Essential Nutrients For A Luscious Mane
“Besides good hair care products, a balanced nutrition is the key to healthy and glossy hair”
Hair cells are one of the fastest growing cells in the body. They are also the first ones to get affected if you are nutrient deficient or when you don’t eat right, because like your other body parts and organs, your hair also needs various nutrients for healthy growth. Thus, flawless skin and healthy looking hair are signs of good health and good body care practices.
Hair And Nutrition
Studies have found that hair loss is linked to many nutritional deficiencies. So, it you have shiny hair, it indicates that your hair is healthy, whereas dry, rough and brittle hair indicates nutrients deficiency. Also, besides good hair care products, a balanced nutrition is the key to healthy and glossy hair.
Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that the effect of nutrition on your hair is slow to show. Thus, eating healthy and wholesome meals for a day or two, won’t make any difference but a continuous healthy lifestyle will surely give you positive results.
To make your hair strong, glossy and long, you need to feed it with various vitamins and minerals. Tiny blood vessels present near the skin’s surface provide nourishment to your hair follicle (root). So by increasing the blood circulation in the surface of the scalp you increase the overall nutrient supply to the hair, because hair receives nutrients via the blood stream.
Nutrients That Keep Hair Healthy
Studies have found that by consuming omega 3-rich foods such as fish, prevents hair loss and restores shine and lustre. The consumption of omega 3-rich foods helps prevent a flaky scalp, dull hair colour and also a dry scalp which further protects your hair against damage. The foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include:
- Flaxseeds and its oil
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines
- Walnut and its oil
- Chia seeds
- Soya bean
This important trace mineral is a strong inhibitor of hair loss and accelerates the recovery of hair follicles. Research shows that zinc deficiency can be a disturbing factor for hair growth. Thus, studies recommend that the level of zinc should be checked and if the levels are low, foods rich In zinc should be consumed in order to improve hair health. Foods containing zinc include:
- Cashew nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
Low levels of antioxidants in the scalp lead to hair loss too, Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and fights oxidative stress. Furthermore, vitamin E also protects the hair against ultraviolet (UV) light and ozone induced oxidative stress. Also, eating foods rich in vitamin E prevents hair thinning and improves hair coverage of the scalp. Foods containing vitamin E include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Beet greens
- Wheat germ
According to studies, hair loss is seen more in individuals who have low levels of iron or in those who have an iron deficiency. Thus, treating the iron deficiency can either maximize the ability to grow hair again, or stop further hair loss. Iron deficiency can be due to loss of blood during pregnancy and menstruation, malabsorption, intestinal diseases or a diet deficient in iron. Foods containing iron include:
- Organ meat
- Nuts and Oilseeds
- Dried fruits
- Green vegetables
- Cereals fortified with iron
Studies have found that women with female pattern hair loss have decreased levels of vitamin D. Stem cells are responsible for production of hair and vitamin D plays a vital role in activating stem cells in the hair follicles. Furthermore, vitamin D initiates the regrowth process of a damaged scalp and allows hair growth.
This sunshine vitamin replaces old hair cells with new hair cells and hence promotes healthy hair growth. So the deficiency of vitamin D may cause your hair to become thin and brittle. Foods containing vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon
- Whole eggs
- Organ meat
Deficiency of vitamin B12 affects red blood cell production and various minerals and vitamins are carried to your hair cells via your blood. Therefore, if the production of red blood cell is affected, the supply of nutrients to your hair will also get affected. This can further lead to the death of hair follicles, loss of strength and deterioration of the hair shaft. Vitamin B12 also plays a vital role in the nourishment of the hair follicle. Foods containing vitamin B12 include:
- Organ meat
- Shell fish
- Fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna
- Cow’s milk