Are you losing your hair? While hair loss can be a natural function tied to age or genetic factors, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, hair loss can be directly related to your diet. In fact, both men and women can experience hair loss, or a lack of hair growth, due to nutritional deficiencies in their diet. If you’ve experienced thinning hair or even more dramatic hair loss, take a look at the following summary of key vitamins and/or nutrients that you might not be getting enough of in your current diet:
- PROTEIN: Hair is mostly made of protein. Not getting enough protein in your diet can cause a large percentage of your hair to go into what’s called a “resting phase.” Our hair naturally grows, rests and then falls out. However, usually, only a small percentage falls out each day, which isn’t noticeable. However, if you’re not eating enough protein, more hair tends to rest and then fall out. Of course, some high-protein diets can also lead to hair loss so it’s important to strike the right balance.
- IRON: Not getting enough iron can contribute to hair loss. If you feel as though you may have an iron deficiency, talk to a health professional. There are tests that can measure your iron levels. If you do have an iron deficiency, you can try a supplement or modify your diet to include iron rich foods such as various types of meat (clams, oysters and leaner meats like pork, beef and fish), soybeans, pumpkin seeds, lentils, spinach, beans and fortified cereals.
- VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen. Collagen holds the tissues of the body together, including hair tissue. Since our bodies can’t store vitamin C for very long, it’s important to get enough of it in your diet on a regular basis. Foods that are high in vitamin C include berries, oranges, melons, peppers, tomatoes and leafy green vegetables.
- VITAMIN D: Vitamin D may help reduce hair loss and may actually activate hair growth. However, there are not many foods that contain vitamin D naturally. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but there are other concerns with getting too much sun exposure, so be careful. You can also get vitamin D from foods that are fortified with it, such as many cereals as well as milk and orange juice.
- ZINC: Zinc is also important for hair growth. It helps improve the health of the glands that are attached to hair follicles and promotes cell reproduction as well as tissue growth and repair.
- OMEGA-3: Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve the appearance of your hair and also provide a number of other benefits. Fatty fish (such as salmon) are a good source of omega-3.
There are a number of other vitamins and nutrients that are important for hair grown. However, perhaps the best thing to remember is that the foods that are good for your body are also good for your hair. So, to keep things simple, try focusing on eating a healthy diet filled with a variety of nutrients!
If you need help with optimizing your diet, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.