KARACHI: All those steaks and burgers you indulge in – unhealthy as they might be for your waistline – are actually quite healthy for your hair line.
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Confused? Don’t be. We all know the proteins found in meat are essential for hair. But of course, there are many other essentials nutrients, minerals and vitamins that both men and women must consume so make sure their hair remains lustrous and strong.
As compiled from BBC GoodFood and Men’s Health, here are eight minerals and vitamins men can rely on for a greater, manlier mane.
Turns out, our hair is actually made up of proteins. Therefore, it’s absolutely imperative that we get enough of it, else your hair becomes brittle and dry. Scientifically speaking, low levels of protein perpetrate hair loss as well. “Men don’t have as big an issue with this as women do but it’s important to have some protein with every meal and every snack to keep the hair follicles strong,” says Stephanie Middleberg, founder of Middleberg Nutrition and author of The Big Book of Organic Baby Food. Indulge in plenty of fish, poultry and dairy products regularly and feel your hair get stronger!
It’s hardly any breaking news that a lack of iron (anaemia) is one of the leading causes of hair loss. Our roots and hair follicles are fed by a nutrient-rich blood supply and low levels of iron can disrupt that, thereby weakening the hair. In fact, anaemia also impeded hair’s growth cycle. Fortunately, foods such as red meat, lentils, spinach, broccoli, kale and salad green are rich in this miracle nutrient so you don’t have to work too hard to get it.
These are fatty acids that we must obtain from external sources as they are not produced in the body. Omega 3s are the cells which line our scalps and provide oils that keep hair moisturised. Fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel and herring are packed with with oodles of Omega 3 fatty acids so make sure you pick some up on your next trip to the grocery store.
Vitamin A is an essential composite of sebum, which is the oily substance that serves as a natural conditioner for healthy scalps. Without this, you might fall prey to dryness or itchiness. Animal products and usually vegetables orange or yellow in colour (carrots, peppers, pumpkins, etc) are good sources of Vitamin A and perfect sidelines for that grilled beef burger.
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You might have heard of this one; it’s mentioned on the ingredients list of many hair products and supplements. Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin a shortage of which can make our hair brittle and prone to breakage. Have some biotin-rich foods like chicken liver, egg yolks and whole grains to prevent that from happening.
This works like a sunscreen for your hair, protecting it from harmful UV rays. Nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios are Vitamin E powerhouses so make sure to pop some every now and then!
If there was ever a great reason to treat yourself to guava, oranges, papaya, strawberries, bananas and sweet potatoes, it’s Vitamin C. Not only does this blessed mineral promote the absorption of iron into our bloodstream, it is also an antioxidant. “Whenever you’re talking about hair, skin or nails, you have to get in the big antioxidants,” says Middleberg. “You need things that fight free radicals that come from the sun and airborne pollutants and attack cell membranes.” On top of that, Vitamin C assists in the production of collagen which strengthens the capillaries that supply hair shafts.
Zinc and selenium
A lack of zinc causes hair loss and dries out the scalp. Cereals and whole grains are good sources of zinc, along with oysters, eggs, nuts and beef. Or you can grab a handful of cashews to get your daily fix of the minerals.
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