Nutrition for Your Hair
Oct 20th, 2014 by

Nutrition for Your Hair

Is your hair getting a healthy, well balanced diet?  Enough water, vitamins, minerals and proteins to keep it growing strong, without breaking, falling out or splitting?  

In order to be at its best, your hair needs a good selection of vitamins to add strength and shine.  Proteins, such as keratin are part of the natural structure of your hair as well.  Protein gives it strength and bounce, prevents if from becoming stretchy or rubbery and also helps your hair grow properly.  Water stops your hair from becoming brittle and prone to breakage.  

If you notice your hair is thinning, breaking or falling out more than a few strands at a time, it could be a sign that your hair diet is not right.  Of-course, lack of nutrition in your hair usually indicates a deficiency for the rest of your body too.  

A good way to balance the needs of your hair is by adding a multi-vitamin to your daily routine.  Your hair and your body will benefit from Vitamins B & A.  It also needs minerals such as zinc, magnesium and calcium to help it grow.  

Protein comes from a wide variety of sources.  The most common is meat, but you can also find protein in fruits and vegetables.  Kiwi fruits are a great source of protein as well as Vitamin C.  Many dairy products are also high in protein.  It's the protein in your diet that give your hair the majority of its strength.  Lack of protein is usually evident in thin or damaged hair, or an abundance of hair loss.  

Drinking lots of water every day, or eating foods with high water content is also great for your hair.  Just like the rest of your body, hydration balance is extremely important for your hair.  Lacking this, your scalp will become dry and attempt to compensate by producing sebum, a naturally occuring oil designed to hydrate and protect your hair.  Not drinking enough water can cause this gland to overproduce, leaving you with oily hair.  

Providing proper nutrition to your hair is important to keep it growing strong and healthy and prevent hair loss.  Visit your doctor to be tested for a vitamin deficiency if you can't get your hair in good shape, as this is often a sign of undernourishment.

Discover more gorgeous beauty tips and advice at our beauty website.

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Will Fasting Hurt My Weight Loss Efforts
Apr 24th, 2014 by

Will Fasting Hurt My Weight Loss Efforts
Today's question comes from a reader who has started on the road to fitness, by employing a number of different strategies to make it happen. So far, he is down 12 pounds, which is a fine start.

He is exercising a minimum of five days a week and tries to do something every day. This is perfectly fine, so long as you don't do something strenuous every day. Many people walk every day, for instance, and don't even really consider that part of their exercise program. They count what they do, other than walking, as exercise, like lifting weights, doing bodyweight exercises and so on.

He also has made significant changes in what he eats, eliminating almost all packaged food and going with protein, fruit and vegetables. He still eats a couple of Snickers bars and a bag of pork rinds a week, which isn't good for you, but let's remember that he has lost twelve pounds in five weeks.

He heard about what is called "intermittent fasting," and wanted to know if it's helpful, or harmful.

Now, before I tell you what I think, let me tell you that this is a very controversial idea in the fitness community, where the sentiment runs heavily against the idea. All the trainers, diet experts and nutritionists are heavily invested in regular meals, on some kind of schedule, and they have a whole laundry list of reasons why this approach won't work, or is harmful...and won't work.

They will tell you that you'll lose muscle tone, strength, energy... and that your body will go on the fritz quickly, which can only be remedied by eating the way they tell you.

By the way..."intermittent fasting" means that you abstain from food for one or two days a week. (So this definitely is not for everyone.)

So let's boil it down for Bubba.

Will it hurt you, or help you?

It certainly won't hurt you...provided that you're in pretty good shape...with no serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and so on. You could probably do it, even with those problems, but you definitely need to see your doctor first and get the okay. (This is common sense, but....)

Will it help?

Last week, I talked about the first rule of weight loss, which simply put is: In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you are taking in at present. I used the 3000 calories a day figure, dropping the number to 2500, and multiplying out the number over a year.

So lets apply this to fasting, using one day a week. Let's assume you have already dropped your 3000 calories a day to 2500 calories a day and you've been doing this for a while...with no ill effects... and you're losing weight. Your net drop in calories is 3500 calories a week. Now with a fast (for 24 hours), you are dropping another 2500. That's upping the ante to 6000 calories a week. This certainly should speed up your weight loss, provided that you do not overcompensate when you break your fast (ie.,eating over 2500 calories).

Will you lose muscle tone? Will your energy level go down?

No. Tests have shown that none of the things the fitness community claims will happen...actually do happen. It's just another in the long list of "Gym myths," which are too numerous to count.

Dr. Bill is an orthopaedic surgeon and author. He recommends this pharmaceutical grade fish oil for more energy, reduced joint pain and increased heart health.

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