Hair Problems - Check These Foods And Medicines For Healthy Hair Growth
The old saying ‘You are what you eat’ holds a lot of truth. This also applies to your hair to a fair extent. It’s good you are taking care of your hair with conditioner and shampoo for that beautiful and shiny look, but healthy hair demands a lot more than that. The food and the nutrients in them help monitor the quality, quantity, and speed of growth of your hair.
Why are nutrients important for healthy hair?
Each strand of hair is composed of cells containing a protein named keratin. These cells need continuous nourishment for long and strong hair. Also, healthy hair depends on some of the other essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, zinc, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Normally, health-conscious people are always concerned about these essential nutrients and most of the time, are able to get these nutrients through their well-balanced meals. However, these foods mentioned below are especially advantageous for healthy hair. We have divided these foods into vegetarian and non-vegetarian categories. So let’s take a look.
Vegetarian Foods for healthy hair
1. Almonds and Walnuts
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats which makes your hair thick. The oil responsible for providing elasticity to the hair and scalp comes from this healthy fat. Almonds and Walnuts are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acid which prevents the hair from breaking.
Tip - Add raw walnuts to top your salads or eat them as a snack. Sprinkle a handful of almonds on your cooked vegetables.
2. Spinach and Other Dark Leafy Greens
Supply of iron is crucial for preventing hair loss and if you are a vegetarian, spinach is an excellent source for getting iron and tons of other healthy nutrients. The hair follicles and the roots are nourished by blood supply. Lower levels of iron can cause anemia which leads to hair loss. Besides spinach, dark leafy greens such as kale (leaf cabbage) is another great choice you can make.
Tip – Use these greens as main salad ingredients and add a few cloves of garlic as well as little olive oil to make a healthy combination.
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3. Dry Beans and Lentils
Our body needs a good amount of folic acid to boost red blood cells which supply oxygen to skin and scalp. Dry beans and lentils not only contain plenty of folic acid, but also loaded with protein, iron, biotin (B vitamin) and zinc.
Tip – Lentil (masoor ki daal) soup along with fresh green salad is an excellent way to boost healthy hair growth.
4. Non-fat Milk and Yoghurt
Dairy products are part of our daily diet, so they are easily accessible as well. These are rich in biotin, protein, calcium and vitamin D. Pick up non-fat milk, almond milk, yogurt and cheese to get these essential nutrients and also to restrict your calorie intake.
Tip – For a healthy and delicious breakfast, have yogurt with berries and nuts.
5. Whole grains
Biotin is necessary for the growth of hair and increasing their volume. It is responsible for the rapid reproduction of cells and plays a crucial role in the production of amino acids which are essential for hair growth. Whole grains are one of the best sources of biotin besides rich in iron, B vitamin, and zinc.
Tip – Add a variety of whole grains to your diet such as brown rice and oats.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Do you have dry hair which has lost its shine? Eat sweet potatoes which are rich in beta-carotene antioxidant. Our body converts this antioxidant into vitamin A which eventually acts as a protective shield against dry and dull looking hair. Beta-carotene also stimulates the scalp to produce an oily substance which keeps your hair from drying out.
Tip – Sweet potatoes can be eaten raw or boiled. You can also eat orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin and mangoes to get beta-carotene.
Non-Vegetarian foods for healthy hair
As your hair needs protein nourishment, what would be the better source of protein than eggs? Eggs also contain biotin besides iron, calcium, vitamin A and E, all which not only helps the growth of hair but also strengthens delicate fingernails.
Tip – Start your day with egg breakfast. Consider boiled eggs over half-fried or omelets.
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2. Salmon and Tuna Fish
This is certainly meant for non-vegetarian. Salmon (rawas) and tuna (choora) breeds of fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and also vitamin D. Interestingly, it’s good for calorie cautious people as these fishes contain minimal amount of fats.
Tip – For a healthy combination, add these fishes to your green salad.
3. Lean Chicken or Beef
You might have noticed that sometimes your muscle doesn’t grow enough due to lack of protein. The same applies to health of the hair also. Without enough dietary protein, you will experience a lot of hair fall daily. So add lean meat in your diet such as chicken and beef.
Tip – Add slices of lean meat to your salad or do a quick-fry to add more to the taste.
This shellfish is now increasingly finding its place on the dinner table in India. Oysters are an excellent source of zinc as well as other nutrients such as protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. All these nutrients are extremely beneficial for healthy hair.
Tip – You can make oyster stew (cook slowly for a long time) or add it to omelet.
As mentioned, iron is a key ingredient that helps prevent hair loss. Organ meat such as liver is loaded with protein which is an easily absorbed form of iron. Besides, it contains all the essential B vitamins and ample amount of vitamin A. Chicken liver is the best source of getting vitamin A.
Tip – The best way to incorporate liver into your diet is to cook it similarly to other cuts of meats.
There are plenty of foods that have low to moderate levels of vital nutrients. But the above-mentioned foods are rich sources of essential nutrients that you must eat to get strong, shiny and beautiful hair. Just make sure these foods are part of your regular balanced diet.
Drugs that help the growth of hair
While it’s difficult to incorporate all the foods in our diet, we can also have doctor prescribed medicines that can fulfill the deficiency of essential vitamins and nutrients. Here are some of the salts that are commonly found in prescribed drugs used to promote hair growth:
- Capsules containing aminexil as an active ingredient.
- Tablet and lotions containing minoxidil as an active ingredient.
- Topical steroids such as betamethasone, mometasone, and hydrocortisone.
- Injectable steroids such as triamcinolone acetonide
- B-complex tablets
It is important to note that certain drugs can also cause hair loss such as birth control pills, medicines to regulate blood pressure and drugs used in treating cancer and arthritis. The best way is to talk to your doctor and discuss your problem. He may refer you to a dermatologist which is expert in dealing with hair problems.