Ask A Doctor Health

‘What diet will help me reduce hairfall?’

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I’m a student preparing for an entrance examination. Over the past two weeks, I have been feeling exhausted, with body pain in the legs, shoulder and neck. What foods can I eat to help me?

The stress of studying, along with long hours of sitting, can result in body pain and loss of energy. This can get worse if you live in a city with high humidity or during rainy weather. To combat this, focus on magnesium-rich foods that can reduce muscle fatigue and even serve as natural muscle relaxants, such as pumpkin seeds (1 tbsp), rajma, chana, peanuts and coconut water. Aim to walk and stretch one minute for every 30 minutes you are sitting, to reduce the pain. Watch out for incorrect sitting posture while studying.

I am from Lucknow and have recently shifted to Delhi. I live alone in a rented house and have a very hectic study schedule and an erratic eating pattern. Over the last six months, I have had severe hairfall. Could my diet be causing this problem?

Various factors can trigger hairfall, which include a nutrient-deficient diet, stress, and water quality. Here’s a list of nutrients with their sources that can help in reversing excessive hairfall:

Vitamin A: It helps in hair cell growth. Include pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, spinach, milk or yoghurt.

Vitamin C: It helps in making collagen — an important part of hair structure, and helps in iron absorption, a mineral necessary for good hair. Get your daily dose from amla, lemon, bell peppers, guava or strawberries.

Biotin: Best-known vitamins for hair growth can be easily found in almonds, cauliflower, mushrooms, eggs and wheat bran.

Iron: An iron deficiency can accelerate hair loss. Get it in roasted chana, amaranth chikki or laddoo, peas, rajma, chickpeas and cashews.

Zinc: It plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. Load up on dals, dalia and pumpkin seeds to get adequate amounts.

Protein: No matter how many vitamins and minerals you are able to get, unless you’re eating enough protein you cannot combat hairfall. Hair is made of protein, and to get enough raw material you must choose at least three different proteins to include in your daily diet: yoghurt, milk, egg, lentils, chicken, fish, or paneer.

Lovneet Batra is a nutritionist, a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, USA; lecturer at IHM Pusa; a consultant to the Sports Authority of India, having counselled the Indian boxing, gymnastics, cycling and archery teams; and a consultant at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Delhi

Nothing in this column is intended to be, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek independent advice from a licensed practitioner if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Email us your questions at mp_health@thehindu.co.in

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 9:45:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/diet-to-reduce-hairfall-and-body-aches/article31445145.ece

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