In this article, we will discuss the essential nutrients for healthy hair growth. Owning gorgeously long and voluminous hair is a dream many of us have. But achieving it can be a very difficult task. We invest a lot of time and money into a number of salon treatments and measures in order to protect our hair from damage. Plus you need to wait really long for it growing in the first place. All this might make us impatient.
Moreover, only external hair care will leave a big gap in your hair care regimen. Along with visiting your hairdresser, you also need to ensure you are getting the right nutrition. As they say that healthy hair is a sign of good health. This is true because a balanced diet that supplies you with the right amounts of proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and water ensures good health and hair.
The three most important nutrients for healthy hair growth are vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Consuming them in proper proportions will ensure fast and healthy hair growth. Continue reading to find out how each of the nutrients helps your hair growth and what foods you need to eat to get these nutrients(1).
Here are the 9 essential nutrients for healthy hair growth.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins. Experts believe that it plays a vital role in the development of epithelial tissues, such as skin, sebaceous glands, and also hair. Sufficient vitamin A consumption boosts optimal sebum production, which increases the moisturize in the scalp for healthy hair growth.
Studies have shown that vitamin A deficiency may lead to alopecia. So it is important to get enough vitamin A. But excess of this vitamin can also lower the number and length of hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Include in your diet Vitamin A rich foods such as milk, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mangoes, and dried apricots
2. B Vitamins
i. Vitamin B12
According to experts, vitamin B12 plays an essential role in the formation of red blood cells. These red blood cells transport oxygen to all body tissues, including your hair. Research has found that when vitamin B12 levels are within the normal range there is potential for optimal hair growth.
You can have foods such as Whey powder, cheese, milk, or yogurt which are rich in Vitamin B12.
Biotin is one of the 12 vitamins in the vitamin B family which is a popular hair growth vitamin. Biotin deficiency has been linked to uncombable hair among children. Other symptoms include thinning hair and hair loss all over the body.
A study done to evaluate the efficacy of biotin in hair growth showed that when biotin was given to 18 patients with poor hair and nail growth it exhibited improvement. For getting a good quantity of biotin, eat eggs, peanut butter, yeast, mushrooms, avocados, cauliflower, sweet potato, raspberries, bananas, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and almonds.
iii. Folic Acid (Folate)
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin which is a fully oxidized form of the vitamin found in dietary supplements. This vitamin again helps generate red blood cells, which ensures oxygen reaches all the tissues, including those that build hair. Folate is also responsible for rebuilding hair follicle cells and reduces the graying of hair and hair fall.
You can get Folate from black-eyed peas, spinach, lettuce, kale, asparagus, white beans, brussels sprouts, green peas, and beets
Niacin or vitamin B3 is another water-soluble B vitamin. Studies have shown that B3 derivatives, tetradecyl nicotinate snd octyl nicotinate, help boost hair fullness in females. However, more studies need to be done in order to establish this claim. Brown rice, potato, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and Marinara spaghetti sauce are foods rich in niacin
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble mineral that is naturally found in some foods. It is an essential physiological antioxidant that regenerates other antioxidants within the body, such as vitamin E.
The high antioxidant properties of vitamin C restricts the damaging effects of free radicals which reduces oxidative stress, This can help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers. When oxidative stress lowers it can also reduce the aging of hair.
Moreover, vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy which is linked to bleeding around hair follicles and corkscrew hairs. Include in your diet vitamin C rich foods like lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, guava, and strawberries.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin Ds such as ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), calciferol (vitamin D3), cholecalciferol, and ergosterol (provitamin D2) plays an essential role in calcium regulation, cell growth, and healthy immune function. Studies show that vitamin D deficiency may cause alopecia areata and damage the normal postnatal hair follicle cycle.
Vitamin D supplementation has been found to be therapeutic for patients with alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, or female pattern hair loss. A study has also found that the topical application of vitamin D on your skin can treat alopecia areata.
More research is required to understand the actual relationship between vitamin D and hair growth. The best source for vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, but you can also source it from milk, cheese, and yogurt.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E comes with rich antioxidant properties. It can be consumed by humans only in the form of tocopherol. One particular study which was conducted to learn about the correlation between tocopherol and hair loss found that there was a significant increase in the number of hairs on the participants at the end of the 8-month trial period. This was credited to the antioxidant activity of tocotrienols which helped lower oxidative stress in the scalp.
Foods that are rich sources of vitamin E are peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, cooked spinach, and dried herbs
Iron is an essential mineral for the growth, development, and cellular functioning of your body. It boosts your metabolism as it helps red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues. According to various studies, around 30% of women experience persistent hair shedding and reduced hair volume due to iron deficiency before the age of 50. IT is believed to be one of the common causes of hair loss in women with female pattern hair loss.
Zinc is another essential mineral that is significant in improving immune function, cell division, growth, and development. Zinc deficiency also causes hair loss according to studies. Alopecia areata patients with low zinc levels can take the help of oral zinc supplements. Although more research is warranted to know about the link between zinc supplements and hair loss.
Include in your daily diet Zinc-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and cashews.
Proteins are macronutrients that are highly essential for healthy bones, muscles, skin, and hair. Animal studies have found that protein deficiency can cause hair loss, although there isn’t enough data available on the efficacy of protein for hair growth in humans. More research is warranted.
You can facilitate better hair growth with high-protein foods such as sprouts, quinoa, lentils, greens, beans, dates, paneer, milk, Greek yogurt, and also nut milk and nut butter.
9. Omega-3 And Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fats that we need to consume through food as they are not produced by our bodies. Loss of scalp hair can be a result of a deficiency of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Studies were able to find that arachidonic acid which is an omega-6 fatty acid has properties that may promote hair growth.
You can source Omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds, chia seeds, canola oil, soybeans, and walnuts. Omega-6 rich foods include potato, seeds, nuts, and mayonnaise.
Consuming the right foods that provide you with the right nutrition required for healthy hair will ensure that your wish to have long and luscious hair will not remain just an elusive dream. A healthy and balanced diet is the best source for increasing your intake of vital vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.
If you are at a high risk of deficiency, then you should consult a doctor for vitamin supplements. Supplements are an easy method for faster hair growth but we still recommend you opt for natural food as your primary source. Making certain lifestyle changes will also contribute to the healthy growth of hair. becomes easier when you.
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- Copyright: frauke fischer