There are so many important nutrients to hair and skin health, and yet it can seem overwhelming to get the right mix. Ultimately, if you want to have beautiful hair and clear skin, you need to ensure you are getting the right amounts of nutrients to provide those cells with the ability to flourish and look amazing. The good news is you don't have to over think the process. In fact, if you work towards improving your protein and iron intake, you'll do wonders for your skin nearly right away. Of course, everyone's needs are a bit different, but these specific nutrients are a must.
Are You Losing Hair?
If you are losing hair, that could be a big sign that you are actually deficient in iron and that your protein intake is too low. First, make sure you are losing hair at an abnormal rate.
- Everyone loses hair all of the time. If you are losing hair in about the same amount as you always have, this is not something to worry about.
- Most people lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day. You don't see most of them.
- Hair loss can be contributed to a variety of factors. To determine if it is an iron deficiency, rule out other facts such as male pattern baldness, alopecia, or hair loss brought on by medications or illness.
- Realize that stressful situations can also bring on hair loss that's not related to your nutrient intake.
If you think you are losing hair at an abnormally high level, consider your nutrient intake. Are you getting enough iron in your diet?
Why Does Iron Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?
If your hair is dull, falling out, or thinning, it could be due to an iron deficiency. This type of deficiency is most commonly found in women, especially those who are of childbearing age or those that are post menopausal. Saying your iron deficient means that your blood lacks enough red blood cells. These cells work to transport oxygen to each of the cells of the body. When this does not happen, your body doesn't have the energy it needs. Your body also needs this source of oxygen to ensure your hair and skin are healthy. If this does not happen, you could experience hair loss.
To truly know if you have an iron deficiency, you'll need to talk to your family doctor. The only real way to know this is through a blood test. However, if your diet is low in protein - which is the main source of iron for your body's needs - you may be able to assume this is the cause of your hair loss. It's important to consider protein's value to your hair like this. A single hair on your head is made up of protein fiber. To grow, it needs a steady amount of protein. If you don't get enough in your diet, you are limiting your hair's ability to grow and flourish.
In terms of your skin, without the right amount of protein, the tissues cannot repair themselves. This leads to dead skin cells building up and a lack of overall healthy looking skin. Your body cannot construct new tissue at a fast enough rate. The result is that your skin looks dull or damaged. However, by improving your body's source of protein (and that means a healthy form of protein, too) you'll increase the amount of iron and red blood cells present. For many men and women, this is enough to restore health to the skin.
So, how much is enough? This will depend on a variety of factors. However, your body needs at least 12 milligrams of iron from your diet (not just from supplements) in order to do well. You can get iron and protein from a variety of foods, especially from fish and meats, dark leafy greens and cheese or other dairy products. You'll also find it in lentils, legumes, and in soy products. If your diet is low in protein or iron, making the change could help to improve your overall health while also improving the way your hair and skin looks. It's an easy way to give your body the nutrients it needs.