Like any other parts of your body, hairs also need a balanced diet doe strong, healthy and vibrant hairs. When it comes to healthy hair, it's not just what you put on your tresses that count – it's what you put in your body. Just like skin, the condition of your hair is an outward sign of inside health. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of key nutrients. Hair loss affects both men and women. While genetics plays a role, there are other factors, including hormonal imbalances, an underactive thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation. There are many foods that offer vitamins and minerals that support healthy hair. Correct balance of the vitamins and minerals makes your hairs lustrous and strong.
Here are few vitamins and minerals that keep your hair healthy by including these nutrients in your daily diet.
1) Protein : As hair is made of protein, ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for making hair strong and healthy as hair is made primarily of protein. 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.
2) Iron : Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron (anaemia) 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 anaemia. This disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding. Few good sources of Iron are Lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruit, whole grains etc.
3) Zinc : Studies show this mineral can affect levels of androgens, hormones associated with hair loss. Few good sources of Zinc are Oysters, nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds), beans, beef, lamb etc.
4) Omega-3 fatty acids : 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. Few good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts.
5) Vitamin C : Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so a deficiency can make hair dry and weak. You likely take in enough C from your diet, as long as you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Few good sources of Vitamin C are Broccoli, leafy greens, green peppers, citrus fruit, strawberries.
6) Biotin : Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin. Too little biotin can cause brittle hair and may lead to hair loss. Few good sources of Biotin are Brown rice, legumes, lentils, eggs, Swiss chard, nuts
7) Vitamin A : 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. Few good sources of Vitamin A are carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
8) Water : If you have dry hair-or just want to prevent drink as much water yiu can.
9) Vitamin E : The sun can damage our hair just like it can damage our skin so ensure you eat foods rich in vitamin E to provide protection for your hair. Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, providing zinc and selenium as well as vitamin E too.
10) Herb Saw Palmetto : Study show that palmetto may increase hair growth in men. Hair growth improved in men taking 400 mg of a standardized extract of saw palmetto and 100 mg of beta-sitosterol daily. Historically, saw palmetto has been used by herbalists for hair loss in both men and women.
Here's a list of some foods that helps keeps your hairs healthy
1) Salmon : Fish makes any diet healthy, salmon is the fish for hair. This oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and iron.
2) Walnuts : These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They're also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Since your hair rarely gets much shielding from the sun, this is especially great. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss.
3) Spinach : Spinach contains iron, beta carotene, folate and vitamin C, which are known to keep hair follicles healthy and also ensure that scalp oils are circulated well.
4) Eggs and chicken : You know dieticians and trainers always urge you to have eggs and chicken to increase your protein intake. Hair and nails are composed of protein. Consuming chicken and eggs encourages hair growth as well as curbs hair fall and breakage.
5) Dark green vegetables : Spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner. Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.
6) Beans : Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but also ample iron, zinc and biotin.
7) Beef and oysters : Beef and oysters are rich sources of zinc, which is why they are helpful in improving the appearance of hair. Zinc deficiency is a cause of hair loss, so do include beef and oysters in your diet. Zinc also helps combat premature greying of hair.
8) Carrots : Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A encourages the formation of sebum (oil) in the scalp. Sebum is important to keep the scalp and hair well moisturised and maintain their health.
9) Blueberries : Blueberries contain vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for hair. It helps circulation to the scalp and also supports the blood vessels that feed the follicles.
10)Sweet potatoes : Sweet potatoes helps produce vitamin A, and produce oils that sustain your scalp. Inadequate vitamin A levels can result in an itchy scalp and dandruff problems.
Disclaimer*: This article is only for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.