How Foods Rich in Selenium Affect Your Hair Health

selenium rich foods

Selenium is a mineral and trace element that has many benefits for our health and hair. Working together with vitamin E, it helps to prevent oxidative damage in our bodies and promote hair growth. So eating foods rich in selenium will help ensure you don’t become deficient. Here we list the top ten selenium foods:

Selenium Rich Foods

The top foods rich in selenium are as follows:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Halibut
  • Sardines
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Beef liver
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Spinach

This is How Selenium-Rich Foods Prevent Hair Loss

Eating enough selenium-rich food is important to keep a good amount of the vital mineral in the body. As it is an effective antioxidant, selenium fights free radicals. These are not only harmful to our overall health but can also inhibit hair growth by weakening and killing hair follicles.

Selenium is vital for the proper functioning of the thyroid and this organ also regulates hair growth – if it’s out of balance, you may start experiencing hair loss and weight loss.

Selenium is also frequently used in anti-dandruff shampoos as it fights the flaky scalp imbalance by killing off fungus. Dandruff or fungus on the scalp can cause hair loss with itching, which makes us scratch the itch and pull the hair out of its follicles.

selenium foods
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium.

Why Selenium is so Beneficial for Our Overall Health

As stated above, selenium collaborates with vitamin E to prevent oxidative stress in the body. That means damage to the body’s cells caused by free radicals. Selenium can also help prevent heart disease.

Selenium also works synergistically with iodine to keep our thyroids healthy. It does this by producing a hormone called T3, which is critical to control our metabolism and maintain thyroid health.

Too Much Selenium Could be Toxic

Although selenium deficiency could lead to different types of diseases and pain, there have also been cases where selenium supplements have contained hundreds of times higher doses than what the labels state. This could therefore lead to selenium toxicity, which can cause hair loss, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. Along with eating selenium rich foods, you can consider taking a supplement containing many different vitamins and minerals meant to work synergistically to aid your hair health.

National Hair Loss Awareness Month is here – here are some ingredients you should know about

hair loss

As mentioned in one of our previous posts, August is the National Hair Loss Awareness Month. This month was created to help educate the world on the emotional and psychological impacts of hair loss in men and women. So there is no better time than now to talk about how beneficial Nutrafol’s supplement is for you in your search for healthy hair.

Ingredients important for healthy hair

All of Nutrafol’s clinically tested ingredients play an important role in supporting hair health but if we have to narrow it down, it comes down to these…

Black pepper fruit extract

The patented Bio-Perine® in Nutrafol plays an important role in the absorption of bioactive nutrients and supporting hair growth from within. Its active ingredient, piperine, enhances the body’s ability to produce heat and energy, which allows many of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids in Nutrafol to be absorbed and utilized more effectively. It is as the name implies, extracted from the black pepper fruit.

Biotin

Biotin is one of the building blocks of healthy hair growth and it is needed to metabolize fatty acids and amino acids. The rich levels of biotin in Nutrafol contribute to stronger hair, as well as combating dryness, and breakage. This vitamin is an essential water-soluble B-complex vitamin that your hair absolutely needs.

Cayenne red pepper fruit extract

The all-natural, hormone-balancing cayenne red pepper fruit extract in Nutrafol is a powerful agent that helps to combat the effects of stress on the hair, increase protein production and improve circulation in the scalp.

Horsetail herb extract

The herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense) contains high levels of silica, one of the planet’s most common and most important elements. Horsetail can increase the tensile strength and thickness of hair and reduces brittleness.

hair loss
National Hair Loss Awareness Month – have you taken your supplements to support healthy hair growth?

L-Lysine

The essential amino acid L-Lysine promotes hair health when combined with other amino acids. Lysine has also shown potential to work with methionine, a rich source of the mineral sulfur and the structural support of the follicle.

L-Methionine

L-Methionine is an essential amino acid necessary for hair growth, aiding the development of the hair shaft. It also helps promote overall scalp health and works against graying.

Resveratrol

The antioxidant properties of resveratrol work to defend the follicles and scalp against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Resveratrol also improves blood circulation, enhancing the development, growth and overall quality of hair follicles.

Selenium

Selenium produces antioxidant enzymes that can defend against damage to cells, including those in hair follicles. It also helps to maintain proper thyroid function, which benefits the immune system and fosters healthy hair growth.

Keratin

Keratin is a naturally occurring protein in the body and a key structural component of hair. It comprises Cynatine HNS Keratin, the patented form of the ingredient in Nutrafol. Highly bioavailable, with an ability to protect and repair damaged hair (as well as nails and skin).

Zinc

The mineral zinc is vital to the body, playing a key role in more than 300 metabolic functions, including cell reproduction, protein utilization and maintaining hormonal balance. It is essential for collagen production and it is also a powerful antioxidant. Zinc helps wounds to heal and to strengthen the glands attached to hair follicles.

