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.

 

 

Advertisements

Healthy Habits For Life!- A Sesame Workshop Organization Project

Healthy Habits for LifeBattling the obesity crisis with a ravenous blue monster and singing vegetables.”

HealthyHabits

In an effort to combat childhood obesity and increase awareness about making healthy food choices and exercising regularly, United Healthcare and Sesame Street have partnered together with first lady, Michelle Obama, to create the Health Habits for Life Initiative. As if we need another reason to love and admire Mrs. Obama this program is meant to be a huge initiative in helping our children who are now at risk for many health problems than they ever were before. As a part of this program, Sesame Workshop has created a bilingual outreach program called Food For Thought: Eating Well On a Budget. This nutrition education program targets low income family’s with children in trying to teach them effective strategies about how to eat, plan, and buy healthy foods all while attracting their attention through the familiar and loving Sesame Street characters we all cherish and admire. The program encompasses a DVD and many online resources that are available for free in aims to help family’s in need of creating life long healthy habits for themselves and their children. The specific example I am focusing on and reviewing is the free online resource kit, The Healthy Habits for Life Resource kit, which is produced in partnership with Nemours, Health and Prevention Services, and Kidshealth.org.

images

The resource kit  was distributed to families who are at high risk for developing obesity through the supplemental nutritional program that serves many citizens throughout the country called the WIC (Womens, Infants, and Children) program . Approximately 4.5 million bilingual resource kits which feature simple recipes, activities, a story book, and DVD that has Elmo as the host encouraging kids to “Move Your Body!” and “Eat your Rainbow!” have shown to have significant impact. About 98% of these children’s food choices improved greatly through participation in this program which proves to show just how significant the impact a project like this can have on the health of many. The resource kit is meant to be printed out and placed in a binder so that all the useful and helpful tips and ideas can be effectively implemented by the audience. For this particular nutrition education program, the target audience are young children and their parents. The kit is divided up into three chapters with each chapter focusing in on a certain health topic. Chapter one is called Moving and Growing, and it focuses on the ways children get to feel and better understand what it’s like to dance or jump! The second chapter is called Go and GrowThis particular chapter features resources, facts, and tips on how to allow children to understand the health benefits of exercising and being active and their effects on the lungs, heart, muscles, and bones. The final and third chapter in this resource kit is called, What My Body Tells Me. This chapter features material that teaches children how to listen to their bodies and determine what makes them happy and healthy. 

Within each chapter there are tips for parents and games to play that get children moving,  specific tips to teach parents how to maScreen Shot 2015-10-03 at 10.48.49 AMke their children more engaged and enjoy building healthy life long habits, and even food cards that children can color. The handouts provided in this resource kit follows the basic principles of determining a nutrition educational approach in that the intervention program can be most effective when it focuses on specific food choices or diet-related practices. A wonderful example that implements this idea, is the activity in the kit that makes children create their own salad using fresh vegetables at home and then completing the associated worksheet that features fill -in -the- blanks about the ingredients used, coloring the vegetables on the worksheet, and indicating how many vegetables the child has picked. Here, the activity is urging children to eat more vegetables and urging them to learn how to create fun tasty salads that they can customize. In terms of the behavioral focus, this activity is aiming to make children more aware about the health benefits of vegetables and to elicit maintaining a good relationship with healthy foods.

Behavior change is a strong and evident goal that is being administrated throughout this kit as based on evidence of research regarding the needs of the population. The nutritional education strategies implemented throughout this intervention program is directly relevant to the behavioral focus of aiming to decrease childhood obesity and enhancing positive healthy lifestyle changes. The approach of this program is very clever in that it takes into consideration setting up an appropriate educational setting for these family’s, in addition to being mindful about the resources available to them. As a nutrition educator, I would personally use this resource kit as a tool for family’s with young children that seek nutritional guidance or attention, in addition to children with an increased risk for being obese or already are. Not only is this resource kit fun, effective, and creative, it is also free, making it even more accessible to family’s that need this kind of guidance.

The Power of Fruits and Vegetables!

The obesity epidemic is growing out of hand with its constant growing numbers in not only the United States, but all over the world! People are resorting more to fast food, highly processed, high fat meals that offer very little nutritional value and very high calories. Etfullyrawher it is a financial excuse, lack of time or energy, or even lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Every population has a different excuse based on numerous factors that impact their food choices. However, it is important to note that we LIVE in our bodies! Just like we all live in houses that we must maintain in order to keep using on a daily basis, our bodies are essentially our house where WE live, grow, and thrive! Our health is priceless and when I hear people complaining about the high price of food and I even sometimes do this, I remember that where else am I going to be spending my money. Your income should go to the most important and crucial aspects of your life that can sustain your living. Living utilities, rent, schooling, insurance, taxes, and food. If money is an issue for you, than I suggest making sure that the food you buy is the best quality and skipping on other things like expensive clothing/technology because these things can all go away but your body stays with you forever. Once you have hurt you body and diminished your health, then it is extremely difficult to get it back to where it was originally.

There are many studies that suggest that eating 5 or more serving of fruits and vegetables evebaskets of fruitryday can promote longevity for your health, decrease your chance of developing cardiovascular disease, and decrease your chance of obesity. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain many essential vitamins and nutrients for the body, the are also full of fiber and simple sugars that are easily digested by the body to cleanse it and provide it with sustainable energy. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the sugar found in fruits can actually help those with diabetes!

