Staying Attractive

Don’t we all want to stay attractive and healthy? I hear a resounding “yes” from you. It’s not as hard as you think, but does require some effort on your part. We all know that we need to exercise and eat right, but what exactly will a healthy diet do for us? A big plus is that it can help our hair stay strong and shiny. What we eat can usually keep us from losing our locks. If we’re not getting certain nutrients from food, we might see the effects in our hair.

Woman with fair complexion in strong sun

For some time now, we’ve been told that essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s, play a key role in the health of our skin, hair, and nails. Okay, we’re going to try to  eat some of these foods, which are rich in omega-3, every day–salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fish; flaxseed oil; and nuts (walnuts and almonds are especially high in omega-3).

Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are important to our hair, too. If we eat mostly vegetables, we may not get enough of them. I try to remedy this by taking a multivitamin with my morning coffee and oatmeal. Because trace minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, and biotin also affect hair, I look for and take a daily multivitamin that has minerals, too. If you prefer, you may eat more of these foods with B-6 (bananas, potatoes (both white and sweet), and spinach). Major sources of B12 include meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

Our hair will benefit from folic acid that we can get from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and tomatoes. Whole grain and fortified-grain products, beans, and lentils also have it. Guess that means we can eat whole-grain bagels and French bread, but not at every single meal. Better get some protein in there as it’s critical to keep our hair healthy, but many people don’t get enough. Lean meats like fish and chicken, eggs, and soy products are good sources. Let’s try to eat one serving every day.

Even if we’re doing all the right thing, we may lose hair because of genetic factors like male or female pattern baldness.  Check with your doctor when you have your annual Medicare checkup. If hair loss is a huge problem, schedule an appointment. It may be a sign of thyroid disease, anemia, autoimmune diseases, and/or hormone issues.

Thanks to Web MD Feature: “Eat Right for Your Hair.”American Academy of Dermatology: “Hair Loss, “KidsHealth: “Your Hair”, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, and Dr. Jennifer Robinson, MD, for the nutritional content. I couldn’t write it all on my own, but wanted to share the message.

Annie Ambles vows to take better care of her tresses



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