5 Superfoods For Healthy Hair
Healthy and luscious hair is every ones dream. It is a reflection of self-esteem of oneself. The health of the hair, is a reflection of one’s inner health. A healthy and well-nourished body will grow long and beautiful hair. The length, texture and appearance of one’s hair, all affect ones appearance. Everyone’s desires to have long, smooth, shiny and voluminous hair.
Hair structure is made up of hair shaft and hair root. The hair grows from the hair root that is embedded in the scalp. The root derives its blood supply from the hair papilla that is supplied by blood vessels. The hair shaft has an inner cortex and outer cuticle. The hair has three phases of growth – anagen, catagen and telogen. Anagen is the growth phase of the hair. It can vary from weeks to months depending on the location of hair on the body. Catagen is the resting phase or the transitional phase. The shedding phase is called as the telogen phase. All hair undergo the three phases of growth.
A major role of hair health lies in the diet that we take. Consumption of healthy and balanced diet is important to maintain good hair health and growth. Diet should be rich in proteins, essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants as well. These elements are essential for healthy hair growth and function. Hair fall, balding, premature greying, are some hair concerns linked with improper nourishment.
PROTEIN RICH FOOD:
Food items rich in protein include vegetarian sources such as paneer, tofu, soyabean, milk products and non-vegetarian sources such as eggs and meat are rich in proteins. Hair is made up of building blocks called as ‘keratin’. Keratin is a protein that forms the bulk structure of the hair. Other amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, valine etc. are also important in forming structure and function of the hair. For healthy and lustrous hair, it is vital to have adequate protein intake in your diet. Adult have dietary requirement of 1mg/kg of protein daily. This is a high demand and sometimes vegetarian diets poor in proteins are unable to meet this. For this protein supplements can be recommended and started.
Consuming protein rich food, is essential for maintaining hair lustre and volume. Hair cells are constantly dividing and growing. Thus the requirement of protein in the hair tissues is really high. Low protein diets result in dull and brittle hair. They often tend to break easily.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES:
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek, and lettuce are loaded with iron, minerals and important vitamins. These nutrients are important for maintain the vitality of hair and proper functioning.
Vitamin C rich foods include lemon, lime, gooseberry, oranges and other citrus foods. Vitamin C is an important free radical scavenger and anti-oxidant. It is essential for collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the fibre that provides structure and strength to the tissues. New collagen synthesis is important to maintain strength and structure.
NUTS AND SEEDS:
Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6 are crucial to maintain hair vitality and lustre. Chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts are rich in essential fatty acids. Fatty acids are important nutrients for functioning at cellular level.
High oxidative stress leads to generation of free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen scavengers, and cause tissue damage. Unhealthy eating habits, irregular sleeping pattern, lack of proper skin hydration, low anti-oxidant levels, pollution exposure, all are contributors to the oxidative stress. Problems of early greying, scalp itching and early onset of baldness have been linked to high oxidative stress in tissues.
Consumption of anti-oxidant rich diet containing vitamin C, E, Zinc have been shown to support healthy hair growth and function. Green tea, moringa leaves, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts are good dietary sources of antioxidants. Supplemental oral medicines can be added to provide the tissues with the required doses of antioxidants.
The role of proper diet in maintaining the hair and scalp health cannot be overemphasised. Well-nourished hair are shiny, healthy and voluminous. Make sure to include all the food groups in your diet to provide the adequate nourishment to the follicles.
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