Also similar to other cells in your body, hair grow, age, die and then again regrow. It’s estimated by renowned dermatologists at American Academy of Dermatology that the average daily hair loss in a person can be between 50 to 100 hair. Follicles constantly keep working towards creation of new hair by using the nutrients in your body. On average, your hair grows around 6 inches in a year, that’s about 0.5 inches in a month. However, if your body lacks the requisite nutrients, not only does it affect the hair growth rate, but also the quality of new growing hair.
Whereas factors like genetic background and age are beyond your control, you can monitor your diet to ensure that there’s enough quantity of proteins, vitamins, fats and minerals required for hair growth. In fact, hair loss in most individuals can be attributed to lack of adequate nutrients in the body due to unhealthy eating habits. In subsequent sections of this article, you’ll learn about the most important food items that boost your hair growth.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B.
Apart from being essential for the rest of the body, Vitamin B is extremely important for having healthy hair. Lack of Vitamin B in general and B-12 in particular adversely affects your hair growth. It can cause thinning of hair and/or stunted growth. It’s a complex nutrient and takes time to build up; therefore, you must continue to eat foods rich in it before results can be noticed.
In cases of acute shortage, medicinal doses of these complexes may be taken as per prescription by medical practitioners. However, it’s always better to take natural food items rich in these crucial nutrients regularly for bouncy and shiny hair. While red meat in general and liver in particular have high concentrations of these vital elements, there are vegetarian options also. Lentils, beans and most other fresh vegetables are good food items to treat hair loss by eliminating deficiency of Vitamin B. You must also consume fresh seasonal fruits on a daily basis.
Food Items Packed With Protein.
Proteins are required for creation and development of all types of cells in the body. These are in turn made up of amino acids which are provided by different food items. As stated in the above section, hair growth is influenced directly by the functioning of the follicles. These vase-like cell groups that hold and assist the growth of hair are constituted of proteins. This entails that lack of protein has an obvious link with hair loss,
Hence, in order to treat the lack of protein and promote hair growth, consumption of adequate amount of protein is of paramount importance. Meat is a very rich source pf protein; a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) of steak serving contains 29 grams of useful protein. Other food items enriched in protein are fish, eggs and chicken. The vegetarian foods that contain protein in high concentration include bean and dairy products.
Amino Acids Are Equally Important.
Amino acids are the constituent nutrients that form up proteins. There are 20 types of amino acids that are needed by the body for important functions. Nine of these are to be supplied to the body through your diet and these are called essential amino acids. The remaining 11 amino acids can be produced within the body through intrinsic mechanisms and hence are called nonessential ones.
As you consume protein rich food, the internal reactions break down the protein into the constituent amino acids, which are then used by the body for various functions. Out of the nine essential amino acids, Leucine is important for hair growth in addition to its task of managing sugar level in the blood and boosting growth hormone production.
Methionine is the other essential amino acid that’s required for healthy hair as along with cysteine, which is a nonessential amino acid, it contributes to flexibility of hair. Some of the common food items rich in these amino acids are meat and poultry products, cabbage and beans.
Consume Adequate Fatty Acids.
Various studies have revealed that consuming fatty acids improves the hair growth and controls hair loss to a large extent. Fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 along with antioxidants are essential for proper functioning of follicles which have a major role in growth of new hair. The Omega-3 fatty acid is known to have anti inflammatory properties.
This has proven results for opening and unblocking hair follicles, thereby promoting growth of new hair. The Omega-3 being healthy fat is also helpful in preventing flakiness and dryness on the scalp, which enhances the life of existing hair. Although the studies for establishing these facts are limited in number, the handful studies that are available have trusted and unbiased origins.
Include Foods Rich in Choline in Your Diet.
Although Choline has been acknowledged as an essential nutrient only as late as 1998 by the Institute of Medicine, its importance for your body’s good health is proven without doubt. It’s primarily produced within the body, but certain cases of its deficiency have been reported. There are certain food items that have high concentrations of this critical nutrient, which must be included in your diet in order to maintain its appropriate levels. Following are a few sources of Choline :-
- Beef and chicken liver.
- Fish like Salmon and fresh Cod.
- Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Wheat germ.
- Soybean oil.
- Brown rice.
A large single egg can provide you with almost 25% of your daily dietary requirement of the Choline, consuming two eggs is adequate to get 50% of your needs. The balance need can be then meet through other items mentioned above as per your food preference.
Eat Food Items Containing Cyclohexanol.
Cyclohexanol is an organic compound that’s been found to have positive effects on hair growth through various scientific studies. Many skin and hair care products have also been patented using the antioxidant and antimicrobial abilities of this compound. There are very few food products that provide this essential compound to your body and the most prominent ones are discussed here.
Lecithin not only enhances your brain’s functionality, but it also promotes growth of healthy hair. The fatty substance is produced inside your body by the liver and plays a vital role in building of cellular membranes. It’s known to repair brittle and dry hair because of its fat content. It nourishes your hair to make them softer and shinier by moisturizing each strand. It’s also used in certain hair straightening products to provide a silky touch to the hair.
Rice bran oil is another product that’s full of useful nutrients for a healthy hair. It contains essential fatty acids along with cyclohexanol, which is why this oil is excellent not only for cooking, but also finds use in many hair care products. It helps in nourishing and repairing damaged hair and provides thicker hair. As it also helps maintain good health of follicles, it also promotes hair growth. Similar properties are also found in grains and beans. If you include these in your daily diet, you’ll notice a definite improvement in your hair.
Food Items Rich in P-Amino Benzoic Acids.
P-aminobenzoic acid or PABA, as it’s often called is found in various food items and also in folic acid. PABA has several benefits for your body such as treating skin disorders, eye infections, anemia, constipation, arthritis, headaches etc. One of the lesser known applications of this amazing chemical is its capability to promote healthy hair.
PABA is found in good proportions in food items like cabbage, spinach, mushroom, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, eggs, milk etc. In addition, it’s also part of certain medications and may be prescribed by your physician in cases of its acute deficiencies. PABA is used in many externally applied skin and hair care oils, creams, sunscreens, lotions etc. It has shown great positive results in cases of graying and thinning hair.
In this article, you’ve seen that it’s possible to get beautiful and healthy hair simply by making certain changes to your daily diet. Although there may be a requirement to add some medications or supplements in certain cases, but it’s not always mandatory. If you include the above food items in your diet plan, you’ll be able to get great hair over a period of time.