There are many studies that also suggest that the antioxidants found in berries are linked with properties that help fight cancer cells in the human body. The phytonutrient that gives blueberries their blue color  and its health benefits is called anthocyanin and itBerriess is known especially to improve memory, motor skills, and age related degenerative diseases. In addition, berries are bursting with vitamins A, K, manganese, and C. Raspberries contain a ketone called capsaicin which inhibits the growth of cancer cells. So eat up those red rubies 😉

There are many ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. YOU must be willing to change the way you eat. Once you cut out the unnecessary junk in your diet, you will start to appreciate natures most valuable possessions, the pure tastes of fruits and vegetables. Once you reduce your intake of added sugars, you will appreciate the fragrant sugars present in fruits and the tender crispness of a broccoli. Drinking smoothies and juices, eating fruit salads, raw fruit, cooked or raw vegetables, any way consumed, the benefits of fruits and vegetables are countless.

I suggest checking out FullyRaw Kristina, a fruit and vegetable “celebrity”. She is a raw vegan, meaning she ONLY consumes raw fruits and vegetables. No meat, dairy, grains, or anything cokristinaoked. She is truly inspiring and encouraging people everyday to consume more of the colorful beauty  nature has to offer. She is simply BEAUTIFUL! ❤ Check out her YouTube channel where she talks about how she does this, how to overcome obstacles while consuming this kind of diet, and for AMAZING recipes!

Here is her FullyRaw Sunburst juice that is packed with vitamins A, K, C and helps with inflammation, arthritis, acne, digestion, and migraines.

Ingredients:fullyraw
1-2 Large Pineapples, Sliced
5-7 Pink Lady for Fuji Apples
Juice of 7 Oranges
Juice of 1 Lemon
3-4 Leaves of Kale

Run all ingredients through your juicer, strain, and enjoy!

Check out the chart below for all the wonderful benefits of fruits and vegetables!

 Fruit/

vegetable

Benefit benefit benefit
Pineapple Speeds post-surgery Promotes joint health Reduces asthma inflammation
Blueberries Restore antioxidant levels Reverse age-related brain decline Prevent urinary tract infection
Spinach Helps maintain mental sharpness Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate Top nutrient density
Red Bell Pepper Reduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer Protects against sunburn Promotes heart health
Broccoli Reduces diabetic damage Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancer Protects the brain in event of injury
Tomato Reduces inflammation Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer Reduces cardiovascular disease risk
Apple Supports immunity Fights lung and prostate cancer Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
Artichoke Helps blood clotting Antioxidant Superfood Lowers “bad” cholesterol
Arugula Lowers birth defect risk Reduces fracture risk Protects eye health
Asparagus Nourishes good gut bacteria Protects against birth defects Promotes heart health
Avocado Limits liver damage Reduces oral cancer risk Lowers cholesterol levels
Blackberries Build bone density Suppress appetite Enhance fat burning
Butternut Squash Supports night vision Combats wrinkles Promotes heart health
Cantaloupe Bolsters immunity Protects skin against sunburn Reduces inflammation
Carrot Antioxidants defend DNA Fights cataracts Protects against some cancers
Cauliflower Stimulates detoxification Suppresses breast cancer cell growth Defends against prostate cancer
Cherries Alleviate arthritic pain and gout Lower “bad” cholesterol Reduce inflammation
Cranberries Alleviate prostate pain Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells Prevent urinary tract infection
Green Cabbage Promotes healthy blood clotting Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers Activates the body’s natural detoxification systems
Kale Counters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts Increases bone density
Kiwi Combats wrinkles Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids Counters constipation
Mango Supports immunity Lowers “bad” cholesterol Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries
Mushrooms Promote natural detoxification Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer Lower blood pressure
Orange Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and stomach, and childhood leukemia Pectin suppresses appetite
Papaya Enzymes aid digestion Reduces risk of lung cancer Enhances fat burning
Plums & Prunes Counter constipation Antioxidants defend against DNA damage Protects against post-menopausal bone loss
Pomegranate Enhances sunscreen protection Lowers “bad” cholesterol Fights prostate cancer
Pumpkin Protects joints against polyarthritis Lowers lung and prostate cancer risk Reduces inflammation
Raspberries Inhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers Antioxidant DNA defense Lower “bad” cholesterol levels
Strawberries Protect against Alzheimer’s Reduce “bad” cholesterol Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer
Sweet Potato Reduces stroke risk Lowers cancer risk Protect against blindness
Watermelon Supports male fertility Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal Protects skin against sunburn
Banana Increases Fat Burning Lowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia Reduces asthmas symptoms in children

Welcome!

My name is Shouk and I am a student at Penn State University studying Nutrition/ Dietetics. I LOVE to love as my name in arabic actually meanveggiess to long for love! love everything and try to see the beauty in all that I encounter on my journey throughout life.My passion for inspiring others to obtain living brighter days through improving their diet and mental being has lead me start this blog to share bits and pieces of my healthy balanced life. Throughout my blog, I will aim to show you how to connect your mind and body together with your spirit to lead a positive life and achieve your goals. A healthy body is a successful one is my motto 😉