Hair loss seems to be common in the urban stressful life. When hair starts shedding in large quantities daily it is natural for the person to be worried.
The concern is more if no root cause of this hair loss is found. But did you know that even certain healthy food can lead to the shedding of hair enormously? Why so? Read on to know which foods can cause increased hair loss!
Hair loss: the common issue
Hair loss occurs with aging. Normally one loses 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is natural hair fall. But due to various reasons such as age, tension, physical diseases, less nutrition, drugs, etc, there can be increased hair loss.
This leads to hair sparseness and becomes a cause of great worry to people, especially women.
We start eating healthily to counteract increased hair fall. We consume balanced wholesome foods daily with a lot of minerals and vitamins and proteins. But despite that hair fall continues unabated.
We try to lessen stress and investigate for any underlying diseases. All tests come normal. And we wonder what is ailing our hair! Eva Proudman MIT IAT, Chairman of The Institute of Trichologists explains:
“From research we know that high levels of mercury are associated with hair loss, one of the most common foods that contains mercury is fish, particularly sushi, mackerel, swordfish and some tuna, so sometimes when we think we are making healthy choices we need to think again.”
Sugar and increased hair loss
Fish and fish oil have omega-3 fatty acids and this promotes hair growth. But mercury in high amounts is toxic for hair. Similarly, sugar can cause increased hair fall. Eva elaborates:
“The sugar tax has been in the news for general health, but again foods high in processed sugar or with a high – glycaemic index can affect hair health.”
Those foods that the body breaks down fast can get quickly absorbed and raise blood sugar high. These foods have a high glycemic index or GI. Providing further explanation, Eva adds:
“High sugar content in your diet causes an increase in blood glucose which means the body has to produce more insulin, this can lead to an increase in androgens, which are male sex hormone, this can result in miniaturisation of the hair follicles as seen in male and female pattern hair loss.”
“So when you are thinking about eating cakes, sweets and biscuits, be sure to moderate the intake, although tasty and an easy source of quick energy or feel good factor, if consumed in high quantities your hair may suffer.”
Despite talks, the UK government has not imposed sugar or salt tax on fast food chains, restaurants, and food packaging companies.
Sebum and hair health
Sebaceous glands produce sebum which acts as a natural oil for the scalp and hairs. These glands are the maximum in the scalp. Eva states:
“Sebum is beneficial to hair health, but if it is over produced then it can lead to inflammation and scalp irritation that can then be detrimental to the hair health.”
Also, read High-fat diet, obesity, and hair loss!
Sugars can overproduce sebum and hence cause harm to hair. Hence she advises:
“Try to choose complex carbohydrates, fruits that have complex carbohydrates are strawberries, apples, pears, grapefruit.”
“Vegetables such as broccoli, peas, courgette, asparagus, wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholewheat pasta are also better choices as they contain complex carbohydrates compared to the white breads, rice’s and pastas.”