Shriya, a 23-year old college going student had thick hair with good texture; suddenly she noticed that her hair has started losing its volume. She started worrying about her hair and started spending money on expensive products and treatments which brought very little difference in her hair texture. Only when she got to know that she is losing hair because of her iron-deficient diet, her hair loss stopped.
It might sound surprising to many of you but poor nutrition is one of the commonest reasons for hair loss, especially in India. Iron deficiency (anemia) tops the list and is followed by protein deficiency. Improper absorption of the nutrients can also lead to poor nutrition.
Excessive dieting especially mono dieting, which involves completely avoiding a particular type of food group, causes a disturbance in the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, leading to hair loss. Therefore, adding essential nutrients to your diet can help you reverse hair loss.
The first step to knowing what is right for your hair loss is getting it diagnosed. Once you know the problem or deficiency, you can fix it. However, here, we are giving you a list of certain foods which are in general good for your hair and might probably also help reverse hair loss.
5 Essential foods that will keep your hair healthy -
1. Omega- 3 Fatty Acids: They provide nourishment to follicles which not only prevent hair loss but promote its growth. Secondly, they also make your hair more elastic so that they do not break easily. They also cure dry itchy skin, thus preventing dandruff.
Sources: Flaxseed, walnuts, cabbage, beans, broccoli, squash, fish, oil, olive oil and salmon, sardines and tuna
2. Zinc Rich Foods: Deficiency of zinc is one of the major causes of hair loss. Zinc builds proteins, creates DNA and boosts tissue growth and repair. It also regulates hormones which include testosterone, high levels of which can lead to hair loss.
Sources: : Wheat Germ, Spinach, Pumpkin, squash and sunflower seeds, Nuts, Cashew nuts, Bean esp Moong
3. Protein Rich Foods: Essential for hair growth. Amino acids created from proteins can have constructive effects on the look and feel of your hair.
Sources: Lean meat; Pulses like whole moong dal, rajma, chickpeas (kabuli channa), soybeans; nuts, grains, soya, fish, eggs, dairy products
4. Iron Rich Foods: Iron is the carrier of oxygen within your body. Its deficiency can mean less oxygen reaching your head and less oxygen means poor blood circulation which in turn will definitely lead to hair problems including hair loss.
Sources: Red meat, liver, fish, poultry, leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, dates
5. Vitamins A and C: Vitamin A prevents dryness of scalp by ensuring that body produces and controls enough supply of sebum, natural oil required to keep scalp moist and healthy. Vitamin C aids in improving scalp circulation. It is important to maintain capillaries that carry blood to the follicles. However, don’t go overboard. Excess vitamin A can even lead to hair loss. So have this vitamin in moderation. .
Sources of Vitamin A: Orange and yellow coloured fruits and vegetables like orange, sweet lime, papaya, mango; green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek (methi) leaves, also drumstick
Sources of Vitamin C: Indian gooseberry (amla), guava, citrus fruits, tomatoes and green peppers