Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Healthy Hair: Foods to Take and Foods to Avoid

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

It’s happened to everyone. You brush or run a hand your hair and come out with a few strands that come loose. When you are tongue, losing a few hairs doesn’t seem like a big issue, but residents of senior living communities through the United States report hair loss as a top concern.

The reality is, every person loses 50 to 100 strands of hair per day, but this hair is supposed to grow back on its own. However, if the hair does not grow back on and sheds rapidly, a condition known as alopecia may occur.

This is a sure cause of alarm, but you shouldn’t worry, as adjusting your diet can eventually boost hair growth. Great hair is not only a confidence boost but a sign of your overall health and should be handled as such. A surgeon specializing in hair transplants explains all about diet and what it does for hair growth.

Foods You Must Avoid for Hair Growth

1.    Processed Sugar Foods

Sugar has been known to cause unpleasant effects on our general health. If you consume foods with high amounts of sugar, they spike your insulin levels and destabilize your blood sugar levels. The same applies to your hair growth. A spike in blood sugar levels then causes further shrinking to your hair follicles, accelerating hair loss.

2.    Alcohol

The reality is that excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to your health and also to your hair? If you’re the type that takes more than two drinks per day, then soon, this bad habit may reflect on your hair. Excess alcohol intake hinders the synthesis of an essential protein known as keratin responsible for your hair growth. Once the synthesis of keratin is harbored, your hair starts getting weaker and could eventually lead to hair follicle death.

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3.    Diet Soda

Diet soda is perhaps a great solution to keep your weight in check, but not healthy for your hair. Diet soda contains aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has been concluded to cause damage to hair follicles. Therefore, if you’re on a weight loss journey, it’s essential to take it in the right quantities or, better still, replace it with natural sweeteners like honey.

4.    Fast Foods

It can be challenging to avoid the drive-through with a busy schedule and no time to cook, but have you considered its repercussions if you excessively take up these saturated fats? Apart from causing major lifestyle diseases like obesity or heart diseases, consuming these foods over a long time may cause your scalp to be oily, leading to clogged pores, eventually leading to damaged hair follicles.

5.    Certain Fish Types

Fish is considered one of the highly nutritious foods due to omega- 3 which is an excellent nutrient for hair growth. However, some types of fish are not all that healthy. Big fishes like mackerel sharks and swordfish contain high mercury levels, an enemy for your hair growth.

6.    Raw Egg Whites

Consuming raw eggs is not a good option when considering hair growth. If your body is deprived of the necessary vitamins, chances of hair loss increase. Raw eggs are known to cause biotin deficiency which eventually leads to hair loss.

Foods You Must Take for Hair Growth

1.    Protein Foods

As stated earlier, your hair is made up of a vital protein known as keratin. This protein is responsible for the replacement of the hair cells, which help in hair growth. Therefore, you can imagine what a protein deficiency does to your hair. In the long run, your hair becomes weak, and slow hair growth is evident. Incorporating these top-listed proteins into your diet will undoubtedly give a hair boost. These are:

  • Eggs – rich in B-Vitamins, which helps in hair growth and hair strength
  • Beans and lentils – rich in biotin, protein, and zinc, which helps in hair growth
  • Oily fish – rich in omega-3, which helps prevent breakage and maintain hair shine
  • Nuts – rich in omega-3 and zinc and improves your hair look.
  • Dairy products – help your hair grow and improve thickness
  • Chicken – rich in B-vitamins, iron, and zinc and helps in hair growth, scalp repair, and thickness of your hair.

2.    Iron-Rich Foods

Your hair cells need sufficient oxygen for them to recreate more hair to enhance hair growth. This is why you must ensure that you incorporate iron into your diet since it’s responsible for this. Continuous iron deficiency may eventually cause hair loss, thinning hair, or more severe conditions like anemia. Some of the iron-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet are:

  • Leafy vegetables- spinach and kales
  • Wholegrains
  • Beans
  • Read meat
  • Eggs
  • Fruits- guava and apricots

3.    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 provides nutrients responsible for boosting up your hair follicles to enhance growth. They also ensure that your scalp stays healthy and prevents it from drying up. You can get omega-3 from:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Flaxseeds

4.    Zinc-rich foods

Zinc is crucial to your body, but it is only needed in small quantities. It helps in hair follicle recreation and hair growth. It is also effective in the body for protein binding. You can get zinc from:

  • Legumes
  • Peanuts
  • Wholegrains
  • Sunflower seeds

5.    Vitamin C Rich Foods

Vitamin C is an essential mineral responsible for producing an important protein known as collagen. Collagen then helps absorb iron, which, as earlier explained, is a necessary mineral for hair growth. Vitamin C also ensures that your scalp remains healthy enough to enhance hair growth and thick hair. You can get Vitamin C from:

  • Citrus fruits- oranges, lime, and grapefruits
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Strawberries
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6.    Beta-Carotene Foods

Every cell in your body needs carotene for growth, and hair is no exemption. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A, which is essential in preventing a dry scalp and brittle hair. In short, it is responsible for ensuring that your scalp has enough oils which prevent your scalp from drying up. You can find beta-carotene in:

  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Fruits- mangoes, watermelon, and apricot
  • Green vegetables- spinach

7.    Purified Water

Like in everyday healthy body routines, water is equally a good mineral source that stimulates hair growth and avoids a dry scalp. It helps flush out the unwanted toxins from the body and ensures that your hair follicles are well-lubricated. Ensure that you take water according to your body weight and provide your body with the constant replenishment it needs.

Your hair health reflects your overall health and knowing what diet to incorporate into your daily life is the first step to excellent health. It’s no use knowing the right foods to eat while not stating the wrong foods to avoid. Start taking care of your diet and watch your hair and overall health change for the best.

About the Author

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

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