Hair is an essential part of the body and should be nurtured and protected to ensure it retains its lustrous feeling. Bad or unkempt hair is not only a turn-off but also reduces an individual’s attractiveness. Hair growth can be fostered by ensuring that foods consumed are rich in these elements. Some of the key elements responsible for fostering hair growth include zinc and biotin. They reduce hair breakage and hair fall and protects hair from aging prematurely.
Biotin is a vitamin found in various food sources. Biotin is substantial in growth of hair and nails. Additionally, supplements can be used to increase the dosage of biotin in the body. However, it is recommended to depend solely on food products since they are an excellent source of biotin. Signs of biotin deficiency include hair thinning, brittle nails and hair discoloration. Biotin intake is dependent on several factors such as sex, age and other conditions such as pregnancy. Pregnant women require her intake of biotin to support both the mother and the unborn child.
Zinc is vital and essential in biochemical and metabolic processes in the body. It is considered to be a trace element since it is required in small amounts for body functioning. Some of the key processes that depend on zinc for optimal functioning include synthesis of proteins, vitamins absorption, cell reproduction and maintenance of hormone levels in the body. Additionally, zinc is crucial in fostering hair growth. Zinc deficiency occurs when the metabolic processes occurring in the body cannot be met with the current levels of zinc in the body. Zinc deficiency is caused by several factors such as deficiency in vitamin A and D in the body, and illness such as diarrhea, sickle cell anemia, renal diseases, chronic liver disease, cancer, and diabetes. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include wasting of muscles, skin lesions, diarrhea, and psoriasis.
Zinc deficiency leads to deterioration of protein structures that are the building blocks of hair follicles. This leads to compromising of the structural integrity of the hair follicles hence leading to hair loss. Zinc also leads to reversing of hair loss. This is due to its ability to catalyze some enzymatic reactions significant in addressing falling of hair. Additionally, it is scientifically proven that individuals who feed on a diet rich in zinc have their hair color restored to its original color. For instance, those with aging gray hair changes to normal color.
Effects of Excessive Dosage
It is vital to note that excessive intake of zinc is also harmful to hair growth. As mentioned earlier, zinc is a trace element hence required in minute amounts in the body. Excessive dosage of zinc leads to inhibition of other essential mineral elements such as iron and magnesium that are critical in fostering hair growth.
On the other hand, excessive intake of biotin is not harmful to the body. This is because biotin is water soluble and excessive amounts are excreted via urine. This suggests that excessive amounts of biotin in the body do not cause any adverse effects on body functioning.
Food Sources of Zinc and Biotin
Hair loss is inevitable. However, if the main causative factor is lack of essential nutrients in the diet, it is important to ensure that one gets enough nutrients by eating the right foods.
Ø Sweet Potatoes
They are jam-packed with a variety of nutrients such as vitamins B, C, K, E, A, mineral elements such as sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. They also have beta-carotene which turns into vitamin A which secretes sebum that prevents drying up of the hair follicles and helps in cell repair.
Eggs are fast and easy to prepare. One can either have them boiled, scrambled, or added to any meal. They contain both biotin and zinc. It is however recommended that eggs should be taken cooked but not in raw form. This is because when taken raw, it inhibits absorption of biotin.
They not only help in retaining original color but also protecting hair. Other elements such as omega-3 fatty acids help in hair conditioning. Deficiency of this significant nutrients leads to hair loss. Almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds are good examples of nuts rich in these nutrients.
Spinach is synonymous with every meal setting. It is highly preferred as the best vegetable alternative in any meal course. It is an excellent source of both zinc and biotin which are crucial in hair growth.