It is a commonly believed fact that it is normal for a person to shed 50-100 strands of hair per day. However, this loss of hair strands is not necessarily the reason why you might be have been worrying about your thinning hair. What you really need to figure out is whether your hair fall is “normal” or not!
The reasons leading to hair fall can be any – genetics, pollution, sickness or poor nutrition. More often than not, it all boils down to nutrition.
The Hair, the Protein and the lack of it
The hair structure is made out of protein, L-methionine and L-cystiene being the sulfur amino acids that play an important role in the formation of hair protein structure Keratine.
When the diet lacks good quality protein, is high in sugar and unhealthy carbs it can lead to a thinning scalp. It is important to understand the importance of protein in the diet since it is necessary for tissue repair and growth.
There are some amino acids that the body makes on its own while it is unable to produce some. These are known as essential amino acids which a person needs to consume through a diet complete with foods like dairy, eggs, meat, fish, soy- so that the demand for these essential amino acids is met. Good quality protein powder can also be used as a source of meeting the demand for complete proteins.
How much should you target?
Without a doubt, most people who observe hairloss are on a low protein diet. So the first and most important mode of change should be made with regard to the consumption of protein. Increasing the amount of protein in diet (upgrade the quality as well as quantity!) and you will see visible results.
As per the RDA, an individual with a sedentary lifestyle requires 0.8-1.0 gm/kg body weight of protein per day. For those who workout on a regular basis or train harder, their protein needs can vary from 1.2-1.5 gm/kg body weight of protein per day. Make it a point to include some form of protein in each of your meals to ensure protein consumption.
Protein Sources to choose from:
Oily fish – Choose from Salmon, Herring, Mackerel which are high in n3 fatty acids and lend shine and strength to hair. Have upto 2-3 portions per week.
Nuts – Nuts offer a great range of nutritional benefits, complete with protein, minerals and healthy fat. Limit to 4-5 pieces of nuts per day.
Eggs – Eggs are one of the best sources of protein and also provides a complete amino acid profile.
Pulses and Beans – Packed with protein, zinc, vitamins and minerals, beans and lentils should form an important part of a healthy hair diet.
Dairy Products – Milk, yogurt and cheese are rich in protein as well as calcium, which contribute to hair growth and thickness. Aim to have around two to three portions of dairy a day.
Whey Protein- High in Biological value, this is one of the highest ranking and one of the best good quality protein source to go for! Whey protein has a complete amino acid profile and is also fortified with minerals and vitamins that not only helps you meet the daily protein demand but also helps with micro-nutrient requirement.
Different proteins offer varying advantages. I suggest you consume a healthy balanced diet, drink plenty of water throughout the day. For those who find it hard to get enough protein for whatever reasons, you can always opt for Whey Protein to help you with striking the balance in your nutrition needs.