Most people know that getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals helps them grow up big and
strong. But what about after becoming fully grown?
While you don’t need a good dose of vitamins to keep growing once you reach adulthood, you do need a good amount to keep your body healthy.
A number of vitamins and minerals also play a big role when it comes to the health of your hair. Even if you suffer from male pattern baldness, making sure you get enough of the following nutrients on a daily basis is important for the overall health of your hair and scalp.
Biotin, or vitamin H (which is also a B complex vitamin), plays a big part when it comes to the overall
health and wellbeing of your hair. The vitamin helps your body synthesize the growth factor that
produces keratin, the protein that your hair is made of. Getting enough biotin in your system can
make your hair thicker, shinier and prevent hair loss to some degree.
You can find biotin in a number of foods, such as lentils and eggs. It’s also sold in supplement form. While it’s always a good idea to eat as many healthy foods as you can, it might be best to consult your clinical dietician specialist before you take biotin supplements. The recommended daily amount of this nutrient is 2.5 mg and getting too much of it can interfere with your blood sugar and insulin levels or cause a skin rash.
Like biotin, you need an adequate amount of iron in your body for the proper formation of hair. This
mineral helps deliver oxygen to the hair follicles and plays a part in the development of a hair’s
proteins. Iron also plays a part in turning testosterone into estrogen.
Some people have a greater risk for being iron deficient than others, like women and vegetarians. Low iron levels, or anemia, are often a cause of hair loss in women. Some food types are better sources of iron than others, such as meat and egg yolks. You can also get iron from non-meat sources, such as leafy greens and lentils, but it’s a different type of iron that’s not as readily absorbed by the body as the type found in meat.
If you think you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet and have noticed a change in your hair, it’s important to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement. A high level of iron in your system can cause its own set of problems, so making sure you’re taking the right amount of supplements is very important.
Not getting enough zinc in your system contributes to hair loss all over the body and can make your
scalp flaky. Zinc helps regulate the production of sebum in the hair follicles and plays a part when it
comes to cell development and reproduction.
Like iron, zinc is found in a variety of foods, but in different forms. Shellfish and seafood tend to be the best source of zinc for your body. Oysters, for example, have almost 500 percent of the recommended daily amount of zinc for an adult. You can also get the mineral from plant-based foods, such as legumes and whole grains. The form you get from plants, however, isn’t absorbed by
Some activities, such as exercise that leads to excessive sweating, reduce your body’s levels of zinc then you might want to consult your dietitian to test your zinc levels or consider adding a zinc supplement to daily intake.
Another vitamin your hair needs for sufficient growth is vitamin D. This vitamin plays a big part in the
development and growth of your hair follicles. Not getting enough might interfere with your hair’s
cycle, or its movement through growth and resting phases.
While you can get vitamin D from food, a big source of it is the sun. That means that if you don’t spend enough time outdoors, you might not be getting all of the vitamin D you need for your overall health and for the health of your hair.
Options for getting more vitamin D include taking a supplement, eating foods that are fortified with the vitamin, such as orange juice or milk, and adding more foods that naturally contain the vitamin to your diet, such as salmon, liver and whole grains.
How to spot mineral deficiencies?
Sometimes, acne and skin problems are due to your genes. Other times, they are linked
to a dietary or nutrient problem. Your clinical dietitian can help you determine the cause
of your problems and recommend a solution.
If you suspect mineral deficiency, or want to know more about your mineral levels in your body, a tissue analysis provided by my clinic could be done in a non-invasive technique. It is relatively an inexpensive way to access a wealth of information about the minerals in your body.