Despite the huge rise of veganism
in recent years, there will still be many of us tucking into some turkey this holiday season.
This traditional festive table staple
is also something of a nutritional heavyweight; turkey is low in both calories and saturated fat, as well as packed with key vitamins and minerals.
Here are a few reasons why carnivores, particularly those wanting to maximise hair health via their diet
, may want to embrace the Christmas bird all year round...
Turkey is a good source of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is important for the smooth running of a number of the body's functions, from energy production and protein metabolism to the formation of red blood cells and maintaining the immune system. This water-soluble B vitamin also supports healthy skin. This is beneficial to the hair given it promotes good bloodflow and scalp condition, both of which are vital for healthy hair growth
A 100g/4oz serving of roast turkey breast provides roughly 25% of an adult's daily vitamin B6 allowance.
Recommended daily intake (EU NRV):
1.4mg for men/1.2mg for women in adults aged 19 - 64.
The NHS advises adults do not exceed 10mg per day if taken in food supplement form, unless advised to do so by a medical professional, adding: "Taking more than 200mg a day of vitamin B6 for a long time can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs known as peripheral neuropathy
Selenium found in turkey can support hair growth
Selenium is one of only three non-medicinal ingredients the UK legally allows to lay claim to supporting the maintenance of normal hair growth. The other two are zinc and biotin, all of which are found in optimum doses in both formulations of Belgravia's exclusive food supplement Hair Vitalics
A 100g/4oz portion of turkey can provide around 20% of your daily selenium intake, a mineral many of us are sorely lacking in, according to a 2010 UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
Recommended daily intake (EU NRV):
0.075mg for men/0.064mg for women in adults aged 19 - 64.
Regularly exceeding the recommended dose
can cause the condition selenosis which may lead to hair loss
, as well as fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, skin and nail problems, as well as a number of additional adverse effects. However, the NHS advises that taking up to 0.35mg per day of selenium in food supplement form is "unlikely to cause any harm".
Turkey is packed with protein for strong hair
Whilst turkey's protein content can aid bone and muscle development, helping you to feel fuller for longer in the process, some of its other components can support hair health.
Hair is made up of protein, therefore, ensuring there is enough in your diet is crucial. Low-protein diets and protein deficiency can result in thinning hair
, hair loss and many other unpleasant side effects.
As with the majority of vitamins and minerals, natural food sources are the best way to include protein in your diet. Protein shakes, though convenient, are not always a great solution and, in some instances, have been anecdotally linked to actually causing hair loss
A 100g/4oz serving of roast turkey breast contains around 29g of protein - roughly 52% of the average adult's daily requirement.
Recommended daily intake:
50g for adults.
Whilst what you eat cannot prevent baldness
where genetic hair loss - better known as Male Pattern Baldness
and Female Pattern Hair Loss
- are concerned, a well-balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of developing hairloss as a result of nutritional deficiencies
. If you are concerned about excessive hair fall, a consultation with a hair specialist should not only put your mind at rest, but also provide you with an expert diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations where appropriate.