Get Hair Regrowth with a Ketogenic Diet
Many people are concerned with the health of their hair. Some individuals are concerned with the effects of aging on their hair including: hair loss and thinning. How can you combat some of these issues? What can you do to improve these situations? Have you considered that what you eat could impact hair health? It can be difficult to choose essential nutrition and supplements to find balance in your diet and promote healthy hair. We will look at the fact that what you eat impacts your overall health, which includes your hair. In this article, we will explore ketogenic diet hair regrowth and the vitamins, minerals, and proteins needed for you to have healthy hair.
what is a ketogenic (keto) Diet?
First, let’s look at what the ketogenic diet (also known as “keto”) consists of. The keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, very low-carbohydrate diet. Remember that when you eat something high in carbs, your body produces glucose. Glucose, a simple sugar, is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy, so your body uses it first. A diet that is high in carbohydrates does not require your body to use consumed fat for fuel, so it becomes stored in the body. In contrast, when you lower your carb consumption, your body is forced to find a different energy source. When that happens, your body starts burning fats for fuel (instead of carbohydrates and proteins). You then enter into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural, metabolic process that occurs when our bodies turn to fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. As a part of this process, fat is converted into ketones (similar to how carbs are converted into glucose), which the body can use as a readily available source of energy. A ketogenic lifestyle not only requires less carbohydrates but moderate protein intake and a higher level of healthy fats. There are a few recommendations on a ketogenic diet that will contribute to healthy hair. They are as follows: to make sure that you are getting collagen into your nutrition; to focus on nutrient dense food that is not processed or filled with artificial ingredients. Both of these things will contribute to ketogenic diet hair regrowth and we will look at why that is.
About a third of your body’s protein composition comes from collagen which makes it a highly important part of our health and well-being. A sign of aging can occur in your hair, where it can become weak. Collagen is responsible for strengthening hair and stopping it from becoming brittle and breaking. Bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are also mostly comprised of collagen. Collagen is often thought of as “glue” that holds everything together. The Greek word “kólla” means glue and is where the word collagen came from.
Your body can produce collagen, but only if it has the right nutrients available to do so. Vitamin C, proline, glycine, and copper are all needed to make more collagen. Collagen production can only occur when the right protein is incorporated into your diet. It should be not only high in quality but also contain the amino acids that are necessary for the body to make new proteins. Let’s look at what foods you can consume to provide your body with the essential nutrients to make collagen and contribute to ketogenic diet hair regrowth:
- Vitamin C comes from citrus fruits, bell peppers and strawberries.
- Proline can be found in egg whites, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms.
- Glycine comes from pork skin, chicken skin and gelatin, but glycine is also found in various protein-containing foods.
- Copper can be found in organ meats, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, cashews and lentils.
- High quality proteins with amino acids include: grass-fed meat including chicken, lamb, beef, turkey; fish including cod, salmon and tuna; dairy including cheeses such as parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella and goat cheese; legumes; and tofu.
Take note that vitamin C is not only used to make collagen but also helps the body absorb iron. If your body does not have enough iron, anemia can occur. Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood. One side effect of anemia is hair loss, so it is important to make sure you have enough vitamin C in your diet to absorb iron.
Collagen powder consists of collagen peptides. Collagen peptides do not gel and there are many unflavored options on the market. Because of this, the powder does not change the texture or taste of your food. There are many reasons you should consider adding collagen powder to your supplements. Here are a few to contemplate:
- as you age, the quality of collagen produced by your body declines
- too much sugar and refined carbs interrupts the ability for collagen to repair itself
- collagen production can be reduced by not only ultraviolet radiation (too much time in the sun) but also smoking.
Keto Super Collagen Protein by Top Notch Nutrition
Top Notch Nutrition set out to amplify the benefits of a collagen protein. There are so many options for collagen protein on the market today. Top Notch Nutrition found success by combining 100% hydrolyzed marine collagen, avocado powder, pure C8/C10 medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil powder and grass fed butter powder! This is the first collagen protein of its kind which is a healthy fat blend (see below for more information on this Tri-Fat Blend) + 100% hydrolyzed marine collagen = super collagen! This product should top the list when looking to add a collagen powder for improved ketogenic diet hair regrowth.
