THE CONNECTION BETWEEN NUTRITION AND HAIR HEALTH
Did you know that what you eat affects your hair? Three months from now, the roots of your hair will reveal the nutritional choices you made today. Too often, we overlook the importance of good nutrition and how it contributes to our hair health. Many concerns we have with our hair, such as excessive shedding or dry and brittle hair, can temporarily be fixed by applying products. Still, research shows a diet rich in whole foods such as amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is of more significant benefit to hair health than those products are.
When eating to support hair health, we first need to understand our hair's structure and the nutrients that help it grow and stay healthy. Our hair structure consists of proteins, minerals and vitamins, which are only available through our diet.
Minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A and B’s, Biotin, Iron, Zinc, and Silica is widely known for producing healthy hair and essential helpers in hair growth. Adequate supplies of these nutrients in our diet play a vital role in the hair follicle cycle. Visible signs of nutrient deficiencies are weak hair shafts, thinning, and split ends.
HOW PROTEIN DEFICIENCY MAY LEAD TO DRY BRITTLE HAIR
Did you know our hair is made of 91% protein? Protein is the building block of our cells and the largest component in our body after water. It is essential for repairing and building tissue structures in our brain, muscles, skin, and hair. Every tissue and organ in our body is made from protein. In some cases, women who become vegetarian or vegan report experiencing hair loss due to insufficient amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. If we don’t have enough protein in our diet, we may experience excessive hair shedding and dry and brittle hair.
Here are some foods that are high in protein, minerals and vitamins to help support hair health.
Salmon is rich in proteins, vitamin D, B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. A deficiency in any of these can result in dry scalp and dull hair. A plant-based source for vegetarians is ground flaxseed macadamia nuts and walnuts.
Eggs are a great source of protein, biotin and vitamin-B12.
Weak, brittle hair may be a result of protein deficiency. Poultry is rich in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins.
Lentils are rich in proteins, iron, zinc, and biotin. These will help to
preserve hair strength, texture and function.
The vitamin B5 and vitamin D in Greek yogurt.
For supple skin and strong hair and nails, you can eat sweet potatoes. These are rich in beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin-A.
DARK GREEN VEGETABLES
The vitamin A & C found in dark green vegetables is used in sebum production to contribute to our hair's natural shine. These vegetables are also a source of calcium and iron.
Three ounces of oysters has a gob-smacking 493% of your daily zinc requirement. Zinc helps to improve hair loss and promotes healthy skin.
Blueberries are rich in vitamin C. They are an excellent source of antioxidants. The vitamins found in blueberries help produce and maintain healthy collagen levels found within hair follicles connective tissue.
And there you have it- a list of items to seek out on your next visit to the grocery store or farmer’s market. As much as possible, choose whole organic foods when possible and drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food. -Hippocrates
How are you nurturing your hair health from the inside out?