Nutrients Count – OMEGA 3 Essential Fatty Acids & Amino Acids for Healthy Hair Growth

Healthy hair is an extension of a healthy body, so the best way to ensure your hair stays healthy is by ensuring your body gets all the vital nutrients needed, by eating a well-balanced diet. 

Hair strength, density, and condition benefit significantly from dietary intake of healthy fats known as Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), and High-Quality Protein known as Essential Amino Acids. The essential fatty acids this hair growth blog refers to are also known as omega 3. 

The omega 3’s are generally referred to as ESSENTIAL fatty acids because the body can’t make them, therefore it is essential to get a balanced supply of this critical fuel from clean, healthy, dietary intake.  Essential Amino Acids are also catagorised as  ESSENTIAL because they are another vital energy source the body can’t make, so they also have to be consumed.

There are three omega 3 EFA’s

  • A-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • Dososahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

Essential Omega 3’s are obtained from food sources such as plants and fish.  Some examples are nuts, seeds, olive oil, and salmon. However, except for algae, plant foods offer only ALA. Because it is important to eat a healthy balance of all three omega 3’s to make important hormones, intake should also, include DHA and EPA from animal sources. This means balancing intake can be challenging if you don’t eat fish, especially oily fish. Therefore, good quality supplements and fortified foods should replace the fish sources so that a regular balanced supply of EPA and DHA are intentionally consumed.

As well as having an important role in making hormones that control the reproductive, immune, and nervous systems, blood pressure, hemostasis, and inflammation, Omega-3s are a catalyst for absorbing and preventing deficiency of other key essential nutrients. 

Protein building blocks are called ESSENTIAL amino acids. Insufficient intake of essential amino acids can generate nutritional disturbance of hair keratin synthesis, which may cause deterioration of hair strength, condition, and density, with the potential of chronic hair shedding. Essential amino acids are also components in synthesizing some of the most important structures of your body, like your brain, and nervous system, and vital for developing cells, that make hair shafts and follicles.  They are also involved in every biological function in the body, like metabolism, immunity, signaling proteins such as pituitary and thyroid hormones, and various neurotransmitters. 

The essential amino acids responsible for the shine and vitality of hair are:

  • Cysteine
  • Methionine 
  • L-lysine
  • Arginine 
These are all fundamental for hair growth, and keratin synthesis. Hair is made of protein and contained in the root, giving hair its shape and volume. Protein also enhances the nutrient supply to the hair follicles by supporting vasodilation, thus improving blood flow. 
To make sure your hair and body have a balanced supply of all vital nutrients, a diet that includes healthy fats, and complete high-quality protein, aim to eat a fusion of plant foods such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, leafy green veg, along with fresh water or wild-caught fish, or clean animal foods like free-range chicken or grass-fed beef.
People who don’t eat fish, and vegans should be mindful about choosing foods that are fortified or enriched with building blocks, of healthy fats, ALA, EPA and DHA, omega-3 EFA’s, and the essential amino acids, Cysteine, Methionine, L-Lysine, and Arginine.

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