normal for men and women to feel upset about losing their hair. It helps to know that hair grows back, and you can take steps to make it less of a problem for you. While genetics plays a role, there are other factors, including hormonal imbalances, an underactive thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation. In addition, there are many foods that offer vitamins and minerals that support healthy hair.
EHC brings you the best hair foods and natural remedies that can help boost healthy hair growth.
Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron, so foods high in vitamin C are good to eat in conjunction with iron-rich foods. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant so is used readily by the body. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats our body cannot make itself, and therefore must be obtained through our diet. Omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Look out for oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel and plant sources including avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
Vitamin A is needed by the body to make sebum. Sebum is an oily substance created by our hairs sebaceous glands and provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Without sebum we may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. Include animal products and orange/yellow colored vegetables which are high in beta-carotene (which makes vitamin A) such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
As hair is made of protein, ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for making hair strong and healthy. If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in hair loss. Choose chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products and eggs as excellent sources of protein along with vegetarian sources such as legumes and nuts.
Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply. When iron levels (serum ferritin) fall below a certain point, you may experience anemia. This disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding. Animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish provide iron with a high bioavailability, meaning the iron is readily available to the body.
Zinc and selenium
Scalp protection involves other important minerals, notably zinc and selenium. A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp. Fortified cereals and whole grains are a good source of zinc along with oysters, beef and eggs.
Hair is mainly made of keratin and protein, so a diet rich in protein is the fastest ticket to encourage hair growth and prevent hair loss. Eggs contain plenty of vitamin B 12 and proteins that penetrate deep into the root and hair follicles to repair and nourish the hair. Not just protein, eggs are also loaded with four important minerals, zinc, selenium, sulphur and iron.
Oysters are rich in zinc, a lack of which can lead to hair loss and can also cause dry and flaky scalp. And our hair is 97% of protein and oysters are rich in proteins too. Oysters are also a great source of iron and three ounce of serving contains 6.6 mg.
Bean sprouts contain silica, which is an important nutrient for hair and prevents hair loss. Our body uses silica to absorb vitamins and minerals in the body. Silica can also be found in skin of cucumbers potatoes and red and green peppers.
Coriander works extremely well against hair fall and hair thinning problem. Coriander helps to clean the toxic metals from the body. These toxic metals hinder transporting nutrients to the scalp leading to hair loss and dry hair. This ranks high on the list of ingredients in Indian food for healthy hair.
Lean red meat is one of the most beneficial food habits for preventing hair loss. It is a great source of iron which gets easily absorbed and keeps the hair follicles in good health.
Oats are extremely beneficial to maintain the natural color of the hair. Oats aid in creating melanin and can also prevent hair loss. Oats contain minerals such as potassium, phosphorus magnesium and iron which boost hair growth.
These healthy super foods do more than promoting good hair. Green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamin A and C and also have heavy doses of iron and selenium. These vitamins assist in the production of sebum, which conditions the hair and promotes hair growth.
Broccoli contains more vitamin C than oranges and even contains vitamin A which our body needs to produce sebum and naturally conditions the hair adding shine and luster to the hair. It aids in blood circulation to the scalp which keeps our scalp healthy.
Avocado has always been famous for its amazing ability of caring for hair. Avocados are rich in vitamin B and E which makes the scalp healthy and stimulates the hair to grow faster. Avocados are also high in mono-saturated fats that help to moisturize the scalp and hair follicles. It also keeps the hair naturally conditioned and shiny.
This list cannot be complete without water. Water will dehydrate the scalp and ensure good circulation of blood thus helping the vital nutrients find their way to your hair.
So start building a diet which is rich in the foods mentioned above to get healthy and lustrous hair.