Part of overall health includes how you look; your physical appearance is often an indicator of how healthy you are and is a reflection of who you are. Having healthy, shiny hair is more than just the shampoo and conditioner you use. As your hair grows out of the follicles on your scalp, you can see the results of the quality of your nutrition. However, by the time you see that new hair, it’s too late to improve how it looks through better nutrition.
Beautiful hair is nourished hair, so don’t think you can rely on hair products alone to tame your mane.
Nutrients for lush, gorgeous hair:
Hair is made up primarily of a protein known as keratin, which is also found in fingernails and toenails. Eating foods rich in high-quality protein ensures that your body will produce sufficient keratin to build strong hair. Good sources of protein include nuts and seeds, lean grass-fed meats, fish, and beans and lentils.
2. Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids play a key role in healthy hair by nourishing the scalp and moisturizing new hair growth. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are rich sources of omega-3’s and other essential fats.
3. Vitamin D
This sunshine vitamin plays an important role in preventing a number of health concerns including various cancers, mood disorders and immune dysfunction but it has also been found to contribute to hair growth. Several studies have found that sufficient vitamin D status may activate and accelerate hair growth.
Low iron stores (ferritin values) are a contributing cause of hair loss, particularly in women. Clean sources of grass-fed, antibiotic-free red meats are a good source of iron; as are chia seeds, beans and lentils, and dark leafy greens. However, significantly low iron stores may require high quality supplementation to bring ferritin to an optimal range and reverse associated symptoms.
Other concerns a Naturopath may assess if you have noticed significant changes to your hair:
• Thyroid function
• Dermatological concerns
• Autoimmune concerns
• Food sensitivities or allergies
• Nutrient deficiencies
• Allergic reactions to personal care products
• Exposure to heavy metals and other toxins
Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.
Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
main image via pixabay