As we age, how our hair looks and feels can not only define our moods, it can be a signal of certain deficiencies and underlying concerns. If you're going through - or about to enter - the menopause, changes in your body may also have an effect on your hair. "Hair loss becomes more of an issue leading up to and after the menopause,” reveals LYMA's expert in pharmaco-nutrition Prof. Paul Clayton.
If your hair is thinning or breaking, certain foods could be a welcome addition to your life in order to add some needed strength and volume.
Eating a balanced diet with the right vitamins and nutrients can help promote healthy hair growth. Here's some of the best foods to eat when your hair is in need of a boost.
Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, which are important for hair health and growth. A deficiency in either of these nutrients has been linked to hair loss.
Eating adequate protein is important for hair growth because hair follicles are made of mostly protein, and biotin is essential for the production of keratin - an important building block in the quest for long and strong hair.
Eggs are also a great source of zinc, selenium and other hair-healthy nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods to consume for optimal hair health.
Berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that can promote hair growth. This includes vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties. We normally associate citrus fruits with this vitamin, but one cup (144 grams) of strawberries provides an impressive 141% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Antioxidants can help protect hair follicles against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules exist naturally in the body and the environment.
The body also uses vitamin C to produce collagen, which helps strengthen hair to prevent it from becoming brittle and breaking. What’s more, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from the diet. Low iron levels may cause anaemia, which has been linked to hair loss.
Spinach is rich in folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, which can promote hair growth.
A cup (30 grams) of spinach provides up to 54% of your daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A helps the skin glands produce sebum, which helps moisturise the scalp to keep hair healthy.
Spinach is also a great plant-based source of iron, which is essential for hair growth. Iron also helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism and aid growth and repair.
4. Fatty fish
Fatty fish, like salmon, herring and mackerel, are a great source of nutrients that can promote hair growth. Protein, selenium, vitamin D3 and B may help promote strong and healthy hair, and omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to improved growth and density. However, there are only a few studies in this area, so more are needed before health experts can make any recommendations.
5. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene. The body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is linked to good hair health.
A medium sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A can speed up the rate of hair growth and contribute to thicker hair, all while preventing other hair follicles from regressing.
Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E, which can encourage hair growth. One medium avocado (about 200 grams) provides 21% of your daily vitamin E needs.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals. It also protects areas of the skin, like the scalp, from oxidative stress and damage. Damaged skin on the scalp can result in poor hair quality and fewer hair follicles.
What’s more, avocados are a great source of essential fatty acids. These fats cannot be produced by the body but are essential building blocks of your cells. A deficiency in essential fatty acids has been linked to hair loss.
Keratin is an amino acid responsible for maintaining hair's integrity from follicle to tip.
Cynatine® HNS is a superior, highly bioavailable, active strain of keratin. The unique advantage of Cynatine® HNS is that it is the world’s first solubilised keratin, allowing for enhanced absorption and superior resilience and shine when it comes to your hair.
In a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial into the hair-health benefits of Cynatine® HNS, 65% of people reported faster growth, thicker-looking and more glossy hair, and improved hair structure.
Without collagen, the body cannot manufacture keratin, which is why the LYMA formula also contains Lycored Lycopene™, which encourages the body’s natural production of collagen, and crucially inhibits collagenases - the enzymatic breakdown of collagen that occurs naturally as you age.
Chronic stress can impede your body's innate ability to fend off hair-destroying environmental toxins, and Lycored Lycopene™ can help you to rebuild your defences. It's a powerful antioxidant with free-radical fighting and health-restoring potential for your entire body. The benefits associated with Lycored Lycopene™ are in no way limited to hair.
Unlike collagen, the body is unable to manufacture lycopene itself, so taking a supplement is vital if you want to restore your hair to its former glory. Lycored Lycopene™ as formulated at 30mg in LYMA is a powerful, technology-enhanced natural carotenoid, and is the most potent strain of lycopene available.
In addition, The LYMA Supplement formula contains Vitamin D3 that has also been shown to boost the growth and health of your hair.
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