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Diet to Prevent Gray Hair

by
author image Sharin Griffin
Sharin Griffin has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in health-related articles. She has worked in the health-care industry as a certified nursing assistant and medical technician. Griffin's medical expertise encompasses bariatrics and geriatric care, with an emphasis on general medicine. She is completing an associate degree in health-care administration from Axia University.
Diet to Prevent Gray Hair
Curry leaves may help stave off gray hair. Photo Credit Gowtum Bachoo/iStock/Getty Images

Gray hair is not a sign of aging that is readily embraced by everyone who comes across this form of depigmentation. Melanocytes, the cells responsible for production of melanin, decrease as you age. With this reduction, your hair's pigmentation decreases, causing natural colors to turn shades of silver, gray and even white. Hair dyes have long been the treatment method of choice to avoid growing old gracefully, but proper diet and nutrition may be the answer that will stop gray hairs from ever sprouting.

Vitamins

Vitamins are essential to every single function your body performs on a daily basis. This includes hair growth and coloring. Vitamins B12 and C are two such essential vitamins that are required for prevention of gray hair. According to Evolution Hair Centers, vitamins B12 and C keep your blood clean, which helps boost your liver's filtration function. When free radicals invade your blood, your systems are slow to respond, and that includes your ability to produce melanocytes. Foods high in these vitamins include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts.

Herbs

Flavoring your food with the proper herbs is also beneficial to stopping gray hair in its tracks. According to World Of Hair's website, curry leaves are a proven method of staving off gray hair. Adding curry to your dishes for flavor plays a dual role in boosting melanocyte production, with shine being an added benefit. Curry leaves eaten whole are also an ideal way to ensure you benefit from the properties this herb holds. However, this spice may be too strong for some.

Minerals

Alongside vitamins, certain minerals provide hair health support. Evolution Hair Centers says iron and folic acid are two such minerals, aiding vitamins B12 and C in blood-cleansing abilities. Individuals with lower-than-normal levels of iron suffer a condition called anemia, which has adverse effects on your hair that include fading and dull appearance. Consuming green leafy vegetables, liver and whole grains will ensure iron and folic acid are present in your system at all times. Other minerals that are required to fight the grays include copper and iodine, found in shellfish and other seafood, according to "Women's Fitness" magazine.

Protein

Every nutritionally well-balanced diet should include a couple of 3 to 4 oz. servings of protein daily. Your hair is made of complex proteins that not only provide strength and growth, but also ensure vibrant color. According to World of Hair, lowered intake of proteins may actually promote graying. Lean meats, nuts and beans are just a few foods that are rich in proteins, while providing variety to your diet. Soy is another protein-packed food, providing a healthy alternative for those who avoid mass quantities of meat products.

Avoidances

Eating certain foods boosts hair pigmentation, but avoiding certain foods is also important. High quantities of salt can damage the blood, elevating blood pressure and inhibiting cell production. According to Evolution Hair Centers, processed foods, chips and other snack foods are loaded with salt that damages your hair. Other foods to avoid include high-carb foods such as pasta and white breads. According to "Women's Fitness" magazine, carbs inhibit the absorption of antioxidants found in certain vitamins.

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