By: Wendy Wu, R.D., M.S.
Notice a little more hair gunk in the drain? Hair bunnies by your floor molding? There are many causes of hair loss. Some examples include genetics, stress, excessive hairstyling, diseases like diabetes, anemia, thyroid problems and lupus, major illness, medical treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, hair treatments like dying, perming, and bleaching, scalp infection like ringworm, hair-pulling disorder, hormonal changes due to pregnancy, certain medications for treating GOUT, depression, arthritis, heart problems, high blood pressure, taking or discontinuing birth control pills and finally, poor nutrition.
Remember! Losing 100 strands of hair a day is completely normal.
How does poor nutrition affect hair loss you ask?
Since Hair is made up of protein, you need to eat a protein rich diet: Average Americans need not worry as most are getting enough protein. However, pregnant women, women lactating, child and adolescent growth periods and athletes need more.
So if you’re not pregnant, lactating or Jeremy Lin (heeHee) then you probably don’t need too much protein.
How much protein do I need a day?
Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert your weight into kilograms, then multiply by 0.80.
Ex: 120lbs / 2.2 = 54.5 kg x .8 = 44 grams (g)
Best protein sources include: skinless poultry, fish, seafood, lean meat, and low fat and nonfat dairy products.
Beans, lentils, soy, and nuts are incomplete proteins so they need a partner to be complete.
Incomplete-protein-match.com: Grains + Legumes, Grains + Nuts/Seeds or Legumes + Nuts/Seeds make the perfect match!
Ex: Peanut Butter on Whole Wheat Bread
Rice and Beans
Whole Wheat Bread with Sesame seeds
Hummus (Chick Peas + Sesame Paste)
Trail Mix (Nuts + Sunflower Seeds)
2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter = 8 g
1/4 cup Almonds = 8 g
3 oz Tofu = 7 g
1 large Egg = 6 g
1 Cup Milk = 8 g
3 oz Salmon = 19 g
6 oz Steak = 42 g
3 oz Oven roasted fat-free chicken breast, sliced, no bone = 15 gm
Get your Iron Boost:
Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin and certain enzymes, and for many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health.
Males 19 years and older need only 8 grams of iron per day.
Women 19-50 years need 18 grams of iron per day.
Best iron sources:
Red meat, Egg yolks, Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards), Dried fruit (prunes, apricots, raisins), Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels), Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops), Beans, Lentils, Chick peas, Soybeans, Liver, and Artichokes.
-Inadequate intake of Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium and Omega-3-fatty acids may also affect hair loss.
-Fad diets, Crash diets, and eating disorders may cause hair loss due to inadequate nutrient intake.
So in other words: Poor Nutrition = Hair Loss
It is best to consult with your physician if you are overly worried about hair loss.