Ever since the pandemic started, hair loss has been the most widely searched concerns on Google. Among the several factors that affected hair like pollution, harsh water, toxic chemicals, and high temperatures, pandemic increased the stress aspect manifold. We bet, you have been so worried of seeing clumps of hair choking the shower drain, of clinging to your rugs and carpets that you would have by now made up your mind to try expensive hair treatments and products. But what if we told you that you don't have to spend a fortune on hair care when you can accomplish it just by adopting a few dietary adjustments!
We asked Lavleen Kaur, o-founder and head dietitian at Diet Insight, a nutrition & wellness clinic based in Chandigarh to reveal the dietary secrets to grow long, strong, thick and healthy hair. “Your hair's health depends on protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and C, as well as iron. Healthy hair requires a protein-rich diet that includes nutrients for healthy hair,” says Lavleen, adding that healthy hair can be restored the help of superfoods.
Lavleen lists five superfoods that can help you achieve strong and healthy hair that you have always wished for:
1. White Butter
A fresh batch of white butter has its unique flavor. Its creamy smoothness leaves you feeling incredibly satisfied. Easy to prepare at home, it may be used as a healthier alternative to processed yellow butter, which is typically loaded with salt and preservatives.
Market-ready butter contains a high concentration of salt, which can lead to hair loss. Choose white butter prepared at home instead. It's loaded with vitamins and minerals that are good for your hair's health at the root level, including vitamin A, D, E, and K, as well as fat-soluble vitamins like Omega 3. Apart from moisturizing and nourishing your hair, butter may also help it grow longer.
Heard of the rice water trend that claims to make your hair smooth and shiny? Well, it’s no doubt that rice is beneficial for your hair as it contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. “Our hair needs protein to grow and thus it is always advisable to have rice along with lentils as the carbs from the rice will ensure efficient absorption of protein from the lentils. You can make it a routine to at least eat rice once during the entire day whether it's day or night. In fact, you should incorporate all sorts of grains in our diet,” suggests Lavleen.
Nuts are a plant-based source of protein, which are rich in Omega-3, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, and B-vitamins. “Among the finest nuts for good hair are almonds. As a source of magnesium and other minerals, almonds are known to encourage hair development. Nutritious for hair, almonds prevent hair damage by providing sufficient nutrients to hair follicles, which strengthens the hair, therefore reducing hair loss,” says Lavleen.
In addition, walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be added too. There's a little amount of copper in these wonder-nuts as well, which keeps hair color bright. Alternatively, soak them overnight with a few almonds and eat them in the morning. “You can also start consuming dry fruits such as figs, prunes, and dates in your routine as they are nutrient-dense which is what makes them great,” adds Lavleen.
Along with nuts, for healthy hair development, seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. “If you choose the correct seeds, they can have a significant impact on your hair growth and quality. A few of the most commonly used seeds for hair development include flax, chia, and pumpkin seeds,” says Lavleen. Since it is a grain, quinoa is a good source of protein for hair too that you can add to your diet too.
One of the best superfoods is coconuts as it contains MCT – medium-chain triglycerides which are nothing but healthy fats. Coconut oil is typically recommended as the ideal hair oil for preventing moisture loss and maintaining healthy hair. As a result, it's no surprise that coconut in its natural form is excellent for hair development and nutrition. Eating coconut may help you develop longer, healthier hair. This is especially true if you don't get enough natural fats and other nutrients. You may drink coconut water, eat coconut straight, or grate it as a topping for veggies. Another nice option is coconut milk.
"When it comes to our skin care and hair care routines, a healthy diet plays a crucial part. For a hair follicle to fully develop, it takes around three months. You will only be able to notice the benefits of what you consume after three months of consistent eating," says Lavleen. Begin by focusing on your nutrition to encourage hair development. To reverse hair loss and stimulate growth, consuming these superfoods may not be sufficient but they definitely help. Also, it’s best to see a doctor for hair loss diagnosis and treatment if necessary.