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#5: Step up Your Silica Intake
In 1939, the Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, Professor Adolf Butenandt, proved that life cannot exist without silica (also known as silicon dioxide). In humans, silica is essential to the development of the skeleton. It is also an important component of hair, and an adequate intake of silica is thought to prevent baldness and stimulate hair growth. Silica is present in substantial amounts in a wide range of foods, including strawberries, green and red peppers, millet, barley, wheat, cucumbers, oats, rice, bean sprouts, potatoes, and asparagus. Processing of foods as well as chemical treatment of the soil can significantly decrease the silica content of foods. Therefore, in order to ensure an optimal intake of silica, it is advisable to opt for organically grown and unprocessed foods.
#6: Be Sure to Eat Enough Foods Containing Copper and Zinc
Although our bodies require only a small amount of copper, it is crucial for the proper functioning of the body, including healthy hair growth. Sufficient levels of copper can prevent hair loss and contribute to hair thickness. Copper is also thought to intensify hair color and prevent premature graying of hair. Another trace mineral that is important to hair health is zinc, which plays an important role in the production of new cells (including hair cells). Zinc and copper should be consumed together as the balance between the two is crucial: too much zinc interferes with copper absorption, and higher amounts of copper can be toxic. Black sesame seeds, which are used as a remedy for hair loss in Asia, are an excellent source of both copper and zinc.
#7: Include Foods Rich in Sulphur in Your Diet
Sulphur is a mineral that is found in all cells of the human body and that is particularly abundant in our hair, skin, and nails. Sulfur is often referred to as “nature’s beauty mineral” because of its capability to aid in good blood circulation, reduce skin inflammation, and promote hair growth. It also plays a role in the metabolism of several important B-vitamins including B1, B5 and B7. First signs of a sulphur deficiency often include loss of hair, brittle hair and nails, and dry skin. Although present in the human body, sulphur can only be obtained through diet. Sulphur is found in all protein rich foods, meats, fish, eggs, milk and legumes being particularly rich sources of this mineral. Garlic, cabbage, onions, turnips, kale, lettuce, brussels sprouts, kelp, seaweed and some nuts also contain sulphur.
#8: Ensure a Sufficient Iron Intake
Iron carries oxygen to the hair, and an inadequate intake of iron may cause the hair follicles to starve of oxygen. In fact, depleted iron stores appear to be one of the most common causes of hair loss in pre-menopausal women. Interestingly, iron deficiency is also the most common form of nutritional deficiency. Women who are menstruating (especially if they have heavy periods), women who are pregnant or have just given birth, long-distance runners, and vegans have a particularly high risk of being deficient in iron. To prevent or correct this deficiency, consume iron-rich foods such as dried fruits, egg yolks, liver, lean red meat, oysters, poultry, salmon, tuna and whole grains.