Clumps of hair in the shower and thinning patches of hair can be an alarming experience – especially when it happens earlier than expected. But it may not actually be permanent, in fact, a few additions to your diet could work wonders.
Research shows nutritional deficiencies play a major role in hair thinning and loss, with stress and hormonal changes close behind. Luckily, for some it may be possible to reverse the condition, or stop it from progressing, by making a few changes to your lifestyle – starting with the food you put on your plate.
It’s not just men who experience from hair loss, with an estimated 50% of women facing it. So, for everyone out there wondering what to do next, take a look at few of the foods you might want to pick up on your next supermarket run.
Nuts are little nutritional powerhouses known for their excess of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, biotin and even calcium – pistachios are an especially good source of calcium, packing in 14% of our daily needs in one cup. But the real hero vitamin at play when it comes to hair health – and skin and nail health too – is biotin.
Biotin: Also known as vitamin b7, biotin is essential for the following:
- A healthy metabolism.
- Brain and heart function.
- Blood sugar stabilisation.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Repairing muscle.
- Embryonic growth during pregnancy.
It also happens to play a major role in hair health – and this is where nuts come in. Just 2 tablespoons pack in 17% of our daily needs.
Signs that you’re lacking this vitamin include skin rashes, brittle nails and, of course, hair loss. So, pick up some peanut butter next time you hit the shops. Biotin can also be found in egg yolks, oats, bananas and cauliflower.
Kale, spinach, broccoli and bok choy are some of the greens we turn to for a quick dose of vitamins and minerals. But what you might not know is that studies show these humble veggies can actually promote hair growth. For starters vitamin A and C, iron and folate happen to be generously packed in.
There’s a reason supplements for these are popular, especially vitamin A, which contributes greatly to growth and development. But! Be careful not to go too far the other way – studies have found overdosing on vitamin A can also cause hair loss. To strike the perfect balance, leafy greens pose an affordable, versatile solution. Just a cup of spinach provides 20% of your daily vitamin A intake.
Chlorophyll: This bonus element is present in leafy greens, especially the dark kind. Chlorophyll is not only brimming with vitamin B and E, potassium and calcium – all of which are needed to maintain and repair hair health – but it’s even been shown to slow down greying hair. This powerful nutrient is also found in chlorella and in kiwi fruit and grapes.
Eggs are small but mighty food sources, packed with vitamin A, E, protein and iron. The latter of which is part of what makes eggs a great addition to any diet, and this is because iron assists red blood cells in transporting oxygen around the body. The results are a more robust growth and repair system for your hair – and for the cherry on top – it’s research-backed too.
Omega 3: This can cause all manner of problems, from inflammation to fatigue, and a deficiency may even lead to Alzheimer's. But what you might not know is that deficiency can also can skin, hair and nail problems. The reason? Omega 3 helps the body absorb vitamins A, B and D – all important for whole-body health. Without these, hair fall and thinning are bound to happen. So, throw some eggs on the frying pan today – but check the back of the pack to see how much omega 3 they’re boasting.
Seaweed, algae oil and fish also pack in a good kick of omega 3s, as do walnuts, flaxseeds and hemp seeds. If it sounds like you haven’t had a hit of this essential fatty acid in a while, this could be the culprit for your hair problems.
Curry leaves: Curry leaves are packed with antioxidants and nutrients, with studies saying these leaves protect against oxidative stress, which may also prevent hair thinning. Chew the leaves before eating breakfast for the best results.
Bhringraj powder: Available in both a powder and oil form – you can even put the oil directly on your hair – bhringraj deserves a mention is because it improves blood circulation to the scalp.
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