Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Hair fall is inevitable, all thanks to heat styling, coloring, and chemical treatments that we mistreat our hair with! But, if your hair is shedding more than usual, it may be due to an existing deficiency of biotin. Also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, biotin breaks down the macros (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) you eat into energy and maintains your hair and skin health.
Touted as the hero ingredient to salvage hair fall, brittle nails, and skin elasticity, it is the most buzzed-about ingredient in the beauty industry. So much so that ads for hair gummies keep popping up every time we scroll through our social media feed! When global celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Bollywood diva Shraddha Kapoor endorse these hair vitamins, their popularity is bound to go over the roof! While these gummies can be consumed as a supplement to treat a biotin deficiency, they are loaded with artificial sweeteners and flavouring agents. And if the sugar doesn’t bother you, their price per bottle can burn a hole in your pocket!
Well, you can save that money up by making a quick run to your kitchen and looking up for ingredients that are super-rich sources of biotin without shelling out much!
Arti Johari, Nutritionist and Dietician based in Noida, spoke to HealthShots about the natural sources of biotin that are super affordable too.
“While people are opting for a quick supplement for nutrients rather than including them in their diets, supplements can have adverse effects on your health. When you eat a food naturally rich in nutrients, your body is more efficient in absorbing its nutritional value. I recommend my patients dealing with hair problems or even postpartum hair fall to include ingredients like millet, spinach, bananas and sweet potatoes in their diet. These are excellent sources of biotin and it exterminates the chances of allergies and reactions from artificial ingredients in supplements,” says Johari.
Foods that are super sources of biotin:
1. Egg yolks
If you’re into fitness and only eat egg whites, here’s your sign to stop throwing those sunny yolks away. Egg yolks tend to have the highest concentration of biotin available naturally. Include them in your diet to get a lustrous mane. However, the egg white contains a protein that prevents biotin from being properly absorbed in the body.
Millet, commonly known as ‘Bajra’ is an excellent source of biotin. This ancient grain is known to have a rich composition of nutrients and minerals, fiber and amino acids too. This superfood is an amazing ingredient of bajre ki khichdi in Indian households. Now you have another reason to nosh on it!
3. Sweet potatoes
Oh, those red root bulbs not only taste amazing, but are a super rich source of biotin. Eating half a cup of cooked sweet potatoes will give you 2.4 mcg of biotin without throwing away your money. That’s what we call a good deal!
4. Nuts and seeds
Advocated for their densely packed nutrients, nuts should be a part of your daily diet if you don’t want to be a ‘nut-head’. They are crunchy and make for the healthiest snack that’s also rich in biotin! Walnuts, peanuts, almonds are good sources of biotin that can reverse your bad hair days!
Those cute looking mushrooms are a hair-friendly food too! These highly nutritious buttons are rich in biotin and make for yummy toppings on pizza, or noodles. Stuff them, bake them, saute them and you can be a Rapunzel minus the tower!
I guess Minions knew it before we did. Bananas are loaded with carbs, fibre, micronutrients like B vitamins, copper, and potassium and biotin. They come perfectly packed in their natural bag and can be carried to work or gym! Plus, it is the most nutrient dense fruit out there.
Spinach has earned the fame of being a superfood because it is rich in almost everything you need in a balanced diet! It has a massive amount of iron, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and chlorophyll. This healthy green isn’t just an energy booster for Popeye – the sailor man, but the best replacement to any hair supplement out there. We mean it!
These ingredients are widely available in all seasons and can be your go-to food if you’re experiencing hair woes. Dermatologists and hair experts suggest focussing on treating your hair issues from the inside. Deficiency of biotin is very rare, and it can be boosted just by eating a nutrient-rich diet.
Signs and symptoms associated with biotin deficiency are:
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
- Red rashes on the skin and eyes
- Dry eyes
- Scaly skin
- Loss of appetite.
The daily value (DV) for biotin is typically around 30 mcg per day. Since this nutrient is water soluble, there are lesser chances of toxicity associated with biotin consumption.
If you’re looking for an animal-based source of biotin, certain organ meats, especially liver, have the highest concentration of biotin available naturally. Eating liver meat can up your biotin levels, since most of the body’s biotin is stored in the liver.
Owing to the amazing potential of promoting lustrous hair, biotin needs a place in your daily diet. Try these foods and thank us later!
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