Complex Carbohydrates & Healthy Hair
Diet is important for having healthy hair. As the old adage goes – we are what we eat. Our bodies gets the necessary building blocks from the food we eat. Let’s take a closer look at one of the essential and often neglected element – complex carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates may carry a bad name, especially when some weight loss programs discourage eating them when in fact finding the right carbs is key towards better health than to avoid them completely. Carbohydrates provide most of the body’s energy. The body breaks down and converts carbs into energy that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, which is then transported around our bodies for fuel and repair.
There are two types of carbohydrates – simple carbs and complex carbs. Complex carbohydrates take a longer time to digest and therefore are a more stable and effective source of energy of simple carbs. Ever experienced a ‘sugar rush’? That’s because simple carbohydrates (sugars) breaks down easier and provide a short burst of energy that will go away quickly before the ‘crash’ and you become tired and drowsy.
While complex carbs are a better source of energy than simple carbs, they may not be necessarily healthier as they can also be found in processed foods without much nutritional value such as those made with refined white flour. Likewise, simple carbs can also be found in nutritional foods such as milk and whole fruits.
So, how does it affect healthy hair?
Our hair cells are the second fastest-growing cells in our bodies, second only to intestinal cells, and it needs a lot of energy to sustain the repair works and grow healthily. However, because the hair is considered a non-essential tissue, its energy needs are not prioritized by the body. This is why a deficit in carbohydrates is most likely to show signs first on our hair, in the form of hair thinning or hair loss.
Here are some healthy sources for complex carbohydrates;
- Whole grains
- Fiber-rich fruits
- Leafy greens
- Brown rice or pasta
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes
Snacking on a (healthy) complex carb between meals can also help sustain the energy levels more efficiently. We believe that moderation and balance is key. If you’re looking to make changes to your diet, we recommend consulting with your doctor or nutritionist first.
You can find out more about the other nutrients and minerals essential for healthy hair here.
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