Vegan and vegetarian diets can be extremely healthy. Getting your calories from nutrient dense sources like fruits, vegetables and grains set your body up to feel healthy and full of energy. However, as with any restrictive diet, there are chances of deficiencies if you are omitting certain foods.
It is important to keep your vegan or vegetarian diet balanced with protein as well as carbohydrates to keep your hair healthy and strong and to prevent hair loss.
Protein is essential for hair growth, in fact, hair is made of protein. Protein energizes your body to sustain tissue in your hair as well as your heart and organs.
Proteins are made of amino acids or building blocks. Some of the amino acids are called essential and other are non-essential. The difference is that essential amino acids must be eaten every day because the body can't create them on its own, whereas the body is capable of making the non-essential amino acids.
You can find essential amino acids in animal proteins but if you do not eat animal products you will have to find your amino acids from a wide range of grains and vegetables and eat a large quantity to maintain enough protein levels for healthy hair growth.
Plant based protein can be found in tofu, edamame, quinoa, lentils, nuts, coconut, chick peas and whey.
Vegetarians may find protein in eggs, cheese, yogurt and milk products.
Iron and ferritin levels are also important for healthy hair. While red meat is a primary source of iron vegetarians and vegans can find iron from plants as well although it is not as easily absorbed by the body. Iron from plant sources include dark leafy greens, soy beans, almonds, beets, prunes and cereals enriched with iron.
A common nutrient that vegetarians and vegans can be deficient in is vitamin B12 and it is essential for hair growth. Milk and eggs are good sources as vegetables and plants do not contain adequate amounts. If you are vegan you may find it in fortified cereals or you may want to discuss a supplement with your doctor.
If you feel you may have a vitamin deficiency ask your doctor for testing. Images International does not recommend supplementing without consulting your doctor first. Taking too much of certain vitamins, like vitamin A for example, can cause hair loss.
Once you have balanced your diet and you would like to speed up your hair growth, nurture your damaged hair or add to your thinning locks call Images International at (248) 540-0900 for a free consultation where we can give you your hair back.