If you notice that your hair has lost its lustre, you may blame it on the environment or stress but your health may be the culprit. This is because you may not be getting enough nutrients you hair needs. But before reaching out for a hair care product or doing a treatment, ask yourself if you have been eating right. We are here to tell you about some of the important nutrients that your hair and health need and how you can include them into your diet.
Many trichologist in Singapore would agree that protein is an important nutrient for your hair. Apart from building muscles, protein is needed to make keratin and collagen for your hair. Keratin is a type of protein that makes up hair, nails and skin. Collagen, though mostly found on the skin, is needed to strengthen the hair roots and maintain the hair’s elasticity. Protein boosts keratin production and stimulate collagen as it breaks down into essential amino acids which are absorbed into the body and hair follicles.
Having enough protein in your diet is important as the body needs to have enough to distribute to all functions. Simply put, if you do not consume enough protein, the body will prioritise protein distribution to more important functions like maintaining tissues and enzyme creation. Your hair will lose out of the keratin and collagen and eventually become unhealthy.
You can get protein from both animal and plant sources. Animal sources, like chicken, eggs and dairy products, are complete proteins, meaning that it contains all the amino acids that your body needs. Plant sources like soy are complete proteins as well. However, some plant sources, like beans and lentils, are incomplete proteins. They do not contain the full set of amino acids. Vegetarians or vegans would need to eat a combination of plant sources in order to get their full set of amino acids.
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is a water soluble vitamin that your body needs. Its most well known function is for the creation of healthy hair, nails and skin. This vitamin is needed for the formation of keratin as it metabolises amino acids, meaning that promotes the breaking down of them. This allows the protein that you have consumed to be put into use for your hair and nails.
Biotin deficiencies are rare as this vitamin is created in the small intestines. You can get most of the vitamin in many sources like cooked eggs, salmon, soybeans and whole grains. It is not necessary to take oral supplements unless prescribed by a doctor.
Not all fats are bad for health. Omega 3 fatty acids are the kind of fats you should consume. These polyunsaturated fats are needed for the creation of cell membranes and the absorption of nutrients. Omega 3 fatty acids nourish the hair follicles, prevents the scalp from drying out and promote blood circulation. Your hair will grow thicker and shinier.
You can get omega 3 fatty acid from oily fishes, like salmon, or from nuts. There are some food products that are enriched with these fats like canola oil or olive oil. You can also take supplements in the form of cod liver oil capsules.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an important vitamin that prevent free radical damage to the hair. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that counters the deterioration of cells. That means it can protect against oxidative stress of the hair, slowing down hair loss and greying hair. Vitamin C is also key in the formation of collagen for your hair; without it, collagen production is hindered.
Vitamin C can be found in all fruits and vegetables but some good sources are citrus fruits, berries, and tomatoes. The body cannot make nor store vitamin C so you would need to have a regular intake of fruits and vegetables. You could also take vitamin c tablets though you may need to watch out for side effects from the tablets themselves.
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Folic Acid is needed for the formation of healthy cells all over your body, including your hair. Also known as folate or Vitamin B9, folic acid is needed for the production of DNA and keeping red blood cells healthy. With health red blood cells, they will be able to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to your body and hair. Without enough folic acid in the body, the hair follicles will be starved from nutrients and can fall.
Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables, berries and beans. There are fortified foods with folic acid too. If you need you may ask a doctor for a prescription.
You need to eat a variety of food in order to get all the nutrients for your health and hair. Though these nutrients have an indirect effect of the health of hair and take a while for you to see the effect, they are still extremely important for your overall well being. When you feel good on the inside, it will definitely show on your appearance. Contact us for a hair and scalp diagnosis and we will tell your what nutrients you could be lacking. We will also recommend you with treatment options too.
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