If you find yourself suffering from hair loss, dry hair, flat limp hair, or a bad case of the greasies, the food you chew can be the reason. Hair quality has been less than “fair” due to our very “crash diet” driven culture and unlimited fast food fixes. If there are foods that deplete our hair of its “growth potential”, there must be foods that increase it as well. Fix your current hair situation with some of the below food remedies right from your own kitchen.
Holy Hair Balls-Those quick fix, drive-thru solutions may have helped your hunger pains, but this habit is to blame for hair loss. The consumption of a high-fat, high-animal and high-salt diet damages the kidneys and creates acidic blood, thereby leading to hair loss, according to Paul Pitchford’s book Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition and Janet Zand’s Smart Medicine for Healthier Living. It’s no wonder that the typical American diet is usually low in vitamins which leads to vitamin deficiency, another cause of hair loss. This diet has gone global and hair loss has made its way overseas.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair! Look out Marica Brady, you may have led us to believe that brushing our hair “one hundred strokes before bedtime” will make it grow, but there is more to it than that. If we had all the time in the world, this may be a fun evening activity, however, just a few strokes will redistribute natural oils and stimulates the scalp, which provides a natural way of conditioning the hair into shiny, faster-growing hair. On the flip-side, I do tell my girls that “onew hundred strokes” so they will let me brush their hair. “Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a Chicago-based dietitian. “If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body — inside and out.” Great food suggestions include low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt which contain calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources. Pump-up that hair volume some more by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Lactose intolerant, no problem. You can still get enough calcium from foods like tofu, leafy green veggies (spinach is a great choice), lactose-free milk, and juices or soy milk that have added calcium (source, kidshealth.org ).
Save Those Flakes For The Slopes-Dandruff is hard to take and you definitely don’t want to leave it, so foods loaded with omega-3 fatty acids are necessary. This protein source is also jammed with vitamin B-12 and iron. “Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look.” Popeye the Sailor Man knew what he was doing with all of that spinach and probably had the best sebum in town. Sebum, the body’s natural hair conditioner, comes from the oily substance secreted by hair follicles.
Some other excellent sources of vitamins A and C are found in broccoli and Swiss chard (not the same as “swiss cheese”, but actually a leafy vegetable and one of the cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. Maritima).
Have you made dietary changes to improve your hair condition? Is there something that I should know?