Hair fall due to nutritional deficiencies are commonly due to protein, iron, vitamin A and biotin deficiency. People who lose hair in great numbers have a diet lacking these essential nutrients or they are unable to absorb them from the gut. To promote hair growth and health, good food and a nutritious diet is essential.
Eating a balanced diet with all the food groups is very important. Hence, people who have a balanced meal with the necessary nutrients in right amounts, do not usually suffer from hair fall. People often resort to using supplements to promote hair growth, when this can be easily done by food and healthy diet.
So, here are 5 food items which you should consume to promote hair growth and health.
EGGS ARE A GREAT SOURCE OF PROTEIN AND BIOTIN
Chicken eggs are great and probably the best source of protein. That is because the entire protein content of an egg is absorbed by the body and nothing is excreted. Hair shaft and hair follicle are made mainly of protein i.e keratin and a healthy amount of protein every day promotes hair growth.
Egg yolk is also a great source of biotin. Biotin is a B vitamin i.e B7. It is also called vitamin H because it is essential for hair and skin health. Biotin is required for the production of Keratin and hence both yolk and white of an egg are required for healthy hair.
Eggs also contain some amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D which are linked with hair growth.
LEAFY GREENS AS A SOURCE OF IRON
Iron deficiency hair loss is seen when there is a massive blood loss during childbirth or after an accident when the hair follicles revert to their resting phase and hair falls out (Telogen effluvium). Therefore, iron-rich foods should be a staple in your diet to promote hair growth, esp if you are anaemic (low haemoglobin).
Iron is required for haemoglobin synthesis, and a deficiency can lower your haemoglobin and make you anaemic. Green leafy vegetables esp spinach, curry leaves, kale, coriander, fenugreek leaves etc provide iron in very good quantities. They also provide folate and vitamin A which is essential for hair growth and health. They also provide B complex vitamins esp biotin.
Excess washing and overcooking leafy greens destroys the iron and vitamins in them. Therefore they should be prepared with care to get the most nutrients from them.
NUTS ARE LOADED WITH VITAMIN E AND BIOTIN
Almonds, walnuts and groundnuts are one of the best sources of vitamin E and biotin. Vitamin E is required for healthy hair and glowing skin. Vitamin E deficiency often makes skin dry and hair lustreless and brittle. Nuts also have high amounts of proteins and healthy fats.
Grabbing a handful of mixed nuts everyday will provide with enough protein, biotin and vitamin E for gorgeous hair.
FLAX SEEDS FOR OMEGA-3-FATTY ACIDS
Flax seeds are a SUPERFOOD when it comes to healthy fats. It is loaded with omega-3-fatty acids which promote healthy sebum production in the scalp hence keeping hair and skin moist and supple. Omega-3-fatty acids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which reduce inflammatory reactions in hair follicles and reduce thinning of hair.
Omega 3 fats are also helpful for hormonal imbalance and reduce excess testosterone in the blood.
Flax seeds should be consumed roasted and ground up to obtain the maximum nutrients from it.
Fatty fish like salmon, cod and fish oils also provide very good amounts of omega 3 fats and should be included in the diet.
SWEET POTATOES AND CARROTS CONTAIN VITAMIN A
Beta carotene or Vitamin A is essential to maintain the smoothness of skin and hair. A deficiency of vitamin A causes hyperkeratosis or rough scaly skin and brittle and rough hair shafts.
Vitamin A helps the skin glands produce sebum. This oily substance helps moisturize the scalp to keep hair healthy. It is also known to speed up hair growth and promote thicker hair, while preventing hair follicles from regressing.
Sweet potatoes and carrots are an excellent source of vitamins A. One serving of a medium sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs.
Sweet potatoes contain some of the highest levels of biotin found in vegetables. Hence, it makes it a power-packed food for hair growth and health .
What you eat can have a huge effect on the health of your hair. A lack of the right nutrients including vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein and essential fatty acids may slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss.
Fortunately, correcting a deficiency in any of these nutrients may help treat hair loss and promote the rate of hair growth. If you think you’re lacking any of these nutrients, try adding some of the above foods to your diet.
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Author- Dr. Tasneem .H. Soni