The health of any part of your body is largely dependent on whether it is getting all the nutrients that are necessary for its optimum function. So, it goes without saying that your eyelash health is contingent upon a diet that has the right combination of both macro-nutrients (carbohydrates and proteins) and micro-nutrients (minerals and vitamins). Thick and long eyelashes are beneficial in preventing dust and other contaminants from affecting your eyes.
Hair is composed of a protein called keratin, the proper production of which determines its health. Among foods for healthy lashes, those high in protein content can help your body gets the right amount of amino-acids to produce keratin, for stronger and longer eyelash shafts. Salmon, lean meat, eggs, and cheese are high in protein content. You can also increase your intake of red beans and corn, which can enhance the production of those essential amino acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the health of hair follicles, and are known to prevent your eyelashes from becoming brittle and falling out. An excellent source of O-3 fatty acids is fish including salmon, catfish, trout and tuna, shellfish, and nuts like walnuts and flax seed.
Vitamin A, though largely known to enhance vision, also plays a major role in the production of keratin by controlling the growth of the cells – called keratinocytes – that produce it. Green, yellow or orange foods like lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, pumpkins and cantaloupes are rich in Vitamin A. Fish like tuna, sturgeon and mackerel are also recommended.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin – one of the 8 vitamins that make up the B-complex vitamin – helps in improving your blood circulation, and aids in the production of keratin. Liver, fish (salmon and tuna), asparagus and mushrooms are niacin-rich foods.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
B6 prevents hair loss and also stimulates the production of melanin – the pigment that gives your lashes their color. Vitamin B6-rich foods include whole grain, egg yolk, yeast and organ meats.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) or Vitamin H
Biotin is often used as a vitamin supplement for those who are looking for enhanced and faster hair growth. This is because biotin helps in improving the production of keratin by expediting the absorption of amino-acids and carbohydrates in the body. Nuts like peanuts and almonds, soybeans and fish are high in biotin content. Other sources include cheddar cheese, avocados, cauliflower and raspberries.
Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
Folic acid aids in cell growth and repair, and thus can help in keeping your follicles strong and prevents your lashes from becoming brittle. Black beans, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, oranges and whole wheat bread are rich in folates and folic acid.
Don’t Forget the Minerals
Your eyelash and hair follicles store iron to ensure the strength of the lash shafts. A deficiency in iron will cause a depletion of these iron stores and result in weakened follicles and thinning of your eyelashes. Chicken liver, beef, nuts like pine nuts, hazelnuts and almonds, white beans, leafy greens like spinach and chard, and tofu are highly recommended sources rich in iron.
Calcium, by itself, doesn’t enhance hair growth. However, it strengthens the keratin producing cells, which results in better lash growth. Cheese, milk and tofu are some of the main sources of calcium. Other sources include cabbage, collard greens, hazelnuts, salmon and oysters.
The right diet ensures that your body is able to extract the the nutrients necessary to maintain its health. Why would you neglect to eat foods for healthy lashes, if you take care of everything else?
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