Hair Health: Feed Your Locks Only The Best Nutrients
Similar to our skin, the state of our locks represents how well our body is functioning internally. And just like our skin, it’s important to practice proper hair maintenance that includes regular shampooing, moisturizing and deep conditioning. However, the health of our mane can often deteriorate as a result of a number of factors that include hormonal changes, genetics, stress, thyroid disorders and medications. That being said, what we choose to consume can help to boost, and possibly reverse, the effects that these factors have had on our locks.
Hair enriching foods
A diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can help to nourish the cells that make up each strand of hair, assuring a long, strong and healthy mane. Moreover, hair loss can also be a symptom of a nutrient deficiency. One obvious nutrient would be protein, as our hair is made up almost entirely of it. Foods that are rich in protein include turkey, eggs and legumes. Read on to discover which other nutrients can help to improve the state of your hair.
Biotin is a form of vitamin B (water-soluble) and it’s often used as an alternative form of treatment for hair loss. Biotin encourages the production of keratin, which is incredibly essential for the healthy growth of your locks. Hair loss has also been linked to a biotin deficiency. Aside from biotin, other B-vitamins partake in the production of red blood cells, which will later transport nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles, boosting hair growth. B-vitamins can be found in a range of foods that include whole grains, almonds, eggs, potatoes, legumes, avocados and nuts.
An iron deficiency (most commonly referred to as anemia) is characterized by major hair loss, thus it’s important to incorporate this mineral into your diet.
Playing a role in the transportation of oxygen around the body, iron provides your crowning glory with oxygen – feeding the hair follicle in an attempt to achieve healthy hair. A lack of iron in the body translates to brittle locks as hair follicles are starved of oxygen and other important nutrients. Although animal products such as red meat and chicken contain high levels of iron that can be readily available for the body to use, other food sources include broccoli, kale, spinach and black beans.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are already present in cells within your scalp, so adding them to your diet can help keep your scalp hydrated. According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, women who consumed supplements rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids faced a reduction
in hair loss, as well as increased volume. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include oily fish like mackerel, salmon and trout, as well as avocados, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A provides the scalp with a natural conditioner by partaking in the production of sebum. Although this word is often dreaded by those with oily skin, sebum helps to keep the scalp moisturized, thus assuring a healthy mane. Lack of sebum can often result in a dry and itchy scalp. Bright foods that contain carotenoid beta-carotene (which will later be transformed into vitamin A once it enters the body) include sweet potatoes, apricots, lettuce, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, cod liver oil and kale.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps the body better absorb iron which, as mentioned before, plays a big part in ensuring the health of the hair. Aside from this, the nutrient also supports the blood vessels that supply blood to the hair shaft. Foods rich in vitamin C include strawberries, sweet potatoes, blackcurrants, blueberries, red peppers, broccoli, guava, grapefruit, kiwi, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.
6. Vitamin E
It’s a common staple in hair and skin care – and for good reason. Vitamin E helps to repair (as well as build) the hair tissue and it also provides your locks with protection from sun damage.
You can find vitamin E in the following foods: almonds, walnuts, spinach, sunflower seeds and avocados.
Like iron deficiency, zinc deficiency is also characterized by hair loss. Zinc plays an imperative role when it comes to sustaining the health of the follicles. Not only does it help prevent any forms of deterioration of the follicles, but it also speeds up recovery time. Moreover, it inhibits the development of a dry and flaky scalp by ensuring that the oil glands around the follicles are working properly. You can get your zinc by consuming foods such as oysters, beef, spinach, pumpkin seeds and lentils. Click here to find out more about these studies.
Aside from helping to promote long, strong and healthy locks, the following foods can also help to boost your overall health.
Experiencing hair loss? Click here to find out how you can treat this.