Our hair is not an important tissue to the body. Hair follicles are the last to receive nutrients from the supplements we take, and from the foods we eat, especially when there is a deficiency with in the body.
For optimal hair growth, we must supply our bodies with essential nutrients on a daily basis. Here are seven things you can do to avoid sluggish hair follicles (thinning hair, brittle hair, hair lacks luster or shine).
Drink plenty of water
Drink half your body weight of water throughout the day. Drinking enough water helps hydrate your scalp and hair and avoids dryness. Your scalp, just like your skin can feel dry, peel and itch, you can help prevent this from happening by drinking great amounts of water.
Do not wait long periods on time to eat
When you wait too long to eat or skip meals during the day, it can cause your body to go into a hypoglycemic state. It is important to eat every three to four hours for hair health.
Amy Hess-Fischl MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE says, “Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).”
When your blood sugar levels stay low for too long from not eating, it can cause you to feel tired, irritable or depressed. You may get headaches or crave sugary foods. Hypoglycemia can cause excessive hair loss all over the scalp also known as diffuse hair loss.
Eating on time and often every day is vital for hair health because it provides fuel our follicle cells need to work at their best and not be sluggish which can cause slow hair growth.
Make sure you eat enough protein
Hair is composed of mostly protein. Eating protein rich foods is essential for healthy hair growth because our bodies use the protein from the foods we eat to build up muscle and tissue. Hair is a type of tissue so try to eat, lean meats, eggs, oats, Greek yogurt and almonds which are some great sources of protein.
If you have a plant based diet, make sure you eat plant based protein rich foods. Some of these foods include lentil or green peas, leafy greens, spirulina, tofu, and nuts.
Pick healthy snacks
During the day, you may feel hungry and have the urge to eat an unhealthy snack. Try to prepack healthy snacks that give your body an energy boost but satisfy a little sweetness or saltiness you crave. Snack on whole grain crackers and use hummus or peanut butter as a spread. Hummus will provide fiber and help you feel fuller longer, peanut butter can help fuel your body with protein, just what your follicles need for healthy hair growth and energy.
Carry bananas or apples with you on the go so that help you never have to snack on food that is not good for you and so that you are never starving before another meal. This will also help make sure your blood sugar levels stay leveled.
Eat a variety of foods
We all have our favorite foods that we may want to eat everyday but it is important to change up the type of foods you are eating to make sure your body is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs for your hair to thrive and grow properly.
Stay away from foods that trigger your scalp condition
Dairy foods can increase the symptoms associated with flaky scalp problems such as psoriasis, dandruff, dry scalp and eczema. Therefore, you may want to stay away from eating high amounts of dairy. There are foods that can provide you with calcium that are dairy free and you should try to eat those foods instead. Try to make smoothies with soymilk or almond milk. Eat sardines, kale or Bok Choy.
Combine iron with vitamin c
Healthy hair growth relies heavily on proper iron levels. Iron provides energy to our cells. Iron is absorbed by the body with the help of vitamin C. Iron levels are especially important for women who are menstruating. Try to eat foods high in iron every day. Have a salad with spinach and other dark leafy vegetables. Red meat, fish, beans, raisins and apricots are all options. You can drink a glass of juice that is fortified with vitamin c after your iron fortified meal. Orange juice, great fruit juice and cranberry juice are some examples.
Try to incorporate these daily habits into your life and see if it makes a difference with the health of your hair.
What daily nutritional habits do you have for optimal hair growth?