In addition to styling, hair demonstrates health and beauty
Healthy hair is synonymous with general well-being (Indian actress Kushboo)
A person’s hair is considered in most cultures to be an extremely visible manifestation of good health and beauty. Hair also plays an important role in building confidence and self-esteem in people of all ages and social classes.
So, beautiful, healthy, shiny hair is something that most of us covet, although it seems increasingly difficult to achieve for a variety of reasons including genetics, hormonal imbalances, certain medical conditions, certain treatments. and medications, stress, improper diet and nutrition, poor lifestyles and damaging hair care practices such as the use of harsh chemicals and excessive heat from devices such as hair straighteners and hair dryers -hair.
All of these can prevent our hair from staying healthy and contribute to hair loss. For most people, excessive hair loss can increase stress levels and cause considerable psychological distress.
This article will focus on one of the many aspects that contribute to healthy hair growth – our diet. Proper nutrition is essential to sufficiently nourish the scalp and hair follicles, which in turn will help promote optimal hair growth. Here are some of the nutrients that play a vital role in maintaining or improving hair structure and strength and help prevent hair loss.
Foods rich in iron and vitamin C
Hair follicles are supplied with a nutrient-rich blood supply. Iron helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. When iron (serum ferritin) levels are low, hair follicles do not receive enough oxygen.
This can lead to slower hair growth as well as hair loss. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is found in animal products such as red meat, chicken, and fish, and is readily absorbed by the body.
Non-heme iron is less easily absorbed and is found in plant foods such as lentils, nuts, fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli, kale, and other leafy green vegetables. One way to increase the absorption of non-heme iron is to eat foods rich in vitamin C as well as plant foods rich in iron. Blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, guava, kiwis, oranges, papaya, strawberries, and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C supplements should only be taken if prescribed by a healthcare practitioner, as excess can lead to stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea.
Indian women pay a floral tribute to their scalp (Photo Wedabout)
Vitamin A helps maintain a healthy scalp because it is involved in the production of sebum, an oily substance created by the sebaceous glands, which hydrates the scalp and acts as a natural conditioner.
Overproduction of sebum results in an oily scalp, while underproduction can cause itchy scalp and dry hair. Vitamin A balances sebum production and prevents both overproduction and underproduction, and also reduces inflammation of the scalp, stimulates hair growth and helps keep hair healthy and shiny.
Vitamin A can exist in the diet as preformed vitamin A (from animal sources) or provitamin A carotenoids (from plants).
Good sources of vitamin A include fish oil, fatty fish (herring, sardines, salmon, cod), liver, eggs, chicken, yellow, orange, red and green (leafy) vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, capsicum, mango, papaya, apricots etc.
Please do not take vitamin A supplements unless prescribed by a doctor, as it may lead to excess vitamin A in the blood, leading to toxicity with symptoms such as headache, rash, pain abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. It could also cause hair loss.
Foods rich in protein
Our hair is made up of around 91% protein. This comes in the form of long chains of amino acids called polypeptides that are found in the cortex (middle part) of the hair. Thus, a diet rich in protein is essential to make the hair strong and healthy. Not enough protein can weaken hair and make it dull, dry and brittle, which can lead to hair loss. Good sources of protein include meats, poultry, fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon, cod), dairy products, eggs, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, walnuts (Brazil nuts, almonds , nuts) and soy.
Actors like Brad Pitt have set hairstyle trends and a healthy lifestyle
(Photo of men’s hairstyles now)
Foods high in Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin plays an important role in maintaining the strength and texture of hair.
A biotin deficiency can cause hair to become brittle and lead to hair loss. The biotin required by our body can be obtained naturally from foods such as organ meats (liver and kidneys), canned salmon and tuna, egg yolk, avocado, yeast, soy flour , seeds, nuts, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Do not take biotin supplements unless prescribed by a healthcare practitioner, as these supplements may interfere with the results of some diagnostic tests and interact with some medications, including those that treat seizures.
A balanced diet rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, and the right amount of good fats will go a long way in helping us achieve thick, healthy and shiny hair. When the body is not getting enough of a certain nutrient, it uses what is available to nourish vital body organs and maintaining healthy hair follicles is not a priority. Therefore, proper nutrition, along with other treatments and lifestyle changes, play a vital role in ensuring that our hair stays strong and healthy for as long as possible.
I would like to stress here the importance of consulting a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.
My next article will be a continuation of this one with more information on foods to include in the diet for healthy hair growth.
Sandhya Govind is a qualified and trained naturopath and runs the “Sandhya Naturopathic Clinic”, an integrated center of natural medicine, which helps people naturally regain optimal health, radiance and vitality. She provides holistic support, including herbal medicine, supplements, health coaching, dietary counseling, and mineral therapy. Ms. Govind also creates crossword puzzles and crossword puzzles for Indian news link Digital edition every two weeks. She can be reached at 021-0709243. Email: [email protected]; The above article should be read for general information purposes only and should not be taken as individual advice. Please always consult your GP or other authorized persons or agencies for personalized advice. Indian Newslink and Sandhya Govind disclaim any responsibility in this regard.