Healing Kitchen

Hair Problems
A nutrient-rich diet contributes to a healthy head of hair. Without omega-3 fatty acids, hair is often dry and lifeless. Foods rich in biotin, copper, zinc, selenium, and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) may promote hair growth or slow hair loss. Note that foods containing raw egg should be avoided because raw egg binds biotin and prevents it from being absorbed by the body. (In any case, raw eggs should be avoided because of the risk of salmonella.) Please see related links for additional information on psoriasis and eczema, which may cause a flaking and itching scalp that contributes to hair problems.

We believe that it's possible to manage and/or improve certain conditions through what you eat. When we create "Mega-Recipes" for an ailment, we strive to include the maximum number of the nutrients that are shown to have benefit for that ailment. We also expect the Mega-Recipe to contain at least 25% of recommended intakes for those nutrients. See the list of recipes that have met our criteria for this ailment.

What You Should Eat & Why

PABA may protect hair follicles and prevent hair loss. Some studies show that reversing a deficiency in PABA may be useful for restoring gray hair back to its natural color.
Leading Food Sources of PABA: Rice, brown, Mushrooms, Eggs, Milk

Copper is an essential ingredient in melanin, the pigment that colors hair and skin. Zinc and copper are best consumed together to maintain a proper mineral balance and, fortunately, both are usually found in the same food sources.
Leading Food Sources of copper: Mushrooms, Sunflower seeds, Crab, Lobster & crayfish, Oysters

omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s may help reduce flaking dandruff and itching scalp, as well as eczema and psoriasis of the scalp.
Leading Food Sources of omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon, Tuna, Trout

Research suggests that this mineral may enhance healthy hair growth.
Leading Food Sources of selenium: Rice, brown, Chicken, Wheat, Shrimp, Sunflower seeds, Tuna, Brazil nuts, Eggs

Zinc may be especially beneficial for people who have brittle or thinning hair as a result of an underactive thyroid.
Leading Food Sources of zinc: Barley, Oysters, Crab, Chicken, Wheat, Lamb, Beef, Turkey

Date Published: 05/03/2005
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