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12 Diet Tips To Get Healthier Hair
Protein is required for the growth of all the cells, including the hair cells. It provides the building blocks of hair that allows repairing and replacing the hair follicles. Without enough protein, the strands will weaken and will lead to slow growth.
Lean meat, chicken, turkey, soy products, eggs, beans, nuts and fish are some common protein rich foods.
2. Essential fatty acids:
There are certain fats that are essential to healthy body and good hair production. The three active ingredients in essential fats – alpha linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid are important components of the outermost layer of the epidermis that contains keratin and water holding capabilities in our hair.
Foods rich in essential fatty acids include fish oil, eggs, mackerel, salmon, tuna and walnuts. B complex supplements containing fish oils can also speed up the growth of hair follicles.
Iron is one of the very important nutrients for healthy hair. It helps to deliver oxygen to the cells – right from the hair follicles to tips. A deficiency in iron can lead to anemia, a condition in which the cells do not get enough oxygen to function properly. Anemia is one of the leading causes of hair loss.
Lean meats are an excellent source of iron. Vegetarians can consume beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables and tofu to up their iron levels in the body. Apart from this doctors sometimes prescribe iron supplements too.
Zinc’s role in our body is to repair damaged tissues. For hair Zinc makes sure that the oil glands around the follicles work in a proper way. It is a component of hundreds of enzymes in the body, which regulate the body’s ability to make new protein. Low levels of zinc can cause dandruff, slow hair growth and even hair fall.
You can get your daily dosage of zinc by eating oysters, low fat beef, wheat germ, pumpkin and squash seeds. Did you know that dark chocolate is also a good source of zinc.
5. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C deficiency leads to weak and lusterless hair. Our body requires vitamin C to build collagen, a structural fiber that helps the body to hold everything together. It assists in breaking down iron, a building block for hair.
Supplementing your diet with 250 milligrams of vitamin C can boost the collagen production, besides reducing the wrinkle in our skin. Our body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, thus you need to consume foods that contain high concentrations of vitamin C. Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, clementine, broccoli, and spinach.
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps our hair and nail grow. The mineral is used to treat alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease that causes hair fall. The deficiency of biotin is rare as our body makes its own biotin. Therefore, you do not need supplements to get the daily dose of biotin.
The dietary sources of biotin include nuts, avocados, raspberries, brown rice, green leafy vegetables and oats.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) aids in the production of keratin a protein in the hair, while strengthening the hair follicles. A study has shown that 100% people who were supplemented with MSM showed a reduced hair fall and increased hair growth in just 6 weeks.
Green leafy vegetables like Swiss chard, cabbage and watercress contain moderate amounts of MSM. Heat kills some of the Methylsulfonylmethane so try to consume green leafy vegetables in their raw form.
Silica is critical for hair growth. Take 500 milligrams of silica two times a day for proper hair growth.
Food sources of silica include cucumber, beans, celery, asparagus, and green leafy vegetables.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is crucial to nourish damaged hair and prevent hair fall. It helps the body to manufacture keratin within the hair strands. This prevents hair fall and breakage.
Supplement your diet with 400 IU of vitamin E to restore the locks. Foods high in vitamin E include almond, pine nuts, dried apricots, spinach and olives.
10. Vitamin B6:
Vitamin B6 is involved in the creation of red blood cells, which carry the nutrients to different parts of the body, including scalp and follicles. Lack of vitamin B6 can starve the cells, causing slow growth, weak hair and hair shedding.
The best foods for vitamin B6 are wild salmon, chickpeas, lean beef and pork, oats, lentils and Brussels’s sprouts.
The herbalists have used saw palmetto since ancient times to treat hair loss in both men and women. A research in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that taking 400 milligrams of extract of saw palmetto and 100 milligrams of beta-sitosterol could help increase hair growth in men.
A 100 milligrams daily consumption of B complex supplements can reduce the hair thinning by increasing blood circulation in the scalp and rejuvenating the hair follicles.
Besides the mentioned foods, you need to consume 2 liters of water on a daily basis to get beautiful and healthy hair. Do not drink tap water as it contains fluorine, chlorine and chemicals that can inhibit iodine absorption.
Remember, excess usage of chemical laden products and hair styling tools can do irreparable damage to the hair. Do not repeatedly perm, crimp, curl or bleach your hair as it can alter the natural composition of the hair.
Sample Diet Chart:
Maintaining a good diet is as important and choosing a good diet.
Early Morning: 7 AM
A cup of green tea
Breakfast: 9 AM
2 slices of whole grain bread with omelet
1 glass of soy milk
Lunch: 1 PM
1 cup of paneer curry with 2 chapattis
1 medium sized banana
Evening Snack: 4 PM
1 cup of unsweetened yogurt topped with fresh fruits
Dinner: 9 PM
1 bowl of fish curry / green leafy curry with 1 chapatti and 1 bowl of brown rice
1 cup of milk