Until fairly recently not much was known about the negative effects of certain foods on hair and nails unlike well documented research on which foods are good and which are bad for our skin. Recent studies have shown that a wide variety of foods have the potential to cause long term damage to one’s hair and nails. Just in case you are afflicted by numerous bad hair days, hair fall, dull hair or brittle nails that do not respond to any amount of grooming it’s about time you take a close look into your dietary choices. It may come as a surprise to some that just like your skin your hair and nails are prone to the negative effects of the foods you consume and it’s only wise that you read further to learn more.
Candy and Other Sweet Treats
If you are a weight watcher and wisely ration your consumption of sugar loaded sweet treats, there’s a good chance that your hair and nails benefit equally from your dietary habits. The fact that consumption of sweets leads to raised insulin levels in the bloodstream is well known and documented however according to recent studies insulin has been known to raise levels of androgen that cause hair follicles to shrink in both men and women causing severe hair damage in the long run.
High- Glycemic Diet
Foods that quickly break down in to sugar as a result of digestion have the same effect as candies and other sweet treats on your hair and nails. Pastas, white breads, cakes and pizzas quickly break down in to sugars once consumed leading to raised insulin levels that in turn create raised androgen levels and result in hair damage and thinning.
Excess Vitamin A
Excess consumption of Vitamin A has been shown to cause hair damage in the form of hair thinning and hair fall. Consuming a multivitamin supplement may not have the same effect on your hair and nails as consuming a Vitamin A supplement. This fact is also closely related to certain compounds in specific medications that may cause hair and nail damage.
Insufficient Protein Intake
The current trend of vegetarian diets has its pitfalls because of the lack of sufficient protein for hair and nail growth. This can be easily rectified without straying from a strictly vegetarian diet in the form of protein supplements and the consumption of proteins rich legumes and soya beans.
Insufficient Iron and Zinc Intake
It’s almost common knowledge that the little white flecks on your brittle nails are the result of a calcium deficiency and you may have done all you could to set it straight without much progress. It may be time for you to explore other options. Recent studies have shown that brittle and patchy nails are also caused by insufficient consumption of zinc and iron. Unfortunately common sources of zinc and iron are red meats and seafood which is not a viable option for vegans and vegetarians however this can easily be set straight by over the counter iron and zinc supplements.