Foods for preventing hair loss

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It is not a rare sight anymore to see more strands in your hair brush than usual. According to statistics, an estimated population of over 80 million Americans suffer from male or female pattern baldness. One of the major reasons for hair loss is aging but there are countless others suffering from conditions like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, stress, vitamin deficiencies and lack of sleep, to experience hair loss.

The hair loss can be due to many reasons including age, genetics, hormones, toxicity, nutrient deficiency and medications- changing the diet can actually be helpful. Research shows that people can thicken their hair back up with some dietary changes.

Here is a list of some nutrient-rich foods that can keep your hair healthy and full:

1. Salmon
As we all know hair is a protein fiber, it is essential for us to consume protein to keep the existing strands strong and grow new ones. Protein is also responsible for Keratin production, which is a structural component of hair.
You can add marine-based protein, Salmon, which had clinically shown to boost hair health in women because of its vitamin content and omega-3 fatty acids.

2. Honey
Honey has been shown to improve the look of thinning hair when used as a tropical treatment. A study was conducted where people who were experiencing Seborrheic dermatitis, were given a solution of 90 percent honey and 10 percent water. Seborrheic dermatitis includes itching, scaling and hair loss. Patients were asked to apply the mixture on their scalp for 4 weeks every day. Women who applied it for 4 weeks regularly experienced improvement in hair loss at the end of the study.

3. Nuts and seeds
In a research released in January 2015, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, subjects were given nutritional supplements containing omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids for 6 months. The results were incredible: 86% of the subjects reported improved hair growth, 87% reported thicker hair and 90% reported reduction in hair loss.
To achieve similar results, you can eat nuts and seeds which are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, walnuts and oils (sunflower, sesame and grapeseed).

4. Spinach
Another study found that women with hair loss have low iron and vitamin D2 contents. Being rich in iron, spinach is a good supplement. It is high in vitamin C that aids in absorption of iron.
Give yourself the best shot at hair loss reduction by tossing a spinach salad with mushrooms or hardboiled eggs as they are rich in vitamin D.

5. Eggs
Eggs contain Vitamin B called Biotin, which helps in hair growth. It also strengthens brittle fingernails. Deficiency of biotin can lead to hair loss.
Egg is one of the best sources of biotin and also aid with weight loss. Avocados, almonds and salmon are some of the other sources of biotin.

6. Oils
Oils like rosemary, coconut and pumpkin, act as nectar to your scalp. In a study, men with hair loss were given 400 mg of pumpkin seeds per day. Almost 40% increase in hair growth was reported.
You can also use oils as a pre-wash or post-wash product. Coconut oil can protect hair against protein loss and rosemary oil increases hair growth.

7. Seaweed
Cistanche tubulosa, which is a desert plant used in Chinese traditional medicine and Laminaria japonica, an edible brown colour seaweed, have shown to promote hair growth in people, according to a study. After 16 weeks of regular supplementation, 27% increase in hair thickness and 13% increase in hair volume was reported. The given supplement was also effective against scalp inflammation and dandruff.

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ISHITA LOHANI has been active in the health and nutrition field from the past five years. She has a freelance career in Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle writing. She has authored two books: “Eating healthy for life” and “Weight loss tricks: Top 10 weight loss hacks”. Having a graduate degree in food science and technology, her opinion of the lifestyle front is simple yet connectable.

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