Diet is one of the first places you should look to improve hair, skin and nails. You know the adage: "You are what you eat..."
Right? Yep, we knew that. So then, it isn't a huge leap to look closely at your diet to see how it may be having an effect on the quality of those less-than-luscious-locks you've been worried about lately.
Do you get enough protein from your diet? Many women are not eating enough protein and since your body needs protein to make hair strong, you may find that adding a protein powder to your daily regimen or increasing your general protein intake may help keep your hair in healthier shape.
Summon up the usual suspects - meat, fish and eggs and if you are a vegetarian, be sure to include at least the daily recommended amount of protein from other sources such as legumes and nuts.
But did you know, that some of the most common dietary proteins have other beneficial effects on our hair:
Milk is not only a source of protein, but also one of the main sources of calcium which is needed for Vitamin D absorption. Some recent studies have begun to uncover a link between low vitamin D and hair loss in women. Vitamin D has many other protective benefits too, so it may be worth having your levels checked if you think you could be lacking.
Eggs, also a great source of protein and vitamin D are also a source of biotin, a B-complex vitamin believed to be involved in the development of keratin.
Salmon is a source of protein and biotin and has other important benefits as well. Oily fish such as salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which we all know we need to include in a healthy diet, but did you know of its effect on your hair? Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for healthy, well moisturized skin and since our scalp is the skin that contains our hair follicles, it makes perfect sense that an unhealthy scalp will contribute to unhealthy hair.
Many women are lacking in iron and perhaps you are aware that yours may be low from time to time. But did you know that if you are chronically lacking in iron, your body may start to use up its iron stores and at that stage, it stops using iron on less important bodily functions. Hair, teeth and nails can suffer from a lack of iron stores, so eat more red meat and get your iron checked if you think this could be you.
While we all try to minimize our snacking, there are some good snacks from which we could really reap the benefits. Almonds are a great source of natural protein that can fill a hunger gap and at the same time, since they contain magnesium there's an added benefit: Magnesium is a great anti-stress mineral and for many of us, thinning hair is caused or exacerbated by stress.
And while we are on the topic of stress, did you know that foods high in anti-oxidants also help to minimize the effects of stress. Try blueberries as a great source of antioxidants as well as the daily recommended quantity of red wine. (But remember a high amount of red wine in our diets has the opposite effect!).
In an interesting twist, keratin the name of the protein required in abundance for healthy hair, is also found to influence some of our body's natural regulatory functions such as our body's reaction to stress.
So while you are considering your diet choices, try some anti-stress mechanisms as well such as yoga, going for a walk, stretching or hitting the gym.
Research: Foxnews.com Ten Foods, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles