Who wouldn’t want long, strong, and lustrous locks? But due to poor nutrition, pollution, and stress, many people suffer from hair-related issues, from hair fall and thinning to weak and flaky hair. Many people try a lot of different products. However, seldom the focus shifts on nutrition. Just like any of your body parts, your hair needs nutrition too to be and look healthy. And to know what nutrition it needs, Onlymyhealth spoke to Rakshita Mehra, who is a nutritionist and the founder of Nutrishala.
List Of Nutrients That Your Hair Needs
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If you wish for those healthy manes, here are the nutrients you must include in your diet:
- Protein: Make sure you include some amount of protein in your every big meal, which is breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These can be high-quality proteins, which contain both essential and non-essential amino acids.
- Vitamin A: Among the vitamins and minerals, vitamin A is very important for healthy hair.
- Vitamin C: This is not just immunity-boosting, but also contains collagen. It is also rich in antioxidants, hence, kills the free radicals, reduces oxidative stress, and prevents chronic inflammation.
- Vitamin D: Due to less exposure to sunlight, many have vitamin D deficiency. This might be one of the possible reasons for your poor hair health.
- Calcium: It has an association with vitamin D, which gets absorbed by the body due to calcium.
- Iron: This one is very important, especially for women, as many women have iron deficiency since we menstruate. Anemia is a disease caused by iron deficiency, and it is often associated with hair fall. Hence, include some iron-rich foods in your diet. And, just like calcium and vitamin D have a connection, so do vitamin C and iron. This particular vitamin helps in the absorption of iron. Hence, pomegranate and lemon juice can be a good combination.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: This particular nutrient has been linked to hair growth.
- Fiber: You must also include a sufficient amount of fiber in your diet, as it keeps you full for long and doesn’t interfere with your blood sugar level.
Although these nutrients should be your priority, you must have a balanced diet, which includes all food groups and nutrients in the right proportion.
Foods You Must Have For Healthy Hair
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Now that we have gone through the nutrients, let us have a look at the food items that contain these, and which you must include in your diet:
- Milk: This wonder drink is rich in vitamins A, D, and calcium.
- Eggs: As these are also high in vitamin D and calcium.
- Yellow, orange and dark green coloured vegetables: These contain vitamin A
- Nuts and Seeds: These contain omega-3 fatty acids.
- Citrus fruits such as amla, orange and kiwi: Iron: Contain vitamin C
- Spinach, ragi, dates and raisins: Contain iron
- Regarding sources of fiber, you can have whole grains such as wheat, millet, oats, and legumes such as chickpeas, rajma, sprouts.
You must remember that fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. Hence, you must have at least two servings of fruits and 5-6 servings of vegetables in a day.
Also read: Benefits Of Coconut for Hair: Make These 5 DIY Coconut Masks To Get Healthy And Nourished Hair
Lifestyle Tips For Healthy Hair
Especially during winters, many people experience hair thinning. As we saw how important nutrition is. However, there are some lifestyle tips that might ensure you strong and healthy locks:
- Make sure your diet contains enough protein and iron.
- Consume more naturally occurring foods.
- Try to avoid highly-processed, refined and fried foods.
- Have a balanced diet
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Limit alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
- Although physical activity has no relation with hair growth, exercising regularly improves your overall health, which will show both internally, and externally.
- Hygiene is very important. Change your bedsheet frequently and wash your hair at least twice a week.
- Stress can have an impact on your hair health. It shows in the form of hair loss, thinning and flaky hair. Hence, stress management is crucial. You can do this by including physical activity in your routine, doing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
- Last but not the least, sleep is important for overall health. Hence, make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep in a day.
Incorporate these tips in your daily routine for healthy, strong, and lustrous hair.
(With inputs from Rakshita Mehra, who is a nutritionist and the founder of Nutrishala)