The festive season is upon us and many people will be going to parties, as well as work and family Christmas dinners. And as we head toward 2010, many people will be thinking of New Year Resolutions and a healthier diet with the aim of losing weight. But would you consider a healthier diet to prevent hair loss? As you contemplate what to have from the menu or what to cook over the holidays, remember there are certain foods that are essential to ensure healthy hair and skin and would be good to include in your diet.
Eggs & Chicken
As hair is mostly made of protein, it is important to include good sources of protein such as eggs and chicken which will help to produce keratin. If protein levels drop too low or if the protein in your diet is of a poor quality, then the hair becomes weak and brittle. This can make it prone to breakage. Other good sources of protein include kidney, cheese and beans. Chicken is also the most-easily absorbed source of iron, which plays an important role in creating hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. By ensuring the scalp receives a healthy blood flow, iron ensures other key nutrients are easily absorbed by the hair follicles. Eggs are a good source of sulphur which maintains healthy hair follicles and helps hair grow by improving the blood circulation to the scalp and reducing inflammation. Eggs also provide biotin and vitamin B12 which also help keep hair growth strong. Given the time of year, turkey is another good source of protein and B vitamins and will help keep hair healthy.
Seafood is considered by some to be essential for hair growth and maintenance. Fish contains sulphur and provides essential fatty acids necessary for the maintenance of healthy hair and skin. Essential omega-3 fatty acids keep the scalp healthy; a deficiency usually leads to a dry scalp and hair. If you are vegetarian, then there are plant based omega-3 fatty acids – include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet.
Zinc-rich foods such as mussels, shrimp and oysters strengthen the hair follicles, which helps prevent hair loss. Zinc plays a key role in many of the body’s functions, including hair growth, and helps to build cells, keeps hormones balanced and assists with the absorption of various other vitamins.
Dried Fruit & Nuts
Don’t ignore those nibbles at Christmas time; dried fruit and nuts are full of iron, sulphur and biotin. They also great sources of vitamin E which encourages good blood circulation on the scalp. Brazil nuts are one of the best natural sources of selenium, a mineral which is essential for a healthy scalp. Walnuts, cashews and almonds are fantastic sources of zinc; if your zinc levels are too low, the hair can start to shed excessively.
Dark Green Vegetables
Spinach and broccoli are good sources of vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins are essential for the production of sebum, an oily residue secreted by the hair follicles which helps keep the hair moisturized. Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium which are important for strong, healthy hair.
Winter is a great time to include porridge as part of your daily diet; oats provide a range of minerals that help hair grow such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Alcohol consumption at Christmas time often increases which means you should up your intake of water to keep the skin and hair hydrated. If the body becomes too dehydrated, the hair can become brittle and weak and may break.
By including plenty of the above foods in your diet and drinking plenty of water, you will help keep your hair looking its best. By maintaining a good intake of minerals and vitamins you can help prevent nutritional deficiency which is one cause of a type of hair loss called Diffuse Thinning.
However, even a healthy diet cannot prevent the most common type of hair loss, Androgenetic Alopecia. More commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, approximately 80% of men and 50% of women develop the condition at some point during their lives. If you are concerned about this, or any other type of hair loss, then contact the Belgravia Centre. The clinic has a team of hair loss specialists who will diagnose the condition and discuss treatment options, if required. To see the type of conditions treated and photos of the results, take a look around the Hair Loss Success Stories.
To book an appointment (which is free) just call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will contact you over the next two working days.