Role of Protein in Hair Growth
Protein is found in most of the aforementioned animal source foods, particularly meats, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt. There is no need for a person eating the average Western diet to eat additional protein. Too much protein, even though hair is made of protein, will not improve hair growth and may cause other health problems.
A challenge for vegans is to maintain healthy levels of protein, being that complete proteins containing all nine essential amino acids necessary are found mostly in animal sources.
Non-meat sources of Protein
Legumes, seeds, nuts, grains and vegetables do not contain the same form of protein necessary for a healthy body. There is only one common non-meat source for complete protein, and that is the soybean. Fortunately, soybeans have been made into tofu and texturized vegetable protein (TVP) so that they can be made into various dishes. Additionally, one may eat from a wide variety of vegetable sources in order to obtain all the essential amino acids.
Naturally Sourced Iodine for Hair Growth
Iodine is vital to the growth of hair. Sheep farmers long ago discovered that vegetation void of iodine due to iodine-depleted soil will adversely affect the growth of wool in sheep. Likewise, our hair needs iodine to grow.
Iodine is synthetically added to table salt, however in this form it is not assimilated well into the body and can therefore
cause iodine overload. An excess of iodine in the body can adversely affect the thyroid. Natural source of iodine
It is best to use non-iodized salt and retrieve your iodine from natural food sources. These include seaweed, salmon, seafood, lima beans, molasses, eggs, potatoes with the skin on, watercress and garlic.
Mineral Silica – Crucial for Healthy Hair
One of the most difficult nutrients vital to hair growth to get in one’s diet is the trace mineral silica. Silicon is a form of silicon and is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, second only to oxygen. The Earth provides everything we need for health, and with silicon being so abundant, it would seem that there would never be a problem with silica deficiency.
Unfortunately, trace minerals are rare in Western diets because our food is processed and our soil depleted by chemical treatments so often that trace minerals are lost. Silica is vital to the strength of hair, and although it will not
necessarily stop hair from falling out from the follicle, it will stop hair breakage. It works by stimulating the cell metabolism and formation, which slows the aging process. Foods rich in silica
Foods that are rich in silica are rice, oats, lettuce, parsnips, asparagus, onion, strawberry, cabbage, cucumber, leek, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb, cauliflower, and swiss chard.
Note that many of these foods, particularly rice, are a large part of Asian diets and Asians tend to have the strongest and healthiest hair. Be sure to seek out all the above foods from sources that grow food organically, as this is vital to obtaining the trace minerals that are usually not present in North American soil and therefore not in American foods.
Additionally these foods should be eaten uncooked, or in the case of rice-unwashed, as trace minerals are easily cooked and washed away. EFA for Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are fatty acids that are needed by the body yet not produced by the body. EFA’s are a key component to healthy skin, hair and nails. Common skin diseases, such as those discussed later in this book like eczema and seborrhea, are in part caused by deficiencies in EFA’s.
Foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids
Including deep-water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, or herring approximately three times a week will
provide sufficient amounts of EFA’s. However, if for some reason you cannot eat deep- water fish or have an extreme dislike for it, it may be necessary to take a supplement to obtain the required amount of EFA’s. Drinking Plenty of Water to Keep Hydrated Hair Loss Problems Beyond Healthy Diet
It is not just sufficient to consume nutrient rich foods, one also need to take care that body absorbs them well.
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) Indigestion and malnutrition
Fiber is vital to making sure undigested food moves through the body and to the bowels properly. Failure of foods to move through the bowels in a reasonable amount of time can cause fermentation of undigested food in the bowels and blocking of nutrients being absorbed through the body.
Beyond causing degrees of malnutrition, this can also cause a level of toxicity that will overwork systems in the body such as the adrenal glands and contribute to hair loss. Healthy amounts of fresh vegetables, fruits and legumes consumed daily will ensure a proper amount of dietary fiber.
Check this inspiring video from Satvic Movement channel that talks about removing toxins from the body while increasing absorption of nutrients.
Is it Good to Take Vitamin Supplements for Hair Loss?
Although nutritional remedies were those that were discussed here, supplements can be used if one feels they are simply unable to eat properly due to work schedule or dislike of certain foods. Nutritional supplements containing these same vitamins and minerals can be taken, with the exception of water of course.
Be sure to always take supplements that are naturally chelated, meaning that the supplements were developed in a natural base. This will ensure that the supplements you consume will be more readily absorbed in the body.
There are some cautions to taking supplements of certain vitamins and minerals, particularly those that are fat-soluble because the body stores them.
Vitamin A Supplements
Vitamin A can be highly toxic and supplements of vitamin A should be avoided unless recommended by a doctor. It is best to achieve one’s vitamin A requirements either by food or through a naturally chelated multivitamin.
Also remember that smoking and second hand smoke can cause blocking of vitamin A assimilation, so it is best to
avoid smoking and remove one’s self from areas and situations where second hand smoke is present if at all possible. Vitamin E supplements
Vitamin E supplements should always be taken at 400 i.u. per day to start and work your way up to 800 i.u. Always take vitamin E in its natural form, which is d’alpha tocopherol.
Avoid taking vitamin E supplements in the synthetic form dl’alpha tocopherol, which is derived from petroleum and is less available for assimilation into the body. If you have high blood pressure or other serious illnesses, consult a physician before taking vitamin E supplements.
