It’s not news that everything from halitosis to hair loss is influenced by your diet and getting those daily doses of vitamins and minerals. What is new, however, is that researchers have now found that, in addition to helping to maintain good health and robust hair growth, eating fruit and vegetables can make people smile a lot more, too.
More fruit and veg led to happiness
The findings came after a study involving 12,000 Australians who recorded how much fruit and veg they ate over a given period. The people who increased their intake of fruit and vegetables the most saw the biggest gains in happiness levels. In fact, going from virtually no fruit and veg to eight portions a day is reported to give a boost in ‘life satisfaction’ that is as powerful as moving from unemployment to employment.
Andrew Oswald, a professor at the University of Warwick in the UK, co-authored the report with Redzo Mujcic, a research fellow at the University of Queensland. In summing up, they wrote that: “These findings are consistent with the idea that eating certain foods is a form of investment in future happiness and well-being.”
The findings perhaps shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to anyone who has adopted a ‘holistic’ approach to their mind and body; the belief that diet, health and lifestyle are all related often rings true. It is certainly true that nutrition and hair loss are inextricably linked, with several diet-related hair loss conditions possible in both men and women.
Recently, Professor Barry M Popkin at the University of North Carolina said that the western world had adopted a diet that was far too reliant on sugary foods, sugars having been named as a prime cause of dietary-related hairloss by Panos Vasiloudes, Medical Director of the global clinic Harklinikken. He said that too much sugar leads to rapid glucose spikes that cause an overreaction by several hormones. This, he said, can lead to general hair thinning.
An excess of sugar can also play a part in type-2 diabetes – a health issue which is on the rise and now affects an estimated 520 million people worldwide – and can, in turn can lead to hair-loss problems.
Another offender is iron deficiency – diets lacking in iron can lead to poor transfer of haemoglobin and, therefore, oxygen in the bloodstream. Hair growth can suffer as a result. A lack of zinc wreaks similar havoc, causing shafts to weaken and become brittle.
Genetic conditions exacerbated
But which hair loss conditions can these various forms of dietary upheaval play a part in?
One of the most surprising answers is genetic hair loss, aka Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss. Though these conditions are both hereditary and caused almost exclusively by genetics, bad diets and poor overall health can exacerbate these forms of shedding, or trigger their onset in those with an existing predisposition. It is also possible to have genetic hairloss alongside a temporary condition which can cause even more shedding. Hair loss specialists are trained to spot these issues and bespoke personalised hair loss treatment courses tailored to each individual’s specific needs.
More commonly seen as a result of poor diet, and one of the temporary conditions mentioned above, is Telogen Effluvium, which manifests itself as a general all-over thinning. When this lasts for six months or more, it is reclassified as Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Thinning.
Just as telogen effluvium treatment can be effective in speeding up regrowth for those who do not want to wait for their hair to grow back naturally, there is also appropriate chronic telogen effluvium treatment available. This should be used in addition to addressing the underlying problem causing the shedding.
Dietary imbalances can also make the hair look thinner and duller if it is malnourished, which can make already thinning hair appear in a worse state. Hair health is not easily-won: it needs the right combination of good food and a healthy lifestyle – which is why some people choose to top up their vitamin and mineral intake with a product like Belgravia’s Hair Vitalics. What is worth remembering, however, is that no matter how healthy you are and how shiny your locks, it is no guarantee of immunity from a hair loss condition.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.