Gray hair is natural as people age, but if you experience premature graying, it can be attributed to a lot of things. Genetics is one. But what many people don’t know is that premature graying is also caused by improper nutrition. That’s right, lack of nutrients and vitamins can cause melanin, the hair black pigment, to decrease in amount, making the hair turn into gray and eventually white. That said, you need to spike up the melanin level in your hair through proper nutrition. Here are some tips.
- Take Vitamin B5. Vitamin B5, called pantothenic acid, is shown to delay the graying process of the hair. Vitamin B5 is present in fish, poultry products, and legumes. You can also take supplements if you prefer. Aside from Vitamin B5, you should also take other B Vitamins such as Vitamins B-9 and B-12.
- Take PABA. Para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA, is a Vitamin B complex that can help maintain the natural hair color. Especially if it is taken with other vitamins and minerals, PABA can prevent hair graying. Foods rich in PABA include brewer’s yeast, whole grain, egg, kidney, and liver. PABA is also available as a supplement. Aside from the hair, the skin can also benefit from PABA. Recommended daily dosage for PABA is 30 mg for adults.
- Try taking blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses has long been considered a natural remedy for gray hair. A sweetener, blackstrap molasses is a syrup byproduct of cane sugar. It is rich in copper, which is an important component in melanin production. Blackstrap molasses can be mixed with other ingredients and should be taken everyday. You can mix it with almond milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Increase your copper intake. Aside from blackstrap molasses, you can also take other copper-rich foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and crabs. You need to have sufficient supply of copper to prevent graying of hair, so make sure to incorporate such foods in your diet.
- Eat foods that have high iodine content. Iodine also helps maintain natural hair color, especially when paired with copper. It is present mostly in seafood like tuna, crab, lobster, mackerel, and sardines. Some fruits and vegetables are also rich in iodine such as banana and carrot.
- Increase your intake of iron and zinc. Iron and zinc are proven helpful in keeping the hair’s natural color. Iron-rich foods include red meat, wheat, and eggs, while zinc is present in chicken, green vegetables, and also red meat. Aside from including these foods in your diet, you might also want to try taking iron and zinc supplements.
When you decide to change your diet and/or take supplements, it is very important to first consult your physician or dietitian. This is especially necessary if you have other conditions that may or may not have direct effect on the premature graying of your hair. Remember to never be your own health consultant to avoid harming your physical condition. Also, take the mentioned tips only as such—tips. They should not be taken as a final medical advice. The final word should still come from your physician or dietitian.