Bone Broth is packed full of collagen so this is another way to incorporate it into your diet. Bone broth comes from animal bones and connective tissue. The most popular animal bones to use are chicken, turkey, pig and beef. It is simmered with an acid (i.e. vinegar or lemon juice) which breaks down the collagen and connective tissue. The resulting liquid is incredibly nutritious and can be used in soups, sauces, or some will even drink it all on its own. We have included a recipe below, so you can try making this!
other recommendations for ketogenic diet hair regrowth
Here we will explore other vitamins and minerals that should be incorporated into your diet for improved health in your hair. We will look at the major sources and which foods are also on the recommended list for a keto diet.
- Vitamin E – an antioxidant that can promote healthy hair. One study showed that people with hair loss whom supplemented with vitamin E for 8 months had a 34.5% increase in hair growth. Good sources of vitamin E are: sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados and almonds.
- Iron deficiency – we mentioned this above in connection to vitamin C. You may recall that it causes anemia which increases hair loss, especially in women. Good sources of iron are: clams, oysters, eggs, red meat, and spinach.
- B-vitamins – gets oxygen and nutrients to your hair and thus promotes hair growth. B-vitamins can be found in many foods but the most common are: almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens.
- Vitamin A – helps your body’s cells grow. This is, of course, then essential for hair growth. Clearly, then, a deficiency in vitamin A could cause hair loss. Some foods are high in beta-carotene which your body turns into vitamin A. These include spinach and kale. Eggs and cod liver oil are animal products that are good sources of vitamin A.
- Zinc – helps the oil glands around the follicles to function properly. This also promotes healthy hair. A deficiency in zinc can be partially responsible for hair loss. Good sources of zinc are: oysters, beef, spinach, and pumpkin seeds.
- Protein – your hair is mostly made of this, so a deficiency could attribute to hair loss. We discussed the collagen protein powder, but you can get protein from many sources: beef, bison, bacon, pork chops, ham, chicken, sausage, eggs, etc.
recipes to help you incorporate collagen into your diet
fall fat bombs - maple pumpkin spice
Serving size: 1 fat bomb.
Recipe makes: 24 servings.
Tip: If you like a little extra flavor, sprinkle more pumpkin spice on top!
Macros (per serving): 95 calories, 9.3 grams fat, 1.5 grams net carbohydrates, 1.9 grams protein.
In a large crockpot, put the bones on the bottom and add the rest of the ingredients on top. Cover with the 12 cups of water, and simmer on low for 24 – 48 hours (the longer the better in our opinion!).
Serving size: Makes 12 servings.
Tips: We usually start a second batch right away with the same bones and then freeze it in individual portion sizes for later use!
Macros (per serving): 103 calories, 6.4 grams fat, 3 grams net carbohydrates, 7.5 grams protein.
You should plan your diet so that you incorporate whole foods, particularly ones that you enjoy consuming. A lot of focus should be put on the quality of food consumed. Other lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and improving sleep can also contribute and improve overall results. Remember that regardless of your diet choice, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking water. It is also suggested to avoid soda, drinks with added sugars, and alcoholic beverages. A lot of work goes into finding a sustainable diet that will produce results. Despite the research and information available to us today, not everyone will have the same results even if they are following the exact same plans. Everyone’s body will respond differently, and it is up to you to make changes until you find the plan that works the best for you. It can be overwhelming and for many people it is, at times, very frustrating.
With that being said, we know that the benefits to finding a healthy, balanced diet are great. Ultimately, your decision is one that needs to be made based on your health history, overall goals and in consultation with your primary care physician. Your body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to have healthy hair. Our goal here is to address ketogenic hair regrowth so that you can make an educated decision regarding your health journey. In knowing how to create a healthy environment in your body, you can take steps to avoid the most common issues people face with their hair.