Your plate tells us the health of your hair
If you had to define a regular week day, what would you say?
This is something we’ve commonly heard people say -
1) Wake up
2) Eat breakfast
3) Travel to work
4) Come back home
5) Sleep (THE BEST PART)
But don’t you think that somewhere in the middle all of this... we’re missing out on a little bit of something?
We could’ve easily defined our breakfast as “A good breakfast” or our sleep as “A restful sleep.”
Why didn’t we?
Let’s help you gain an insight into this.
According to Ayurveda says a person’s “healthiness” can be gauged by these specific signs :
- High energy Levels
- Healthy hunger levels
- Regularity in bowel movements.
- Uninterrupted REM sleep cycle
- Good skin health
- Type of odor released from one’s body and mouth
We know, that’s a lot of adulting to accomplish in just 24 hours with the work deadlines, the social commitments and “me” time. But there’s one small change which can help you maintain the above and reduce your hair loss.
Here’s a little interesting fact about hair loss. It’s not an isolated condition. It is triggered by many factors and two of the most important ones are DIET and METABOLISM!
Have you ever found yourself saying the following
“Why am I showing signs of this vitamin deficiency?”
“Why don’t I feel hungry”
Lastly, “WHY AM I LOSING HAIR?!”
Food is one of the many factors that can determine overall health status and quite literally as it has been said before, you are what you eat (No, your hair won’t look like broccoli if you eat too much of it).
Consuming the right foods (by right foods we mean, boiled/roasted vegetables, fruits, grains, meat, etc.) provides better nutrition to your body. Fresh fruits and vegetables in the most basic sense contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals as compared to deep fried foods.
A recent study among school children suggests that 71% of children consumed the most common junk food being chips.
This is why we’re concerned with oily food : When food is fried, it tends to lose all it’s nutritional value (protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, etc) and in place of that, contains higher fat and cholesterol levels.
We understand, those chips may have been quite the fad then.
We’ve all been there.
But eating healthy isn’t a hard choice anymore (especially once adulthood sets in). By that I mean, you could just begin by simply incorporating part of it into your current eating habits. For example,Our Tatva team snacks on raw carrots, cucumbers and a mix of nuts during the day (AND IT’S OUR FAVOURITE SNACK OF THE DAY!).
Plus, it doesn’t really hurt to give it a twist or two sometimes.
It all begins with you and how you choose to make this important lifestyle choice (after all giving up generic fried and spicy food can be a little challenging). Once you make that difference, your body will start showing it in the most subtle ways!
The effect of it can be as simple as converting a challenging sleepy afternoon (don’t we all feel that?!) into an energetic brainstorming session sooner than you could expect. Plus, you’re saving yourself the effort of unnecessary expenditure on common health issues like cholesterol. Ofcourse you can’t expect your body to change drastically in a day (haven’t you heard? Good things come to those who wait ;D) but trust me, it’s positively affecting your inner health and with that, your hair. This is how our nutritionist formulates your diet plan as well.
No need to start with an extensive diet, she quite understands the challenges that could crop up. So, your first month starts off with a simple list about your food intake and then we dive into the details after she gets an understanding of what you can and cannot do.
Since hair will receive all the nutrients it needs with your improved metabolic and digestive activity, you won’t ever want to go back to eating unhealthy.
Beautiful hair is the epitome of beauty for ages, and good food has a lot to contribute here. While genes play a vital role in having beautiful and voluminous hair, other things such as environment, lifestyle, and a healthy diet help you maintain the health of your hair.
Everyone has their share of bad hair day experiences. Needless to say, when you have gorgeous flowing hair, you feel confident about yourself. Likewise, a bad hair day may make you feel less confident about yourself. On the other hand, if your hair is in good health, it will automatically appear manageable and less bad hair day.
The struggle with dull, dry, frizzy, and thinning hair is real, and it is no surprise that the health of hair requires less effort and time to style or manage. However, if you have been struggling a lot with damaged, unruly and dull hair that is hard to style and care for, there is probably another thing that you might need to change along with your lifestyle – your diet.
A well-rounded diet that spells the health of hair should be included in your menu as it is essential for the health of your scalp and overall hair. A healthy diet is made up of protein, Omega -3 fatty acids, leafy greens, and all good nutrients. So what are things that you should include in your diet for the health of hair? We shall discuss all the foods for healthy hair in this blog. So keep reading to discover more!
Importance of Proteins & Fatty Acids for Hair Growth
Protein is an essential body-building macronutrient that is great for muscles. The good news is, protein is also good for the health of hair. Did you know your hair consists of protein? Your hair’s protein is called keratin, which again consists of amino acids – organic compounds derived from the consumption of protein you eat that are broken down by the body. Lesser protein intake can lead to breakage of hair and slow hair growth.
If your food contains less protein, then the protein you consume will go to more important body functions such as cardiovascular and muscular-skeletal functions and not hair growth. That means if your body is deficient in the required amount of protein, the body neglects the scalp and the hair. Therefore you should have protein-rich food for hair growth and maintain the health of hair throughout your life.
Whether it is the muscle tissue in your body or keratin structures in your hair, your body requires enough protein to support the building blocks. Since our hair is made of keratin, it makes complete sense to include protein in our food for the health of hair. So, how much protein should you eat? According to our dermatologist, an average 50-year older woman should eat around 50-53 grams of protein in a day, and a man of the same age should consume about 56 grams of protein each day since he weighs more than woman.
