Diet is incredibly important to hair growth and health. In fact, a nutritional deficiency will likely show up first in your hair before it is seen anywhere else. This is because hair is a non-essential tissue and so your body will never send energy, vitamins or minerals its way if an essential tissue needs them. What’s more, hair cells are the 2nd fastest growing cells in the body, which makes diet even more important to sustaining growth.
Zinc is very important to health and wellbeing. In fact, it helps support over 100 chemical reactions within the body, such as the formation of hormones and enzymes. It is especially significant to maintaining a healthy immune system and wound healing, but has also been shown to promote hair and skin health. As well as this, zinc helps our bodies to process carbohydrates, fats and proteins – the building blocks of hair.
Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods including lamb, beef, liver, oysters, crab, baked beans and milk.
Zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, and also anaemia – which can further exacerbate hair shedding. While you should be able to get all the nutrients you need through a balanced diet, containing fresh foods, it can be difficult for anyone to eat correctly all the time. Diet is therefore often supported and aided by including vitamin and mineral supplements. This is especially true where malabsorption, illness, stress and/or allergies are factors. Often, a combination of both is best for encouraging re-growth of hair when loss and/or thinning are issues. When taken with biotin, this benefit has been shown to be even greater
It is also important to note that it is hard for your body to absorb zinc when it is found in foods containing phytic acid. This is because phytic acid can impede zinc uptake. Examples of such foods are beans and pulses. However, if you soak these foods beforehand, phytic acid is reduced.
Foods Rich in Zinc