Foods That Prevent Gray Hair

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Hair turns gray due to a decrease in the production of melanin in the hair bulb, which gives the hair its color. Certain foods have been found to assist melanin production and prevent the graying of hair, and these can be incorporated into your diet to maintain your natural color.

Keep your hair from turning gray with a balanced diet.
Keep your hair from turning gray with a balanced diet.

Vitamins

Eating foods rich in vitamins A and B help prevent gray hair. To obtain vitamin A, the Fat Free Kitchen website suggests consuming dark green vegetables and yellow fruits. To get more vitamin B in your diet, eat fresh green, leafy vegetables, bananas, tomatoes, cauliflower, cereals, liver, kidney, yogurt, yeast and wheat germ.

Ripe vine tomatoes
Ripe vine tomatoes (Image: Baloncici/iStock/Getty Images)

Herbs and Spices

Certain herbs and spices may prevent gray hair. Black pepper, black cumin, curry and ginger are among these. According to the Fat Free Kitchen website, an excessive intake in spices can lead to gray hair, so it is best to use them in moderation. The herbs brahmi, shikakai and polygonum multiflorum are known to help hair retain its color. Polygonum multiflorum, also known as ho shou wu, is a Chinese herb that has been used to restore hair's natural color. According to the Kwintessential website, this herb improves kidney and liver functioning, aiding in good health and increasing color in the hair.

Ginger root
Ginger root (Image: Elena Elisseeva/iStock/Getty Images)

Iodine-Rich Foods

Foods rich in iodine can prevent gray hair. According to the Women Fitness website, fish is the main source of iodine. Bananas and carrots also contain sufficient amounts of Iodine. You can also use iodized table salt rather than sea salt or kosher salt to increase your iodine intake.

Carrots on cutting board
Carrots on cutting board (Image: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Minerals

Minerals play an important role in the functioning of a healthy body. According to the Women Fitness website, a drop in melanin can be caused by a lack of the mineral copper, so eating a balanced diet with enough copper can keep melanin production active and healthy. According to the World's Healthiest Foods website, "tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme, converts tyrosine to melanin." Melanin is essential for the hair to maintain its color. To obtain copper, you can eat calf's liver, crimini mushrooms, turnip greens, molasses, chard, spinach, sesame seeds, mustard greens, kale, summer squash, asparagus, eggplant, cashews, peppermint, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, ginger, green beans, potato or tempeh, according to the World's Healthiest Foods. For zinc, the Fat Free Kitchen suggests eating red meat, green vegetables and chicken. For iron, consume beef, dried apricots, parsley, eggs, red meat, wheat and sunflower seeds.

Dried apricots in bowl
Dried apricots in bowl (Image: egal/iStock/Getty Images)

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