Horsetail and hair thinning – this is how it works

One of Nutrafol’s ingredients is the herb horsetail. Horsetail contains high levels of silica (or silicon dioxide), one of the planet’s most common and most important elements. The element contains silicic acid, which is shown to increase the tensile strength and thickness of hair and reduce brittleness, according to a 2005 study in the Archive of Dermatological Research.

What is horsetail?

Horsetail’s botanical name is Equisetum arvense. Its use as a medical herb dates back to the times of the Greeks and the Romans. These ancients used it to stop hemorrhage and external bleeding and to treat tuberculosis and kidney diseases. Promoting skin, nail and hair health are also benefits of using the herb.

How does it benefit skin, nails and hair health?

One of the first things to know about horsetail is that it contains a high level of silica. Silica is a compound that strengthens both nails and hair. Horsetail plant is also known to improve blood circulation which leads to healthier hair follicles. Therefore, it’s also suitable for men and women struggling with thinning.

So to sum it all up:

Horsetail and hair loss
Supplements that contain horsetail can be beneficial for your hair, skin and nails.

Horsetail and hair growth

The main reason why the herb is believed to be able to stimulate hair growth is because of its antioxidant effects. Horsetail can also improve circulation, leading to the improvement of hair follicles and to help stimulate hair growth. The herb also has the ability to increase urine output by acting as a diuretic, leading the system to cleanse and detox itself. This tends to result in better overall health and improve blood circulation. Blood circulation improves the condition of both the scalp and the individual hair follicles. With these improvements comes the ability for hair follicles to produce new hair.

Because of its silica content, horsetail is also useful when trying to stimulate hair growth. The herb rejuvenates your hair, adding sheen to the appearance and strength to the hair shafts. It also contains selenium and cysteine, which are known to promote healthy hair growth. Both of these substances contribute to healthier hair and prevent free radicals from damaging the cells. So when looking for supplements, make sure to look for those where all three ingredients are included.


Photo by: Ute via Flickr.

What are the benefits of selenium for you and for your hair growth?

As written in a previous post, selenium is a mineral found naturally in the soil. But it also appears in certain foods and there are even small amounts in water.
It is an important mineral for the human body as it helps immunity. It plays a roll in antioxidant activity that defends against free radical damage. But it will also help you maintain a healthy metabolism. According to some studies, selenium can also help you reduce the risk of cancer and thyroid diseases.

But how does selenium benefit your body?

Simple – selenium is able to play such a protective role in the body because it increases antioxidant capabilities and the quality of blood flow. This increases the body’s resistance against stress and diseases.

And then there is the food…

Food that has a high amount of selenium include Brazil nuts, eggs, liver, tuna, cod, and sunflower seeds. Poultry and certain types of meat are a good source as well. However, whole foods are the best sources of the mineral, especially those who are not cooked on a very high heat.

How does selenium benefit your hair and hair growth?

The mineral has an ability to fight the aging process and help the immune system by reducing free radical damage. It also has a synergistic effect with other antioxidants like Vitamin E, enabling the body to fight oxidative stress. Selenium is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase, which is an important enzyme for processes that protect lipids in cell membranes. So explained in a much easier way: you need selenium to fight oxidative degradation of cells.

 

It also helps to maintain proper thyroid function, which benefits the immune system and fosters healthy hair growth. Research shows that there is a link between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency. The mineral acts like a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland controls a lot of important everyday body functions. Having problems with it can result in some negative symptoms.

 

Which means that if you lack the mineral, it is a problem correlated with your thyroid and how it synthesizes hormones. Therefore you might consider taking supplements that include selenium to help support hair related issues caused by thyroid problems. The mineral acts as a protector of the thyroid and regulates the production of reactive oxygen within the gland, which means it is making sure the thyroid function is working properly to support hair health and growth.

selenium
To supplement or not – that is the question. If the supplements are selenium-rich the answer is yes. Not only is it beneficial for your body but also for your hair.

What about the blood flow…?

Selenium-rich foods and supplements can also support blood flow which is beneficial for hair health. A healthy hair regime starts with good blood flow and maintained with the support of natural supplements.

Photos: Mattza and Hatici Sosyal via Flickr.

Foods rich in selenium and why they are so important to your hairs health

Nutrafols supplements contain the ingredient selenium and on the ingredient page, the following is written about selenium and selenium foods;
“Selenium produces antioxidant enzymes that can defend against damage to cells, including those in hair follicles. It also helps to maintain proper thyroid function, which benefits the immune system and fosters healthy hair growth.”
So, with that being said, here follows a description on a need to know basis about this mineral.

Basic description of selenium

Selenium is one of many important dietary minerals, and we require a small amount of selenium in our diet.

Selenium contains a small cluster of important proteins. Each of these play a critical role in your health. Scientists named these selenium-containing proteins selenoproteins.

