Did you know that one of the leading causes of hair loss is stress? And since over 20 million Americans are reported to have chronic stress that causes health problems, that’s a lot of people at risk for losing hair. Stress covers a wide area and besides the toll that stress in general takes on the body there are many stressors that can contribute to hair loss and unhealthy hair also. This would include losing a lot of weight at once, having a high fever or severe infection, undergoing major surgery, a drastic change in diet, or a thyroid disorder. Even just normal everyday stress that we all have causes our cortisol levels to rise and use up our body’s supply of B vitamins and both these conditions can contribute to hair loss and bad hair days. Even if you aren’t noticing abnormal hair loss from these conditions, you could notice other changes in your hair as healthy hair needs B vitamins, especially biotin, to nourish it. If you use up all your B vitamins stressing out, your hair isn’t getting the nourishment it needs to promote growth, prevent breakage and get protection from drying.
Getting B Vitamins
We can replenish the body’s supply of B vitamins naturally by replacing the probiotics or “friendly bacteria” in our intestines. These friendly bacteria produce the B vitamins in our bodies and taking probiotic supplements like acidophilus and bifidus can give your body a boost to keep producing these vitamins. You can also get the B vitamin biotin in foods like beans, breads, egg yolks, fish, liver, meat, dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, whole grains, and poultry. Lentils are another good source of biotin and give you the protein, iron, and zinc needed for healthy hair. Greek yogurt is a good source for another B vitamin, B5 or pantothenic acid as well as vitamin D, both good for hair and follicle health. Besides nourishing hair, B vitamins, especially B-12, helps the body relax. So making sure you are producing enough B vitamins is a win-win where your hair is concerned. They help your body by reducing stress reactions which helps out your hair and by giving it the B vitamins it needs to stay healthy.
Food For Healthy Hair
An increase in cortisol levels often leads to an increase in food cravings. These cravings most often are for sweets and carb filled foods that aren’t part of a healthy diet. So not only do we end up with a bad hair days, but we also end up with extra weight gain. Then just to make matters worse, that increase in cortisol also signals an enzyme in fat cells to make more cortisol and to store belly fat. Instead of turning to those typical unhealthy forms of comfort food when stressed, try exercising and adding some of these stress reducing foods to your diet.
Hair is made up of mostly protein so getting enough protein in your diet to build muscle and to have enough left over to nourish your hair is a must. Healthy proteins include lean types of meat such as white meat poultry, beans, lentils, tofu, kale, broccoli, squash, dairy and eggs. Eggs not only are a good source of protein, but also give you vitamin D, zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron for hair health. AFA bluegreen algae is another good source of protein as it has 75% usable high quality protein as well as vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids and trace minerals. Poultry like turkey is not only a good source of lean protein, but also has the amino acid tryptophan which tells the brain to release serotonin. Serotonin is one of the brain chemicals that can help you be calm, relaxed, fight off stress reactions, and even make you sleepy. Nuts such as pistachios, almonds and cashews are also high in tryptophan.
You can also get tryptophan by eating “good” carbohydrates thus raising serotonin levels. This would include legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Oatmeal is a great whole grain food that is easy to fix, high in fiber so you stay full longer to resist snacking, and that boosts your serotonin level.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce cortisol and adrenaline when you are stressed. In addition, omega-3’s are good for hair, follicles and your scalp. We can’t produce this essential fatty acid on our own so we have to get if from foods such as salmon, sardines, tuna and other fatty fish, walnuts, avocado, Brussels sprouts, flaxseeds, olive oil and AFA bluegreen algae. Walnuts not only give you omega 3 fatty acids, but also biotin and vitamin E which contribute to healthy hair. Avocados in addition to giving you omega-3, are a good source of glutathione that helps keep the body from absorbing fats that cause oxidative damage, vitamin E, beta-carotene, folate, lutein, and B vitamins.
Magnesium is an essential ingredient for muscle relaxation, overall body calm, and has a soothing influence on mood. Leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard and spinach full of magnesium help keep cortisol levels in balance. Other food sources for magnesium include cereals and grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and bran, peas, beans, peanuts, lentils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, cashews, almonds, halibut, and fruits such as bananas and figs. Don’t go overboard with magnesium though since once your body has absorbed enough magnesium it will get rid of the rest usually in the form of diarrhea.
Berries are not only a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C that helps fight off stress, but blueberries in particular are a rich source of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that is especially beneficial. One German study reported people taking vitamin C showed lower levels of blood pressure and cortisol after being asked to perform stressful tasks. Antioxidants also help repair damage to cells from oxidation and free radicals that can be caused by stress. Vegetables and fruits with bright colors are also good sources for a variety of antioxidants.
Wholefood Supplements from the Wild
If you need help getting all the nutrition to combat stress and that your hair needs to be healthy, this supplement program can help. It includes two packets to take each day. One that gives you the omega-3’s, protein, vitamins and minerals from AFA bluegreen algae, digestive enzymes to help you get the most nutrition from the foods you eat and probiotics to help in production of B vitamins and another packet that has the antioxidant nutrition of sprouts, minerals and phytonutrients of various algaes and the immune support of medicinal mushrooms.
Getting the right nutrition to help get your stress under control will have the added benefit of giving you shiny, healthy hair. It’s a great two-for-one deal. Two benefits all from just making a few dietary changes.
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