Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hair Healthy Food

So we've all heard the effect that our diet has on our general health. Grease can cause acne (or not, since no actual studies show it, rather it's the stress that makes us eat the greasy food that may cause the acne), salty food causes bloating, fruit can thin tooth enamel, and so on and so forth.

But what does diet do to hair? This website lists the top 10 foods for hair health. Some highlights below:

- Are you shining me on? Omega 3 and Omega 6 (O3 - salmon, dark green veggies, flax seed oil, O6 - poultry, eggs, cereal, whole grains) promote healthy, shiny hair (oooh, can I make my hair look like the lady in the Pantene commercial by eating salmon? Huh huh?). A healthy scalp makes healthy, shiny hair - chow on some carrots for vitamin A (and in addition, help improve your vision with the beta carotene).
- Preventing a different shine...of the bald type... Vitamins B6, B12, Niacin (B3) and Pantothenic Acid (B5) helps prevent hair loss and graying and promotes scalp circulation. Good food sources - meat (B3), whole grain cereals, organ meat, egg yolks (B5, B6), chicken, fish, eggs, milk (B12).
- Oh so stimulating! Native people of Guatemala traditionally use the pulp of the avocado to stimulate hair growth. Low-fat dairy also promotes hair growth, because of the calcium.
- Ironing has never been so fun! As long as it's the iron you eat, that is...iron is one of the nutrients that promotes growth and hair health (green veggies, red meat).
- Don't you split hairs with me! Biotin is a nutrient which we normally have plenty of. However, a deficiency can cause brittle, split hair. Beans have plenty of biotin, as well as hair-healthy protein, iron and zinc.
- Ewww! There's hair in my food! A lack of zinc can lead to shedding hair. And given how much hair I shed on a regular basis, I think I need about as much zinc as I can get! Also, selenium promotes a healthy scalp, linked to hair loss. Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds have loads of zinc (as well as oysters...so if you want great hair and an aphrodesiac side-effect, this is the way to go).

What not to do?
- Restrict your calories too much. When you restrict calories, you end up eating less all around, include the healthy stuff. And if you don't get enough of the vitamins and minerals above, it can make your hair look duller and flatter and may even fall out faster (as well as impacting your health in other ways). So if you're restricting your calories, try to eat more fresh food with vitamins and minerals (that way you get more quantity out of your however many calories.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Really interesting!

Fortunately, it sounds like a generally healthy diet is good for your hair, because I'm probably not going to start feeding it special foods. I've got enough to worry about!

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I hear ya, Crabby! I figure, the healthy hair foods are pretty much the same as the heart healthy and such foods that I already eat, so I'm all good :)

JeffG said...

Perhaps I should get more B vitamins!

Charlotte said...

Interesting! I've been really unhappy with my hair lately (thin, brittle, dry, blah, blah, blah) - and after reading your list of foods I realized that I don't get many B vitamins from my diet! I'll have to work on that one...

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