How Does Diet Affect Hair Growth?

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How Does Diet Affect Hair Growth?
How Does Diet Affect Hair Growth? (Image: Kevin Rail - Dynasty)

The Building Blocks of Protein

Hair is basically nothing more than dead protein. Deficiencies in protein can cause abnormal thinning and slow the growth process down altogether. Protein-rich foods such as eggs, chicken, beans, liver, fish, yogurt and tofu should be consumed. Wheat germ and brewer's yeast also make good additions to a hair-healthy diet.

Caffeine to the Rescue?

There is a growing body of research showing that caffeine is actually beneficial to hair growth. According to a study published by the International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine blocks out a hormone called DHT which is responsible for male pattern baldness and damage to hair follicles. Hair samples were taken from men and monitored in a laboratory for eight days, and it was shown that caffeine consumption had boosted hair growth 33 to 40 percent.

There are a number of vitamins that prove beneficial for hair growth. Some of these are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, biotin, inositol and beta carotene. These vitamins can be found in copious amounts in fruits and vegetables; the more colorful the better, sunflower seeds which are a good source of Vitamin-E, and flax seeds.

A good way to get a lot of these foods together is to incorporate them into a big salad. A chicken breast can be thrown in for a good source of protein and this can constitute a nourishing follicle friendly meal.

Get the Fats.

Essential fatty acids are good fats that the body can't produce but needs; hence the word "essential." Lack of essential fatty acids in the diet can lead to dull, brittle hair which will promote loss. Omega-3 is one particular kind of healthy fat that is found in cold water fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines.

Another good source of essential fatty acids is peanut butter. It's not only a good source of healthy fat, but it also has a generous amount of protein as well. Incorporating this into the diet adds a double dose of hair growing potential.

Acid Off the List

Acidic foods will spell disaster for hair growth. These are foods that are high in sugar, high in fat and are highly processed. They cause poor circulation and should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. Examples of acidic foods would be cakes, cookies, candy, soda, alcohol, fast food and baked goods. Regular intake of these foods do a number on skin cells and can weaken the hair's body compromising hair growth.

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