Fight Hair Loss Naturally With These 5 Foods

Did you know that everyone loses 50 to 100 strands of hair each day? This is perfectly normal, but when you’re shedding by the handful, it’s easy to freak out. About 80 million Americans experience hair loss with age, while others shed because of thyroid disorders, hormonal fluctuations, stress, nutrient deficiencies, or medicine. Whatever the reason, it can be a headache to deal with.

If you’re thinking about buying minoxidil, hold that thought. This hair growth chemical certainly works, but the side effects aren’t pleasant. Scaling, dermatitis, swelling, and itching have all been linked to using minoxidil. That’s where nutrition comes in. According to peer-reviewed research, it’s possible to promote hair growth through food. Here’s a list of foods you can eat to prevent hair loss.1 2 3

1.
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Nuts

Nuts are rich in omega-3 and 6 healthy fats that help hair grow

Health nuts are all about nuts. With such high levels of good fats like omega-3 and 6, it’s easy to see why. And according to a 2015 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, those fats might lend a hand in preventing hair loss. In the experiment, 120 participants with female-pattern hair loss were given a supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids plus antioxidants. After 6 months of supplementation, 90% of the women saw a drop in hair loss! Additionally, 87% reported thicker hair, while 86% reported increased hair growth. The supplement specifically reduced the percentage of hairs in the telogen “shedding” phase. Normally, 5 to 10% are in this phase, but any more can bring on shedding.4

2. Seaweed

Seaweed is known to increase the thickness of hair

Seaweed

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isn’t for everyone, but if you love the taste, eat up. A 2015 study in Clinical Nutrition Research found that supplements with seaweed extracts enhanced hair growth in participants with mild or moderate hair loss. After 16 weeks, even hair thickness and volume improved. Researchers also saw benefits for dandruff and scalp inflammation. This is great news for hair loss, as these conditions can increase itching, a habit that can break and damage hair.5

3. Spinach

Spinach is rich iron and prevents hair loss

In a 2013 study in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, researchers found that low iron levels are linked to various types of hair loss. Unfortunately, iron deficiency actually takes first place as the most common nutritional disorder. The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the world’s population is deficient in iron. To increase your iron intake, eat spinach. It contains both iron and vitamin C, a nutrient that aids absorption. Other leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard also offer both.6 7 8

4. Oysters

Oysters are rich in zinc that maintain the health of hair follicles

Zinc is known for its ability to fight off colds, but the benefits don’t stop there. It’s actually needed to maintain the health and function of a hair follicle. In fact, low zinc levels have been found in people with alopecia areata, a condition that affects 5% of the people. It’s a stellar reason to eat more oysters, the richest source of zinc. As an added bonus, they’ll also up your iron intake. Not a fan? Other sources include fish, poultry, legumes, whole grains, miso, cooked greens, and tahini.9 10 11

5. Salmon

Salmon is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are ideal for hair health

Aside from treating the body to lean, healthy protein, salmon offers multiple nutrients discussed so far. A single serving has a chockfull of omega-3 fats, zinc, and iron! It’s the definition of a triple treat.

For

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absolute benefits, eat salmon with a seaweed salad or cook with spinach. You can even coat a fillet with crushed nuts for a generous dose of omega-3s.

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