What to Eat for Healthy Hair?

Beauty-Tutorials-G03Such a popular topic like this one, many people are actually not aware that there is a direct relationship between one’s diet and your hair and even skin! What you feed your body is externally represented through your hair and skin and if you feed your body poorly and lead an  unhealthy lifestyle, your hair and skin will absolutely show and reflect that. Certain vitamins are known to have a positive effect on hair and skin and should be considered when trying to consume a balanced diet.

biotinAlthough not necessary, but used by many people because of their high amounts, specific dietary supplements can be taken to enhance hair and skin growth. Biotin is the most popular dietary supplement taken for hair growth and overall increased hair quality because of its role in strengthening and nourishing the hair.

ironIron is another vital vitamin that is crucial for healthy hair. Having too little iron causes anemia which leads to the shedding of the hair. Because the hair follicle is dependent upon a rich blood supply, having low iron levels in the blood depresses the amount that is supplied to the follicle, diminishing the hair growth cycle. Animal products like red meat, chicken and fish offer iron with a high bioavailability. Vegetarians can incorporate spinach, broccoli, kale, and lentils which are other excellent sources of Iron.

Best Foods for Healthy Hair:

Red fish

Salmon: Full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids that are essential fats our bodies do not make, this delicious fish supplies the cells that line the scalp and keep a sufficient amount of oil present in the scalp for healthy nourishment. Other good sources of omega-3 are mackerel, sardines, and herring.

sweet-potato-nutritional-fact-versus-regular-potatoSweet Potatoes: the Beta- Carotene present in these potatoes is converted into Vitamin A which is vital for cell growth and leads to the reproduction of hair growth. Vitamin A also creates an oily substance called sebum which is responsible for maintaining a healthy scalp and serving as a natural conditioner. A deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to dull, lifeless hair that can lead to hair dandruff. Carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, and kale are also excellent sources.

Mixed NutsNuts: rich in Vitamin E, nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts all provide significant amounts of Vitamin E to protect your hair from the sun. Also containing Zinc and Selenium, nuts are a wonderful source of many different vitamins all of which aid to the healthy development of hair.

eggsEggs: not only are they protein rich and versatile in cooking, they also supply sufficient amounts of Biotin to create lustrous hair and nails. Peanuts, almonds, salmon, and avocado are also all excellent sources.

PROTEIN

It is important to make sure that you are consuming enough protein in your diet, since your hair is mostly composed of protein. Keep in mind that protein doesn’t have to come from only red meat, but can come in many forms. It is important to choose lean protein choices to control fat intake and avoid the onset of weight gain and reduce the risk for developing heart disease. Chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, and greek yogurt are all superior sources of protein and should be consumed in abundance because of the presence high quality protein contained in them. Adults need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a normal adult who consumes a 2000 calorie diet, 5.5 ounces of protein is recommended each day.

Other Tips!

Drink WATER:YES…we have all heard it way too much! But it is important to keep in mind that making sure your body is well hydrated makes for strong, soft, and lustrous hair!

Avoid heat products: although this is often difficult, the heat from curlers, irons, and blow dryers damage the hair and affects the quality, strength, and shine.

Avoid sulfate shampoo and conditioners: unfortunately most shampoos out in the market contain Sulfate, a toxic known to damage hair. It is best to switch to an organic sulfate-free shampoo to make sure you are providing the best cleansing products for your hair.

Avoid Stress: having too much stress in your life can mess up hormone levels in your body and lead to an effect on your metabolism. This can often times lead to hair loss and shedding and is usually temporary until the stress is relieved.

 

 

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Why Breakfast Should Become Your Next Favorite Meal!

Healthy breakfast. Bowl of yogurt with granola and berries
Healthy breakfast. Bowl of yogurt with granola and berries

We have all been hearing it all the time since the time we were young kids growing up about how we should never skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. However, currently most people skip out on this meal leaving them short for optimizing their cognitive abilities and attention spam. Not only does breakfast fuel your body for the day, it also keeps your metabolism working and blood glucose levels stabilized. Much research has been conducted on the health effects that breakfast has on your body. All research has concluded and agreed upon the idea that breakfast eaters have an increased nutrient intake and improved diet quality.

In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics titled The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast, the study focuses on defining the components the facilitate a good breakfast. Therefore, most research done previously is vulnerable to individual study-participant interpretation and can cause different interpretations of data by researchers. As a result, because of the lack of a consistent definition for what constitutes a “good” breakfast, this limits consistent results to be drawn regarding how determining the health effects of breakfast eaters.

To analyze what constitutes a quality breakfast since it’s definition varies between people and country of origin, the study written in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics by dietitians defines this important meal that literarily “breaks” the fasting a long night of sleep as contributing 15-20% of daily caloric intake. In terms of food groups, breakfast should be customized to fit a healthy diet in accordance with the recommendations set out by My-Plate. It is preferable that the breakfast meal contains protein rich foods paired with carbohydrate rich foods that are nutrients dense in aims of restoring glycogen stores after an extended period of time fasting while sleeping.

Huevos rancheros
Huevos rancheros

Protein sources in your breakfast meal include examples like eggs, low fat to fat free dairy, nuts and legumes, and lean meats with particular attention to low fat content and low sodium. As further explained in the study, “Eggs provide vitamins A and B-12 and potassium; lean meat provides B vitamins, zinc, iron, choline, and conjugated linoleic acid. Legumes, consumed most often by Hispanic Americans, are rich sources of dietary fiber, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Nuts, which might be consumed most often at the breakfast meal in cereals and other grain products, provide monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamins E and K, folate, magnesium, copper, selenium, and potassium.Low-fat and fat-free dairy products are important sources of carbohydrates, vitamins A and D, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium” (The Role of Breakfast in Health). Not only does protein increase satiety throughout the day, it also alters hormones in the body that control food intake regulation.

Healthy-CerealWhole grains coming from bread and cereal is another important component that should be part of the breakfast meal because of their tendency to be high in fiber, a nutrient of concern that is vital for proper digestion. Ready to eat cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving have been shown to play a vital role in combating heart disease, obesity, cancer, and digestive diseases.

Fruit-salad-diet-healthy-breakfast-weight-lossFruits and vegetables is another group that should be part of the breakfast meal. Unfortunately, this group tends to be under consumed by almost al age groups of those in the US, but its importance is vital and extremely important in terms of providing nutrients and fiber that are crucial for proper health. Whole fruits, 100% fruit juices, and frozen fruit provide vital nutrients like fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D(if fortified).

Across the world from country to country, breakfast varies! Take a look at what breakfast is like across the world with this video!

Citations

O’neil, Carol E., Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Dayle Hayes, Laura Jana, Sylvia E. Klinger, and Susan Stephenson-Martin. “The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 114.12 (2014): n. pag. Web.