A balanced diet is essential to having good hair. There has to be a correct mix of vitamins and minerals, which change seasonally to ensure that hair remain healthy all year. Winter is probably the most damaging part of the year for hair, which is why to keep them lustrous, strong and shiny one must keep a list of food that have provide vitamins and minerals necessary for hair in the winter.
The following is a list of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good hair as well a list of food that should be consumed during winter to keep the hair in good shape.
Hair are made up of proteins, which is why it is crucial to ensure that a generous part of the diet comprises of proteins. In the absence of protein hair will become brittle, dry and weak. Chicken, fish, turkey, dairy products and eggs are superb sources of protein. In the winter legumes and nuts should also be consumed. Along with proteins, they contain healthy oils.
The composition of hair also contains a good amount of iron and its absence or shortage causes anaemia, which is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and roots are supplied by a nutrient rich blood supply. The decrease in serum ferritin, iron in the blood level initiates shedding of hair. Iron is available in high content in animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish. Vegetarian sources of iron are lentils, spinach, broccoli, kale and salad greens.
To give iron a boost in absorption, Vitamin C is very important. Moreover, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant commonly used by the body. It helps in the making collagen which strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shaft. It can be found richly in strawberries, blueberries, oranges, sweet potatoes, kiwi fruits, broccoli, papaya, blackcurrants and guava.
Our body does not have the ability to make Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is found in the scalp and they provide oil to keep the hair and scalp hydrated. Food containing Omega-3 includes salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel. Vegetarian options are avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
Sebum, the oily substance our hair create through sebaceous glands to provide a natural conditioner for the scalp is made through Vitamin A. Its absence causes itchy scalp and dry hair. Animal products as well as orange and yellow coloured vegetables contains Vitamin A like carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
Zinc & Selenium
Zinc & Selenium are essential to the protection of the scalp. A dry and flaky scalp is resulted in absence of these minerals. Its good food sources are oysters, beef, eggs fortified cereals, wholegrains and nuts.
Vitamin E plays a crucial in providing protection from the Sun. It can be acquired from nuts, which should be a good part of the winter diet.
The absence of biotin results in brittle hair leading to hair loss. It is a water-soluble Vitamin B and can be found in wholegrains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast.
“It is important to take benefit from different foods, especially seasonal foods all year round. Hair reflect what you eat, so maintaining a healthy diet to keep strong and healthy hair is essential. Keeping the right mix of proteins and vitamins is the key to surviving the winter,” said Skin Dermatologist Specialist Dr. Shumaila Khan in a recent interview.
Dr. Shumaila, who is a renowned skin specialist based in Islamabad, emphasized that to keep the body and hair hydrated since winter causes a lot of dryness and brittleness to the hair.