Hair and lovely
A balanced diet is as important as external care for luxuriant hair.
HEALTHY HAIR is basic to good looks. Hair gets the least nutrition from the blood, that is, the body takes care of the needs of the organs such as the heart, lungs and the liver first.
Hair is made up of protein matter called Keratin. Each hair grows out of a sac like cavity called the hair follicle, fed by the blood flowing to it. Just like your body, your hair needs a balanced, nutritious diet. The cells of the hair bulb reproduce at a greater rate than any other body cells. Because of its rapid growth, hair is very sensitive to internal and the external changes that may affect our body. Hair loss or dull dry hair is often the first indication of a developing internal disturbance. That is why nutrition plays an important role in the health of the hair.
Keratin is a protein that helps the development of hair. Proteins are needed for the growth and well-being of hair. It is, therefore, necessary to include sources of proteins in your diet. Eggs contain the largest amount of the amino acid, methonine. In addition, eggs are also good sources of vitamins A, B, D & F, and minerals, especially sulphur. So eat one egg a day to give a boost to your hair.
Milk is one of the best sources of protein for a vegetarian, both for kids and elders. It contains extra vitamins and minerals. A glass of milk plus a bowl of curd (yogurt) will do wonders for your hair. Yoghurt contains lactic acid and proteins which are easily digestible. It is also rich in vitamin B complex and lacto bacilli, which help in digestion, and hence, make nutrients more available to the body.
Nuts and dry fruits are also good sources of protein and poly-unsaturated fatty acid, A fist-full of nuts or five almonds soaked over night and taken for breakfast are good for your hair. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of protein, low in calories and high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and rich in minerals and vitamins.
A gradual thinning of hair indicates low levels of iron, zinc or calcium in the body. In over 70 per cent of women who lose hair, low level of iron may be the primary cause. Foods rich in iron must, therefore, be included in your diet. Green leafy vegetables, liver, and eggs are good sources of iron.
If you have been taking a balanced diet, you need not worry about your vitamin intake. The most important vitamin for your hair is vitamin B complex. Fish is excellent; it contains proteins, phosphorous and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are hair nutrients. It has been observed that people who eat fish on a daily basis have healthy and luxuriant hair. Their hair does not grey early.
If you a vegetarian, Omega-3 fatty acid tablets are available at the chemist.
Water not only hydrates your body, but helps to keep it silky and shiny. Your diet should include 8-10 glasses of water and juices.
What you should avoid: Sweets, chocolates, cakes, cookies and deep-fried foods are bad for your hair. Scaling, flaky scalps that are red and itchy can be the result of too much fat or sugar content. Stress, smoking and alcohol are also other enemies of your hair.
Fad diets affect your hair adversely. Hair can become dull and start breaking, so avoid crash diets.
If you are experiencing scalp problems, hair thinning or hair loss, the first step is to improve your diet. If it persists, consult a qualified hair doctor (trichologist).
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