Do you think about how the food you eat will affect your body in a few years? You should. Learn more about what foods cause hair loss and prevent it…
What Foods Cause Hair Loss?
There are multiple of reasons why people tend to lose hair; however, the key player in the health of your hair lies in nutrition. A familial history of baldness with the combination of unhealthy food can increase your hair fall drastically.
Keeping in mind that “Too much of anything good can be bad”, a balanced diet can prove to be beneficial to your hair but, consuming too much of something isn’t ideal if you’re preventing hair loss.
You have probably heard that hair fall is genetically inherited and there’s nothing you can do about it, however, food and hair fall go hand in hand, and there are certain types of foods you should avoid to prevent hair loss and certain types of food that you have to take for a good set of locks.
For those of you who are worrying about the number of strands left on your scalp, avoiding these types of food might actually help reduce your hair loss.
Carbohydrates are your worst enemy. Refined carbohydrates that are present in cakes, biscuits, ice cream, bread and white flour are high in sugar and may lead to indirect hair loss. It’s known for a fact that carbohydrates inhibit the body to handle stress and stress is a major contributing factor to hair loss. So if your stress levels go unchecked, that may lead to an increase in hair fall.
Furthermore, to utilize refined carbohydrates, the body produces large amounts of Insulin which again has a negative effect on hair. Food coming in this category should definitely be avoided if you feel your hair is falling off at a faster rate.
Whereas, switching to complex carbohydrates such as beans and bananas can be beneficial; they are high in fiber, aid in digestion, provide a steady blood flow to the entire body and scalp to immensely improve your hair follicles.
These foods have high glycemic indices and contain artificial coloring agents which are known to cause blood sugar spikes which explained earlier can lead to hair thinning.
A typical western breakfast is milk, sugary cereal and a whole lot of sugar, no wonder why men in the west lose hair at a very young age.
Cereals offer a high glycogen dose but the problem is when they remove the natural fiber from it, in return this causes it to digest and absorb slowly into our bodies. The removal of this natural fiber causes an insane sugar spike in the bloodstream to which the body responds by releasing ridiculous amounts of insulin which again is a contributing factor to hair thinning.
Greasy foods tend to clog up arteries and could possibly be a death trap for your skin and scalp. Consuming greasy foods on the regular can lead to miniaturization of hair follicles, restricted blood flow, and clogged sweat pores. Clogging of these vital sweat pores can lead to entrapment of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) and other harmful hormones that can trigger hair loss.
Now, most people would suggest that using a good shampoo can reopen these clogged follicles, however, most people tend to avoid shampoos because they also contain chemicals that may destroy hair follicles. Therefore, if you want to avoid the hassle of finding the “Ultimate Shampoo” switching your diet to a less greasy one is the way to go about it.
When people tend to opt for a sugar-free diet they often jump to the conclusion that Sugar-free drinks, ice creams, and other edible items are the way to go about it. However, sugar-free foods contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener. According to the FDA, aspartame can cause hair loss and thinning of the hair along with a number of diseases such as arthritis, bloating, depression, impotency, and sexual problem, so it’s better to completely stay away from foods that have an artificial sweetener.
Dairy can destroy hair follicles because of its highly acidic nature and its ability to cause allergic reactions.
The primary reason why acidic foods can cause hair loss is that they can trigger allergic reactions leading to a cascade of immune responses in which our body tends to destroy cells, tissues such as hair follicles in a process called inflammation. The result is a constricted blood flow which leads to hair loss and hair thinning.
Dairy products itself aren’t harmful but the pasteurization process that it goes through is. The pasteurization process destroys an enzyme that allows us to digest dairy in the first place.
Without it, our bodies have a hard time digesting products such as milk. As a matter of fact, all pasteurized dairy products that we consume is digested by the bacteria and secreted as waste products in the body which again can be a contributing factor to hair loss.
Furthermore, dairy also blocks pores resulting in pasty skin. This can cause follicle miniaturization and thinning hair.
Foods that contain a high amount of selenium can cause hair fall. Although the body does require traces of selenium because it is considered as an antioxidant but if taken in large amounts can lead to hair loss.
Selenium is a mineral found in the periodic table that’s known to help the body’s immune system and also works to prevent damage to cells and tissues. Furthermore, it is also known to help fight cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and thyroid diseases. Being that as it may, an overdose of Selenium can trigger hair loss.
The NHS recommends men get 0.075mg a day, while women have 0.06mg a day.
Sources of food that contain a high amount of selenium include brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, and whole wheat bread.
What Foods Prevent Hair Loss?
Since you’ve read about the foods that you have to avoid, there are certain minerals and vitamins you can take to control your hair fall. As mentioned before, nutrition is a key player in controlling your hair fall; here are a couple of vitamins, minerals, and foods that you have to eat for a good set of hair
Vitamin C doesn’t only help us fight flu but it also plays a major role in synthesizing collagen. Lemons and oranges have an abundant amount of Vitamin C that can fight your hair fall, plus, you can also take supplements in a controlled fashion.
A research conducted in 2012 compared two groups of women, one which took a placebo and another consumed Vitamin C. The women who had Vitamin C in their diet experienced less hair fall as compared to the other group.
Almost all the time hair loss is caused due to a lack of protein. Not only consuming a healthy amount of protein will build lean muscles, help in weight loss but it can also stop hair thinning.
A recent study conducted in 2017 proves that lack of nutrients can have a direct effect on hair loss.
The B family of Vitamins can prove to be a useful ally in beating hair fall. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a well-known vitamin that prevents hair from growing gray and it is present in abundance in Shellfish and in poultry.
Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
Carrots are known to be good for the eyes because of the abundant concentration of Vitamin A present, plus, they can give you long and beautiful hair as well. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which acts as a converter; it converts Vitamin A for our body to be utilized. A deficiency of either Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene can leave you with a dry or itchy scalp.
Sneaking in a big bowl of oats in your breakfast can possibly be the cure to your hair fall. Oats have everything you need, fiber, zinc, iron, omega-6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) all of which stimulate hair growth.
You can add walnuts to your diet to prevent hair loss. Walnuts contain biotin, vitamins from the B family (B1, B6, and B9), vitamin E, protein and magnesium – all of which are required for a good set of hair and scalp.
Lentils are full of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. Furthermore, they are full of folic acid which is required for red blood cell formation. An ample amount of red blood cells is absolutely necessary for the “Perfect Skin” and a healthy scalp which explains why people are going for Carboxytherapy (A treatment to increase red blood cells in a localized area) to get rid of wrinkles, stretch marks and to prevent hair loss.
Strawberries have a generous amount of silica, which is a vital mineral for hair strength and growth. Also consider taking rice, oats, onion, cabbage, cucumber, and cauliflower to keep your silica levels up.
Spinach is the perfect source of iron, a mineral which is required for normal functioning of red blood cells and Vitamin A and C which are antioxidants. Among other factors, researchers think that iron deficiency is the most common reason for hair fall which is why adding spinach to your diet can prove to be useful. Moreover, spinach is not only iron-rich but it also contains sebum which acts as a natural conditioner.
Post submitted by: Dr. Ameerzeb Pirzada, BDS MPhil DM, https://www.islamabaddentist.net