Alopecia Areata Diet: Which foods to include, avoid and why?

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Blog | HairMD | June 1, 2021

Dec 30, 2020

Hair is an integral part of our appearance and is a crown of confidence for us all. We tend to take a lot of effort into hair care and styling. But Alopecia Areata is a condition which can completely destroy your efforts and your appearance by causing drastic hair loss. It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the hair follicles of the body as it is unable to differentiate between the body’s hair follicles and external bodies.

In Alopecia Areata, the hair follicles in the scalp are affected and the attached hair falls out. It’s important to know that while this attack causes hair loss, the attack rarely destroys the hair follicles. This means that your hair can regrow. The less hair loss you have, the more likely it is that your hair will regrow on its own.
To help this hair regrowth, it is essential to take treatment to address the underlying hair loss and also make lifestyle and nutrition changes. In this article we look at the changes you’ll have to start making to help your scalp heal from Alopecia Areata.

What is the ideal diet for Alopecia Areata?

As we learned that it is an auto-immune disease, there’s a high chance that if you take care of your immunity over the long term you can prevent this condition. However, if you do contract the condition, there are ways to manage the hair loss and promote regrowth.
Consult an expert and get a proper autoimmune hair loss diet recommendation along with the medications and topical solutions for a faster recovery. Both, the treatment along with diet, plays a really critical part in either activating or lessening inflammation in the body.
Here is the recommended alopecia food diet curated by expert dermatologists at HairMD.

Essential Vitamins for Alopecia diet

Hair is one such body part where the nutrition reaches the last. Therefore it is important to ensure that your diet consists of all the essential nutrients needed by the hair. The most vital nutrients and vitamins required to prevent Alopecia Areata are:

Biotin

– Biotin is responsible for hair growth and increasing the volume of hair.

Zinc

– Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.

Thiamine

– Thiamine prevents nerve damage, so the hair follicles can grow without a hurdle.

Vitamin C

– Vitamin C strengthens the capillaries that supply blood to the hair shaft.

Alopecia Areata diet must also contain

Healthy Fats

– Healthy fats lessen the inflammatory reaction in the body. So, it is advisable to use canola and olive oil for cooking purposes. In addition, increase your intake of omega-3 unsaturated fats found in greasy fish. Such as salmon, trout, fish, mackerel, sardines and herring. Some vegetarian options to incorporate in your autoimmune hair loss diet are walnuts, flax seeds and hemp seeds. However, all nuts and seeds contain helpful fats.

Antioxidants

– Antioxidants help to improve the hair growth in alopecia. It boosts the blood circulation and nutrient supply to the scalp cells which encourages the hair growth. These supplements come in numerous types including vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids.

Biotin

– Biotin, one of the B vitamins, plays an imperative role in the strengthening of the hair and nails. Normally, you get the suggested sums in your eating regimen and for rich sources, you should incorporate nuts, romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and chard.

Best Foods for Alopecia Areata

Some medical experts contradict the fact that diet can help in case of Alopecia but in most of the cases, people with good diet and healthy lifestyle have seen significant results in hair regrowth. Some of the best foods to include in Androgenic Alopecia diet are –

1. Fruits and Vegetables

– Include more bright-coloured fruits and vegetables in your diet. Apples, Strawberries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Pineapple, Green Cabbage, Apricot among others contain antioxidants. These fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.

2. Good oils

– In Alopecia, the scalp becomes dry and a dry scalp can not grow new hairs. Healthy fats also help in reducing the inflammatory response in the body. Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish. All the good oils are good for your health. So, include canola oil, olive oil, and/or avocado oil in your diet. You can also use organic cold-pressed coconut oil which is tasty, nutritious and great for your hair. These oils contain the oleic acid which is an omega 9 fatty acid which decreases the inflammation.

3. Nuts

– Nuts like almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids which is a key ingredient to reduce inflammation and alopecia symptoms. Have these munchies between meals or at any time of the day.

4. Onions

– Onions are a very good source of antioxidants. It helps in reducing cholesterol level and the risk of heart diseases along with inflammation, which is what you need. Add more raw onions in your food, sandwiches and salads. Onion is a great option for treating Alopecia.
Bonus Tip – It can also be used as a natural homemade topical solution for hair. Fresh garlic and fresh onion juice are great natural ingredients to rub on your scalp and to boost circulation!

5. Fish

– Another food for alopecia areata, that is packed with omega 3 fatty acids is fish. Consuming wild fish can help in improving alopecia symptoms. They are very nutritious and are rich in protein and contain omega 3 fatty acids.

6. Protein

– Hairs is primarily made of protein. Include more protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, seafood, liver, milk, sprouts and beans in your diet.

7. Bone Broth

– Bone broth in soups and stews can just do wonder in Alopecia Areata elimination diet. They are loaded with nutrients and are very easy to digest. It contains Gelatin, Collagen, Glycine, Magnesium, Phosphorous, and Calcium, all of which helps in boosting immunity, nourishing your skin, hair, nails etc. and reducing inflammation. Make this wonder food your best friend.

Food to Avoid in Alopecia Areata Diet Plan

Dairy Products

– Sometimes dairy products like Milk can trigger the immune system responses, which can worsen the Alopecia Symptoms.

Excessive Caffeine

– Caffeine is actually a great hair growth stimulant when applied topically, but it isn’t so good for people with hormone problems; specifically, those of us with low or heightened levels of cortisol.

No Nightshades

– Exclude peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes from your alopecia areata diet as they cause inflammation.

Polyunsaturated fats

– Corn oil, sunflower oil etc. contains polyunsaturated fats which is an unhealthy fat. So, it is advisable to take steamed food rather than the fried ones. Bake your food or lightly saute only.

Sugar

– Avoid sugar in your diet as it causes inflammation. Use a small amount of honey instead.

Home Remedies for Alopecia Areata

Home remedies may have a good effect on alopecia areata like onion juice, Aloe vera, coconut milk, coconut oil, peppermint, lavender oil as these act as an irritant on the scalp which may result in hair growth up to a certain extent. Some other home remedies are Lavender and other essential oils, Milk thistle, Ginkgo, Kelp, Potatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Green tea, Onions, Rosemary, Henna, Aloe vera, Fenugreek, Licorice root, and Chinese hibiscus.
You may need to attempt more than one treatment to see a difference. The viability of every diet plan or home remedy will vary from individual-to-individual. Apart from the diet plan, for persistent hair loss you need to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and a detailed treatment plan.

Choose HairMD for Alopecia Areata Treatment

At HairMD, we take pride in the work we do and our patients feel safe, comfortable, and confident when treating their hair-fall-related conditions with us. The collective experience of our specialists bring decades of experience when it comes to treating and managing the symptoms of this condition.

Till date, we have been successful in helping patients of Alopecia areata counting more than 15053+ at our hair loss clinics in Pune, Karad and Kolhapur under the guidance and leadership of Dr Dhananjay Chavan, MBBS, DDV- one of top skin & hair specialist in Pune.

Our expert cosmetologists, dermatologists and skilled surgeons will ensure that you get the best medical care required to manage your hair loss condition. We take the time to understand you, your daily routines, your lifestyle and then draft a treatment process that causes minimum stress that will produce the best results for you.

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