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What are 5 food groups and why are they included in a diet for healthy hair?


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The 5 food groups are ideally a combination of foods that provide all ingredients necessary for the healthy growth and development of your body and this in turn facilitates better and stronger hair. They are broadly divided into the following 5 categories. 

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Carbohydrates and starch
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Dairy products

A good and nutritious choice of foods taken from these 5 main food groups would not only enhance your hair and body health, they would also help you fight diseases and infections. Plan your diet with these five healthy food formula.

Leafy Vegetables (Iron Rich Foods)

Iron is one of the most important ingredients for the healthy and normal functioning of the body. A body lacking in iron will suffer from fatigue, dizziness and anaemia and iron deficiency hair loss among other things. One should have at least 18 mg of iron every day. This amount varies depending on age, physical condition and gender among other things. 

Green leafy vegetables are the biggest sources of iron. Fenugreek, kale, spinach, lettuce and broccoli are some of the best options to increase your iron levels and this helps significantly  in the growth of good hair. The green leafy vegetables are also rich in potassium and sodium content which are also extremely beneficial for the body. A regular diet of spinach has the capacity to  improve the condition of your hair in a quick time.

 

Fruits ( Vitamins Rich Foods)

Fruits help in improving your health as they have a number of healthy ingredients that help eliminate diseases from your body. They are an essential part of your 5 food groups. They have very good mineral and vitamin content and help reduce the possibility of inflammation, heart disease and diabetes among other things. Lemons have great vitamin A and  C content and also vitamin B-6; lemons are one of the most beneficial fruits for hair growth.

Another fruit rich in vitamins is oranges. The vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant and helps boost the immunity of the body.  Vitamin A present in oranges enhances the quality of your skin and helps in the production of collagen which is a very essential part of your hair content. It also has thiamine and folate, the B-vitamins which augment the RBC content and also help in keeping the nervous and reproductive system in proper working state. 

Vitamin A is one of the most nutritious vitamins and provides a number of benefits. It helps improve your hair and skin among other things. It also helps boost the immune system and assists in the production of sebum which keeps the scalp moisturised and contributes to hair health. Papaya, watermelon, guava, apricots, mango and grapefruit are some of the fruits with excellent vitamin A content.

Vitamin B is one of the most effective ingredients for hair growth. Deficiency of the B vitamin biotin is  believed to contribute to hair loss. The B vitamins help in the production of red blood cells which help in carrying nutrients and oxygen to the hair and scalp.

Vitamin D is believed to play a big role in hair production but it is very difficult to get and most people try to get it from the sun’s rays. Some very good sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, certain mushrooms and fatty fish.

Vitamin E is a wonderful antioxidant and helps reduce oxidative stress. A study indicated that people facing hair fall experienced a significant increase of hair growth when they started taking vitamin E supplements. Some good sources of vitamin E include avocados, almonds, spinach and sunflower seeds.                                    

Nuts and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids bring a number of health benefits for your body, they are a prime component of your beneficial 5 food groups.  While a number of animal-based products contain fatty acids, there are also some seeds and nuts that could help increase your omega 3 fatty acid levels. Apart from healthy skin and strong bone and joints which are some notable benefits from the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, they also work effectively in improving the quality of your strands. Omega 3 fatty acids help moisturise the skin and curb dryness and itchiness. They help in sealing moisture and prevent the entry of irritants. Fish oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. But different varieties of fish have different types of omega acids in differing quantities. Pumpkins and peanuts are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids. 

There are a wide variety of nuts that are also very good for your hair. Brazil nuts are a potent addition to your hair enhancing diet. If you are suffering from hair loss or hair thinning issues you need look no further than brazil nuts. They are rich in selenium which is very good for hair growth. They are very helpful in protecting your hair against harmful UV rays and can also reduce the effect of acne. 

Walnuts are widely regarded as one of the best sources of omega based fatty acids. Walnuts have biotin, magnesium and vitamins B and E which can nourish your scalp and make your hair cuticles stronger. Walnuts also have alpha linoleic acid which is a great natural air conditioner. It can help reduce inflammation, improve brain function, is good for type-2 diabetes and assists in weight management among other things. Cashews, almonds and pecans  also have very good zinc content which facilitates hair tissue growth. Flaxseeds can be added to salads and juices or shakes to enhance the taste element. They also have good protein and fibre content. 

 

Protein Rich Foods

A good dose of protein in your diet is very important for hair growth as hair follicles are made up of protein. A deficiency of protein in your body can also lead to hair loss. It will make your hair porous and limp. Include protein in your diet to help in the production of keratin which is the main ingredient of your hair. Eggs Whites are the best source of protein and apart from that you can have legumes, cottage cheese nuts, tofu and fatty fish which also have good protein content. Protein powders and protein bars are also types of protein supplements. Soy, nuts and lentils are used in protein bars. Do remember to include proteins for hair growth.

Dairy Alternatives

Although milk, eggs and yoghurt are great sources of calcium, they could cause more harm than good. The alternatives could be as delicious and make up for the calcium content. These include soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk, and cashew milk. Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor and many manufacturers fortify it with essential vitamins. Coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil or any other plant based oil as alternatives to butter.

Hydration is Just as Important

Water is one of the main ingredients to promote hair growth. They also facilitate the better effectiveness of vitamins. Water contributes to almost ¼ of the weight of a strand of hair. If you drink at least 2 litres of water on a daily basis it will contribute enormously to the health of your hair. It will prevent brittle hair and stop split ends from occurring. You can also curb dryness, itchiness and dandruff of your scalp.

FAQs

  • How important is a good diet for good hair?

A good diet with the 5 food groups is very important in keeping your hair strong and bouncy. Bad fooding habits will reflect in the condition of your hair as they turn out to be brittle and porous. Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods are one of the most potent foods that help grow better quality & robust hair. 

  • What are the best foods for hair growth?

Fatty fish loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, Leafy greens with lots of iron, fruits full of vitamins,  nuts and seeds filled with the goodness of  antioxidants and nutritious eggs with lots of protein and biotin all work wonderfully to promote great hair health. Incorporate these five healthy foods into your diet. The 5 main food groups are very important for hair growth.

It is no secret that the strength of your strands is greatly affected by the kind of food you eat. This is to say that at times even the best hair products might not help you grow long beautiful tresses if your diet is not healthy.  You might need the help of a nutritionist who will help design a plan including the 5 food groups to take care of the deficiencies in your body. Do get in touch with us at Traya and our experts will make sure that your journey towards hair health is complete and uninterrupted.

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Sangeeta Menon

Nutritionist

Dr. Menon is a Nutritionist with a degree in Food Science. She is a certified Fitness Trainer with expertise in Sports Nutrition. She is also the Founder and Director of a Health Cafe in Vapi and has authored various e-books on Amazon

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