Zinc is one fat-soluble mineral that can cause harm if an overdose is taken. It can rob the body of copper, mentioned above as a key nutrient in hair growth and health, not to mention in other functions of the body. Zinc supplements should be taken in low doses, such as 5mg at a time. These can commonly be found in the form of zinc lozenges
designed for sore throats.
There is a “trick” to tell if you are taking too much zinc. When the zinc levels in the body have surpassed the level that they can be used, a metallic taste begins to form. If you pay attention to the metallic taste, you will know when enough
zinc has been consumed, and you can then stop consuming zinc immediately. Iron supplements
Iron supplements are not recommended unless a doctor has diagnosed you with a severe iron deficiency. If you do take an iron supplement, avoid ferrous sulfate, which you will find as the most common over-the-counter iron supplement in drug stores.
Ferrous sulfate is hard for the body to assimilate, and because iron is not water-soluble it will sit in the body and can cause severe liver problems over time. Further, ferrous sulfate causes constipation, which can trigger a great deal more problems besides being extremely unpleasant. One iron supplement that does not contain ferrous sulfate is called
Floradix and is available in both liquid and pill form. Silica supplements
Since there are so few foods to mention that are grown in North America and contain a good amount of silica, supplements may truly be needed.
Horsetail herb based silica supplements
Horsetail is an herb that is a rich source of silica. It is highly important to never take horsetail directly however, or take a supplement made from unprocessed horsetail, as this herb can be toxic when ingested whole, ground, in tablets or capsules. Horsetail must be taken in an aqueous extract of the herb only.
Ask someone at your health food store or someone knowledgeable about herbs to help you find this form. Silica gel is suspended in water, although it is not an aqueous solution and should be avoided. Nettle is also a good source of silica and Nettle Root Extract is readily available at health food stores.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Supplements
Supplements of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are easily found in most health food stores and even many supermarkets and pharmacies. These include Evening Primrose Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Cod Liver Oil, and other oils from deep-water fish.
It is not recommended to rely on Cod Liver Oil as a source for EFA’s because it contains high levels of vitamins A and D, and the amount of Cod Liver Oil necessary to achieve proper amounts of EFA’s would cause overdosing on these vitamins. The recommended supplements are Evening Primrose Oil and Flaxseed Oil. Both these oils are available in oil form or in capsules.
Keep in mind that high amounts of saturated fat blocks the effectiveness of EFA’s, counteracting their effectiveness, so there needs to be adjustments to your diet if there is a high amount of saturated fat in it.
Fresh Juice as a Source of Nutrients for Hair Growth Fresh juices have a high enzyme content, which is beneficial because these enzymes are stored by the body and can be used by the body when cooked foods that have been robbed of enzymes are consumed.
Storing the juice or purchasing pasteurized juices from the store diminishes this benefit, although the benefits of the minerals and vitamins are usually still available.
All the above-mentioned fruits and vegetables can be juiced to obtain the maximum benefit from them.
A great deal of silica, sulfur, iron, and potassium for example is extracted from organic carrot juice. In fact, carrots being roots contain most trace minerals the body needs. The effects of carrot juice are enhanced when adding cucumber juice to it, because of its high silica and sulfur content. Organic spinach juice is highly recommended, as it is high in iron, vitamin A, and other vital vitamins and minerals; Spinach is often combined with lettuce and carrot juice, two very good sources of silica and vitamin A.
Non-organic spinach juice can be extremely high in pesticides and should therefore be avoided. Spinach juice should also be avoided if one suffers from kidney stones, as it contains a large amount of oxalic acid, which exacerbates kidney stone growth.
Negative Foods to Avoid for Healthy Hair
There are a number of foods and substances to avoid and limit the intake of.
Substances such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar and nicotine can deplete the body of nutrients and raise adrenal levels, which will cause a chain reaction of producing more androgen and causing hair loss. High levels of saturated fat and cholesterol rich foods are also linked to increased DHT levels and their consumption should be limited. Additionally, common table salt has been linked to hair loss. And the average diet provides the recommended amount of sodium intake; therefore, salt should never be added to food. However, when using salt for seasoning during cooking, be sure to use salt with Iodine being that it is a nutrient that is vital to hair growth as well, unless you are a regular consumer of seafood, which contains high levels of Iodine. Toxemia can cause a great deal of dysfunction in the body’s systems, including hair-loss related illnesses such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea and possibly several others. It is vital for one to cleanse the body of impurities in order to maintain a healthy system and avoid such illnesses, as there are no cure for these illnesses beyond cleansing and the maintenance of a healthy diet to allow the body to heal itself.
Regular cleansing should include a diet rich in fiber as mentioned earlier, and the use of added fiber such as provided by consuming psyllium husk as a bulking agent along with laxative agents. More is discussed under the section Natural Hair Loss Remedies.
Although hair loss can be caused by many other variables, lack of proper nutrition will assuredly cause hair loss in many people. Fortunately, adopting a proper diet that includes the above nutrients can reverse hair loss caused by malnutrition. One thing for certain, regardless of whether your hair loss was caused by malnutrition or not, adopting a healthier diet will help the function of other areas of the body.