Happy New Year all!
So, we enter 2016. Last year gave us some sweet-sour moments, some beautiful memories, some lessons to last a lifetime, and to some of us, unending stress leading to a hair maladies.
Are you also worried about early graying hair, a receding hairline and thinning of plait? Do you forever find yourself surfing hair product aisles to stumble upon the magic potion that promises to rejuvenate your thin, dull, brittle, lack luster hair? Stop worrying! Don't go nuts worrying about these signs. Instead bank on nuts to salvage your crowning glory.
Hair is primarily made up of keratin, a protein produced in hair follicles. The daily allowance of protein (0.8 to 1 gm/kg body weight) is a must to enable growth of new hair in place of one that is shed.
Many minerals & vitamins play an important role in protein metabolism to help absorb it better and utilize it for new cell generation. More often than not, lack of adequate proteins, minerals & vitamins in our daily diet clubbed with pollution and stress makes your hair unhealthy.
Come on, join me in my new year resolution to not only make cosmetic changes in the way we look. We shall, rather, "heal from within".
Almonds or Badam
This crunchy protein-packed nut is an excellent source of biotin (Vitamin B7), also nicknamed as the "hair vitamin". It is essential for breaking down proteins in diet into amino acids that form keratin.
Although it is required in a very small quantity, biotin deficiency can create havoc in one's life by bringing up signs like hair thinning, dull texture and reduced hair growth.
A handful of almonds, daily in your diet will make your hair and skin glow. Almonds are a ready source of energy, at the same time, providing Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and heart healthy MUFA (mono unsaturated fatty acids).
Next time, dare you refuse that "Badam ka halwa"… If at all you do, choose from other super rich sources of biotin - bananas, eggs, peanuts or whole grains.
Pine Nuts or Chilgoze
These are a sumptuous snack, extraordinarily delicious, adorning every kitchen in winters and are loaded with Zinc. Yes, you read that right!
Zinc is required for normal division of hair follicle cells. Again, it is needed in a very little quantity but its deficiency can damage the protein structure that makes up the hair follicles.
Trichologists often prescribe zinc supplements to treat patients for hair loss and premature graying. As a prevention, you can get your daily fix of zinc by devouring that whole wheat pesto sauce panini.
Super easy to cook, any delicious recipe with pesto sauce/tahini is your remedy. Also, hoard on peanuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, and wheat germ.
And no, I am definitely not against non-vegetarians. Eat oysters or lamb to get your daily dose of zinc and flaunt your lovely tresses everywhere, every time.
Pistachio nuts or Pistas
Drooling already? Wait till you find more reasons to eat it other than taste.
Pistas are a treasure of natural iron. And my dearies, iron is a must for healthy lustrous hair because of ferritin, a protein that is responsible for storage of iron in our bodies.
More the stored iron, more is the available oxygen to nourish hair cells. To our dismay, low ferritin levels lead to hair loss even if one's hemoglobin is in a laboratory advised range.
Women, at times, have lesser level of ferritin because iron loss every month during menstruation.
Ferritin levels should compulsorily be checked and corrected for women facing hair problems and also for patients with an under active thyroid gland.
And this is not all! Pistas also provide proteins, Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium.
Pista barfi, anyone? No! Avoid it for maintaining body girth. Garnish veggie smoothie with pistas. It tastes yummmy!
Flaxseeds or Alsi ke beej
Most households I know of, have made flaxseeds a part of their daily breakfast schedule and man, they are doing themselves a great favor. Rightly celebrated, flaxseed is your go-to for daily fix of omega-3 fatty acids.
Thanks to TV & advertising, we all know how important omega-3 fatty acids are for maintaining tissue & cardiovascular health. They have excellent anti-inflammatory properties and aid in lowering bad cholesterol. They also prevent fatty deposits and so on and so forth.
But, what you didn't know is that omega-3 fatty acids also promote production and action of hormones affecting hair growth.
Flaxseeds are your one-stop shop for a healthy heart, skin and healthy hair. They also provide minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and tons of antioxidants.
Walnuts, beans, fish, olive oil, winter squash are equally good options to ingest omega-3 fatty acids.
To cut the long story short, design your family's menu keeping in mind the importance of proteins, biotin, zinc, iron & omega-3 fatty acids and how they help you defy age. Eat nuts and ditch those early signs of ageing.
Hair loss, or any other hair problem, is often a big blow to the person's self-image pushing their self-confidence up the wall. Let me take the liberty of repeating myself, "prevention is better than cure".
Pass on good eating habits as inheritance to your children; begin early in handing down correct nutritional knowledge and training them in adopting healthy lifestyle.
It’s the biggest life skill you can pass on to them.
Hope this year, you nip in the bud all the reasons you often fret about... Curb hair maladies. Eat right to stay bright!!