Question: I have recently started juicing and wondered if this increase in fruit and vegetables in my diet might help to prevent hair loss? My hair sheds quite a lot but does not appear to be thinning just yet, although this is something I worry about.
Answer: Hi Karina, the current health craze for juicing is definitely a great way to encourage people to up their daily intake of fruit and vegetables. However, this extra boost of vitamins and minerals can only help to prevent hair loss conditions that are caused by vitamin deficiencies, such as Telogen Effluvium.
Thinning hair in women is generally caused by Female Pattern Hair Loss which is a hereditary condition. The only medically-proven treatment for female hair loss is the MRSA-licensed product, minoxidil. Unfortunately juicing will not help to prevent, nor to treat this genetic hair loss condition so if you are worried about this, you may want to speak to a hair loss expert.
That said, the good news is that, by introducing extra nutrients into your diet, this should improve the condition of your hair, helping it to grow through strong and healthy. Anyone concerned about hair loss who does not think their diet provides them with enough of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair can try adding the following foods to their daily intake. Alternatively they may prefer to take a dietary supplement such as our Hair Vitalics.
Whilst we are not nutritionists, the ingredients listed below are a few of those widely known to be among the most valuable for promoting healthy hair, and can easily be included in juices or smoothies:
A staple in green juices, vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard or kale provide a hit of iron and the darker the leaves, the better. Your body needs iron to move oxygen around the body, maintaining good blood flow. This, in turn, will help to transport necessary nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. Adding oats to your breakfast juice is a good way to increase your iron intake, as well as helping you to feel fuller for longer.
Dairy produce can be mixed with juice to form a protein-rich smoothie. Their taste is often masked by the inclusion of other ingredients such as berries, carrots, or citrus fruits, so you can get your protein without even noticing! Cottage cheese, chia seeds or silken tofu can add a protein boost to your smoothie without any noticeable taste, whilst greek yoghurt will add a creamy consistency as well as protein. Peanut butter - the pure kind with no additives of any kind - is a favourite with health-conscious smoothie fans as it provides protein, magnesium, vitamin E and, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, consuming around 2 tablespoons of peanut butter at least 5 days a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, plus guava are packed with vitamin C and are great for making tasty juices from. However, red peppers can provide a delicious alternative with an equally powerful vitamin impact. Vitamin C aids the production of sebum, which is secreted by the hair follicles and is vital for healthy hair. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron so try to include ingredients that are good for both these elements in your juices or smoothies.
Nuts such as almonds, cashews or brazil nuts, plus bananas and oats are all wonderful sources of magnesium. Magnesium is important as it's responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, one of which is hair growth.
A lack of zinc in your diet can cause hair to fall out so include flaxseeds - or flaxseed oil - pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and/or walnuts in your juices to add zinc goodness and a nutty taste. These ingredients are also rich in the omega oils needed for brain function, joint health and to strengthen the hair follicles whilst nourishing the scalp.
are important for a number of functions, from hormone production to the repair of DNA, they deal with the body's overall growth and development - including your hair.
Whilst many B vitamins can be ingested by eating - or drinking - dark green, leafy vegetables, avocados, nuts and bananas, B-12 is an essential vitamin that can be delivered easily by adding soya milk to your smoothie. There are even B-12 fortified versions available if you feel you are particularly lacking in this vitamin which aids the production of red blood cells and is crucial for nerve function.
Berries, carrots and swiss chard can all help to increase your intake of biotin which is considered the 'hair growth vitamin'.
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