Good selenium nutrition is important for antioxidant protection and for other health reasons as well. The selenium amount a plant contains relates to the selenium content of the soil in which the plants is grown. Selenium content of soils can vary widely, however, poor soil content of selenium is not typically a factor in the average U.S. diet.

Sources of selenium

Fish, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, whole grains, and nuts and seeds are either good, very good, or excellent food sources of selenium.

 

Selenium and antioxidant protection

Selenium is necessary for your body and especially important for the proper activity of a group of enzymes called glutathione peroxidases. (You will sometimes see the abbreviation “GPO” or “GPx” for a glutathione peroxidase enzyme.) These enzymes play an important role in your body’s detoxification system and they also protect it against oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress is physiological circumstance in which there is excessive risk of oxygen-related damage to the body.) Of the eight known glutathione peroxidase enzymes, five of them require selenium.
In addition to the activity of glutathione peroxidase, the enzymes that contain selenium, are involved in recycling of vitamin C, which allows an antioxidant protection.

Selenium and thyroid function

A selenium-containing enzyme is responsible for transforming a less active thyroid hormone called T4 into the more active T3.

So, how does this work you may wonder? Simple – selenium and iodine work together to keep thyroid function strong and consistent.
Researchers have been able to notice problems with the thyroid gland in just two months when keeping a low-selenium diet.

selenium rich foods
Of all the nutty nuts, the brazil nut is an exceptional selenium source.

Selenium foods to keep in mind

If you have read about selenium foods, you have probably read about Brazil nuts being a strong source of the mineral. Just as little as one ounce of Brazil nuts may contain as much as 10 times the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendation for selenium intake. Other exceptionally rich selenium foods include oysters, clams, liver, and kidney. Each of these foods is likely to contain double to triple the DRI in a serving.
Fish and shellfish are an excellent source of selenium. Whole grains and seeds, are as well a good selenium source. Include at least one of these selenium foods in your everyday diet to maintain a healthy hair regime.


Photos: Charlotta Wasteson and Mauro Cateb via Flickr.

The Role of Selenium For Hair Growth

Selenium for hair loss

Selenium is a mineral and trace element that is a major nutrient and helps the body fight diseases such as cancer. It has tons of benefits, since it is also an antioxidant and plays its role in keeping the metabolic functions of the body. Additionally, it helps support healthy function of several organs. Selenium is also needed for healthy hair growth and the healing of wounds, burns and other injuries of the skin. Below, we’ll look closer at how selenium really works in regards to hair growth.

How Does It Work? Using Selenium For Hair Growth

No worries, we’ll explain. Enzymes are molecules, used for different chemical reactions of the body. Many enzymes use selenium to do their work for them, which makes them more reactive. Some enzymes help the body clean itself from free radicals. These guys are very harmful to the healthy growth of hair and skin cells of the body since they play a major factor in premature aging and weaker hair follicles. Selenium works for healthy hair growth and helps by killing free radicals.

Selenium is more concentrated in the thyroid than in our other organs and is important for the proper functioning of our thyroid hormone. This hormone in turn plays a huge role in regulating hair loss in patients suffering from the type of hair loss that occurs in patches.

 

Selenium also activates an enzyme important for the regeneration of important antioxidants in the body, such as vitamin C. These further promote hair growth and hair regrowth by killing harmful free radicals. The enzyme also regulates cells growth and health, something that has made researchers interested in whether it could be used to treat immune system diseases or be used in cancer treatment.

In addition to all these benefits, selenium also reduces dandruff from the scalp by killing fungus, which is why selenium is an ingredient in numerous anti-dandruff shampoos. It can also work with protein-rich foods to help healthier hair growth. Below we will list foods you can stock up on to get enough selenium for hair loss prevention.

What Selenium Rich Food You Can Eat, And How Much

Getting enough selenium is important to maintain and improve healthier hair and prevent hair loss. So to be sure of that, there are some foods you can incorporate into your diet to help.

Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, whole grains, nuts, garlic, beef, liver, tuna, egg, beans, oatmeal and spinach.

Selenium deficiency can occur in people who drink alcohol, smoke or take birth control pills. These substances hinder the proper absorption of selenium in the blood. If you have a selenium deficiency that cannot be helped through dietary intake, selenium supplements are recommended. According to the Huntington College of Health Sciences the recommended daily requirement of selenium is about 25mcg to 50mcg. Since ingesting selenium to help reduce hair loss is a thing, it is a common ingredient in hair growth supplements.

Tip: Stimulate Hair Growth With Our Guide

If you take supplements, be careful to not overdose as it can lead to selenium toxicity.

Lastly, if you want to make sure you get all the important nutrients to help keep your hair growing strong and long, there are many natural hair health supplements that contain a mix of necessary vitamins – just make sure to keep the balance right.