There are some nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss you might not be aware of. Our hair is only as healthy as our diet and how well our body absorbs the nutrients we eat. When we aren’t properly digesting food and getting the right nutrients, our bodies can’t do their magical thing and keep us looking and feeling great. Our hair, skin, and nails are often some of the first physical signs something is missing in our diets. If your hair has been falling out, thinning, or breaking off at the ends, you might want to take a look at these nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss. With a few dietary tweaks, your hair can easily get back to looking its best.
Insufficient zinc intake is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies that causes hair loss in women. It is responsible for accelerating the regeneration of skin and hair cells because it generates multitudes of enzymatic functions in the body, including hair growth. Zinc is also responsible for helping you grow new hair, and zinc deficiency is usually the reason for premature hair loss in men and women. To get your zinc intake, be sure to take a supplement, or eat foods like nuts, seeds, oysters, organic eggs, and lentils. If you don’t eat these foods, a supplement is probably necessary. I like Garden of Life’s Raw Zinc since it is easy to absorb, and made from soil-based ingredients, not synthetics.
Your hair is made of 90% protein, so if your diet is lacking in easy-to- digest protein, your hair will suffer. You should try to get as much protein from plant foods as possible, since they are the friendliest to your hair, body, skin, and your heart. These sources include lentils, chickpeas, beans, spinach, kale, almonds, peas, nuts, hemp and chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina. However, if you eat animal protein, organic pastured eggs and wild fish are the next best choices. Protein helps generate collagen, which stimulates healthy hair and skin renewal. It also contains amino acids that promote growth and maintenance of your hair. You roughly need about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight as the maximum amount. If you’re not active most of the day, you might need half this amount. Try to aim for at least 15 grams per meal and 10 grams per snack for the best results.
Vitamin A is one of the best nutrients and the most critical nutrients, for your skin, hair, and nails. In fact, Vitamin A deficiency can cause everything from acne, joint pain, poor eyesight, dull skin, pale skin, and yes, you guessed it - hair loss. Your best bet for getting a good dose of Vitamin A comes in the form of all orange fruits and veggies. The best sources are carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and cantaloupe. You also want to include plenty of leafy greens in your diet, as they are also a fantastic source of Vitamin A. The best options are kale, spinach, collards and romaine. Mustard and turnip greens are also fantastic sources too.
Vitamin C is also a critical nutrient in your diet, not only for your immune system, but also your skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin C produces collagen in the skin, and regenerates your cells. It is responsible for a large amount of enzymatic reactions that trigger growth, maintenance, and repair in your body. The best way to get your intake of Vitamin C isn’t through a pill, but through your diet. This nutrient is easily absorbed from many common foods. Strawberries, blueberries, lemons, limes, raw tomatoes, pineapple, broccoli, cherries, oranges, grapefruit, and leafy greens are all excellent sources.
You might have already known iron is an important nutrient for your hair, but do you know why? Iron helps carry oxygen to your cells, including your hair follicles, which is vital for their growth and regeneration. The best sources of iron to eat aren’t meat, believe it or not. In fact, meat’s acidity can actually break down collagen in your body and cause the deficiency all over again. It’s best to get your iron from plants, and regardless that you might have heard you can’t absorb iron from plants, that’s not true. Plant foods like Swiss chard, spirulina, quinoa, chia, cacao, all seaweed, kale, spinach, lentils, and soybeans are all excellent sources of iron. One to two servings of these foods a day, along with a quality multivitamin is the perfect way to ensure you’re getting enough. To increase the uptake of iron through these foods, have a Vitamin C rich food with them. Vitamin C helps make iron more easy for your body to absorb. This can be achieved through a yummy squeeze of lemon over a bed of kale or chard in a salad, or even in a green smoothie. Or, have some sliced strawberries or blueberries with your green smoothie or salad for lunch. Iron can help improve hair growth, prevent it from breaking, and help keep your strands strong. Eating a varietal diet full of healthy foods will ensure you get enough iron from your foods, but it never hurts to supplement. Just be careful when supplementing with iron since too much can cause bad side effects like constipation or bloody stools. You can't overdose on iron from food though, so don't worry. The maximum intake a day for women from a supplement form is 18 mg. unless you have a medical issue and are prescribed more.
Are you eating fat-free? If so, you’re killing your hair dear! Healthy fats are your friend, and you should never avoid them if you want your skin, hair, and nails to look great. Did I mention that healthy fats also keep you trim and satiated longer? You need to regularly eat raw, healthy plant fats to keep your brain, body, and your hair in top condition. The best sources are raw nuts and seeds, raw plant oils like cold pressed olive, hemp and flax oil, avocados, raw coconut shreds, raw coconut butter, and coconut oil. Eating these every day is the best way to get your intake of beauty-friendly fats. Ditch the fat-free lifestyle and all processed fats and load up on healthy fats! They are your friend and so incredibly delicious!
This nutrient isn’t so commonly spoken about in regards to our beauty regimens, but it’s one to be aware of. Sulfur is actually the best beauty mineral of all. It helps to clear the skin, provide strength and regrowth, and even reduces signs of aging through collagen production. The best sources of collagen include raw cacao (the highest source), onions, garlic, eggs, avocados, bok choy, coconut, cabbage, papaya, bananas, watercress, watermelons, and spirulina ( a deep sea algae you can buy in powder or pill form). Sulfur helps your body produce more keratin, which strengthens your hair, skin, and nails. Try eating more sulfur-rich foods, and you should see improvements quickly.
I’ve had issues with my hair so many times in my life, and every single time, a tweak to my diet easily solved the issue. What do you think? What nutrient loss might be a reason for your hair troubles?
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