One of the major factors behind hair loss is inadequate nutrition. A poor diet can contribute to an increase in falling hair by making it brittle and slowing the growth of new hair. In order to address these problems, a proper diet with the essential vitamins for hair loss prevention needs to be adopted. Below are some of the principal nutrients needed by the body to address baldness and food sources for them.
The B vitamins are among the most important for the continued health of the scalp. When the body doesn’t get enough of these vitamins, there is reduced blood flow to the scalp resulting in increased hair loss, damaged hair and slow growth of new hair.
The most important B vitamins and their recommended daily intake for adults are B6 (2 mg); folic acid (400 mg); B3 or niacin (50 mg three times a day); B5 or pantothenic acid (100 mg thrice a day) and B6 or pyridoxine (50 mg three times a day). B6 can be found in protein-rich foods such as soybeans, red meat, poultry, as well as whole grains, nuts, and cereals. B12 is also found in red meat and poultry, as well as eggs and dairy products such as milk. You can get folic acid from leafy green vegetables, avocados, orange juice, broccoli, and beets.
Other foods which are rich in the B vitamins include beans, peas, cauliflower, and carrots. Biotin is another essential B vitamin; biotin deficiencies, however, are rare since it is already naturally produced by the body. You can get increased amounts of biotin from baker’s yeast, green peas, brown rice, lentils, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Some hair care products are also enriched with biotin.
Other vitamins for hair loss treatment and prevention include vitamin C, copper, iron, and zinc. A vitamin C deficiency can result in hair becoming brittle, while copper and iron enhance the delivery of oxygen in red blood cells to the scalp and other parts of the body. Zinc maintains the oil-secreting glands in the scalp, thus preventing dandruff. The reference level for the daily intake of vitamin C in an average adult is 60 mg, while for copper it is 2 mg, iron 18 mg, and zinc, 15 mg. Foods rich in vitamin C includes citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables, berries, tomatoes, potatoes, and pepper. Copper-rich foods include organ meats (liver in particular), seafood, nuts, and seeds, while iron-rich foods include red meat, spinach, bran and red kidney beans. Foods that are rich in zinc include red meat and seafood.
Supplements that you can take in addition to the above vitamins for hair loss treatment include Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which improves scalp circulation, L-Cysteine and L-methionine. CoQ10 is a nutrient produced by the body which is necessary for the proper functioning of cells while L-Cysteine and L-methionine are amino acids that prevent hair loss and improve growth and texture of hair. Take 60 mg a day of CoQ10 and 500 mg each twice a day of the amino acids. And don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses (8 oz) every day to ensure that the body is properly hydrated, which is vital for healthy hair.