As you get older your hair can start to thin. In fact it’s so common that half of women over 40 will experience some hair loss. And let’s be honest, when those hairs start filling up your hairbrush it can be hard to not panic.
Don’t, do something about it instead. Although the causes of hair loss can be anything from fluctuating hormones to nutritional deficiencies, in many cases certain foods have been found to be helpful for restoring strength and shine, leaving your with a healthier and thicker head of hair.
Following are four foods that are proven to help keep hair healthy.
Your body uses vitamin C to produce hair-building collagen protein. This vital vitamin also helps your better absorb iron, another vitamin that’s essential for a healthy hair. Eating more vitamin C rich foods such as strawberries could help keep your hair from becoming brittle and breaking. Yellow bell pepper, kale, guava and kiwi are other high-C foods you can try.
Eggs are brimming with biotin, a B vitamin which your body uses to help grow strong hair and nails. Hair loss and brittle nails are signs that you may be deficient in this important vitamin.1,2,3 A supplement containing biotin, along with some other hair-supporting ingredients (such as vitamin C), promoted hair growth and decreased hair loss in a group of women with thinning hair, according to the study published in the journal Dermatology Research and Practice.4
Running low on iron could be behind your thinning hair and spinach is a great way to raise your levels of this important mineral. Your doctor can easily check your levels for you. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology looked at over 40 years of research on iron deficiency and hair loss and concluded that restoring your iron levels could be the key to restoring your hair growth.5 Spinach also delivers plenty of hair friendly omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamin A for a healthy shiny head of hair. Clams, oysters and beans are also terrific sources of iron.
Oysters are rich in the mineral zinc which can be connected to hair loss.6,7 In one small study zinc supplements helped more than half of folks suffering from alopecia related hair loss.8 Other good sources of zinc include beef, shrimp, eggs, nuts, lobster and crab.
1. “Zinc and biotin deficiencies after pancreaticoduodenectomy,” Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 283–286, 2010
2. Hair loss in long-term or home parenteral nutrition: are micronutrient deficiencies to blame?” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 690–697, 2010
3. “Biotin and biotinidase deficiency,” Expert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 715–724, 2008
4. “A 3-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair,” Dermatology Research and Practice, Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 841570, 8 pages
5.”The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss,”Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 54 , Issue 5 , 824 – 844
6. “Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss, Ann Dermatol. 2013 Nov; 25(4): 405–409
7. “Polycystic ovarian syndrome, the Pill and mineral deficiencies,” BMJ 1998; 317
8. “The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level,” Ann Dermatol. 2009 May; 21(2): 142–146
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