By: Garima Lohumi
A protein–rich diet is essential for making hair strong and healthy. Deficiency of protein can render your hair dry, fragile and weak and if the deficiency is acute a person can even suffer hair loss.
SHIMLA: It is often said that if face is the picture, the crown of hair is the frame. Indeed, the visual identity of an individual is largely defined by the hair. A good crown of hair on the head enhances the looks and overall personality. The appearance of a person changes dramatically if the head is shaved.
It is not surprising that both women and men are concerned about hair. Indian women in particular are keen on having long hair as they are seen as a symbol of beauty. It has been observed that even men who get bald at an early age develop a complex that often leads to personality disorder and behavioral changes. Many bald people even use wigs to maintain their looks. It is, thus, important to maintain good hair for which proper care and adequate nutrition are required.
A good crown of hair is also an indication of good health as hair gets affected readily if there is deficiency of proteins and mineral, especially iron, in the diet. The hair cells grow fast and it is important that a person eats a healthy diet which provides the all the required nutrients. External care like application of oil, conditioners and other grooming products will be of no use if the diet is deficient.
Hair require proteins, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids and a balanced diet must contain all these nutrients for proper growth of hair.
A protein–rich diet is essential for making hair strong and healthy. Deficiency of protein can render your hair dry, fragile and weak and if the deficiency is acute a person can even suffer hair loss. Lentils, peas, legumes, nuts, cheese and yogurt are the main source of complete proteins for vegetarians, while non-vegetarians can also include chicken, fish and eggs.
Among the minerals iron is most important for hair as nutrient–rich blood feeds nutrients to hair follicle and root. Low levels of iron in blood affect supply of nutrients to the follicle, disrupting proper cycle of growth of hair. It is important to include green leafy vegetables, beans, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and cereals to maintain the required level of iron in blood.
For healthy hair vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E are also essential. Vitamin A is needed by the body to make sebum, an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands that serves as a natural conditioner, without which one may have an itchy scalp and dry hair. Carrot, pumpkin, orange, sweet potatoes and animal products are good source of vitamin A. Similarly, Vitamin C is essential as it helps in absorption of iron and its antioxidant properties are also beneficial for the body.
There are a number of fruits and vegetables like kiwi, orange, papaya, strawberry, blackcurrants, blueberries and broccoli, which are high on contain vitamin C. Vitamin E, found in nuts, provides protection from sun rays which can cause damage the hair just like the skin.