Here are some of the protein sources you should include in your food for the health of hair-
Eggs are excellent sources of protein and biotin, two nutrients essential for hair growth. Your hair follicles require protein to produce keratin. In addition, the yolk in eggs is loaded with healthy fats that moisturize the scalp and make your hair look shiny and healthy.
If you are a vegetarian, nuts are an excellent source of protein for hair growth and the overall health of hair. Nuts are rich in nutrients like vitamin B, vitamin E, zinc, and fatty acids for thick and lustrous hair.
Salmon is not just a tasty appetizer; it is rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, it is proved that Omega-3 fatty acids have helped increase the density and health of hair.
A good choice for vegans, beans are another rich source of plant-based protein, which is crucial for the health of hair and growth. As compared to men, deficiency of iron is more in women than in men. To complete this deficiency, you should include more beans in your diet to fulfill iron and protein requirements for strong and healthy hair.
Fatty acids are equally crucial for beautiful and healthy hair. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat in our body and are absorbed by the blood. Consuming fatty acids can help you boost your hair growth, improve hair texture and density.
One of the common forms of fatty acids is Omega-3, a polyunsaturated fatty acid that promotes hair health. In addition, fish oil is a commonly consumed fatty acid that nourishes the hair follicles and promotes hair strength.
Some of the sources of fatty acid for the health of hair include-
Fish and seafood – cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and mackerel.
Nuts and seeds – chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts
Fortified foods – eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, soy beverages.
Omega-3 supplements also include cod liver oil, algal oil, krill oil, and fish oil.
Research has found that Omega-3 helps in increasing the thickness of hair and overall health of hair.
Vitamins and minerals are other vital nutrients essential for hair growth. These are essential for your hair growth cycle. A deficit of vitamins in your diet may cause hair loss and deplete the health of hair. In addition, vitamins help keep the scalp moisturized, remove itchiness from the scalp, and prevent hair from becoming brittle.
Vitamin E is one of the best anti-oxidants that contribute to vitamins for hair growth. It does not just relieve the cells; it also protects the hair from oxidative stress and UV radiations.
Should you ask how vitamin E helps in hair growth? Well, here’s the answer-
Vitamin E helps support a healthy scalp and protects the scalp and hair from free radicals in the environment. Vitamin E also helps restore shine that your hair might have lost due to environmental damage or exposure to the sun.
Vitamin E is essential to a healthy scalp and skin. It removes the oxidative stress from the hair and preserves the protective lipid layer. Vitamin supports the scalp and gives your hair a solid base to grow, enhancing hair health. You need to add calories, proteins, micronutrients, and vitamin E into your diet that helps in hair growth, hair loss and help maintain the hair structure.
Olive oil, leafy greens, nuts, etc., are some of the richest sources of vitamin E.
Your food should include vitamins for hair growth. Some vitamin E rich sources of food are-
- Sunflower seeds
- Mango Avocado
- Red bell pepper
- Wheat germ oil
- Beet greens and collard greens
Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Hair
If your everyday has become a bad hair day and you are done facing all types of hair problems, it is time for you to change things up. Besides food, lifestyle has to do a lot for the health of hair. Here are some of the best lifestyle habits for healthy hair-
Embrace a healthy diet for the health of hair
A healthy diet can help you achieve great hair goals. It will not just make your hair stronger but help it grow. As you know, your hair is made up of protein; including more protein in your diet will only help maintain beautiful traces and the health of hair.
Protect your hair from the sun
Sun can have a damaging effect on your hair. Besides fading color-treated hair, exposure to the sun can dry and damage your hair, making it brittle. Cover your head with a scarf or ahead when you have to spend too much time in the sun.
Invest in a sulfate-free shampoo
There are a lot of commercial shampoos that claim to fortify strength and grow your hair. The grim truth is that these shampoos are laden with harsh chemicals that can adversely affect your scalp and hair health of hair. Instead, invest in a sulfate-free shampoo to wash your hair to remove excess sebum and debris.
Every time you shampoo, it is essential you condition your hair as well. Use a leave-in conditioner once every week to keep your hair conditioned.
Use a brush as per your hair
Not all brushes are designed for all hair. If you have fine and thin hair, use a boar bristle hairbrush for the health of your hair. It will give shine and volume to your hair. If you have curly hair, use a synthetic fiber brush to be more flexible and help you detangle your hair.
Top Hair Maintenance Tips
Bouncy, vibrant, and voluminous hair might seem a far-fetched dream to you now, but with the right diet, right lifestyle and hair maintenance tips, you can have that beautiful hair you always wanted. Here are some hair maintenance tips for the health of hair-
Dry your hair naturally – avoid using the dryer to dry your hair. Let your hair dry naturally.
Proper oiling of hair – pre-shampoo oiling is a must to help improve blood circulation as it is based on hair health.
Wide toothed brush – Wet hair is fragile and can cause breakage. Combing with a wide-toothed brush will prevent damage to your hair.
Trim your hair - Regular trimming of hair will get rid of split ends. Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks for the health of your hair.
Drink more water – Your hair needs hydration to be beautiful. So drink more water for the health of hair and growth.
Well if you’re wondering whether you’re really ready for this big step, YOU ARE. Go ahead, show yourself some love by putting in the extra effort for your body, you deserve it.
Eating right, using the right products, and healthy hair tips will help you keep your hair beautiful and maintain the health of hair throughout your life.
A little bit of love, a little bit of health
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Zahra is the hair coach-in-chief at Traya. She works closely with the doctors to monitor all cases. She is a fitness freak and has not touched sugar in years!