Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Attractive and healthy hair and nails are desired by most people and we often spend a fair sum of money in nail and hair products. Shampoos, conditioners, nail polishes and hand moisturizers can do a fair bit to have your nails and hair look appealing; however, a great diet can do so much more to supply the body with integral nutrients that promote hair and nail health. There are multiple foods that provide the body with just the right nutrients to support hair and nail health. However; this article aims to explore the benefits of flaxseed for hair and nail health. Read further to know more.

How is Flaxseed Beneficial to Nail and Hair Health?

Cultivated in the cooler regions of the world; flaxseed or linseed is a food crop with multiple beneficial properties for health and wellbeing. The Omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine and magnesium content of flaxseed are what contributes to healthier hair and nails. Read further to know more on the subject.

Flaxseeds Contain Omega-3 for Healthy Hair and Nails

Flaxseeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet are manifold; however, in terms of hair and nail health; Omega-3 prevents inflammation, nourishes the scalp to promote hair growth and hair elasticity; which in turn reduces breakage. Omega-3 fatty acids present in the flaxseeds benefit by nourishing the nails and promote nail plate development; which in turn prevents nails from splitting. One tablespoon of flaxseed is a source of 1,597 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA or Alpha-Linolenic Acid. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; an adult requires a daily dose of 1300 to 2700 milligrams of ALA on a regular basis in keeping with every 2000 calories one consumes. Additional sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, fatty fish and also soy foods.

Thiamine in Flaxseeds for Hair and Nails Health

The B-vitamins are the primary nutrients responsible for hair and nail health. Thiamine is an integral B vitamin and flaxseeds are a great source of dietary thiamine supplementation. The function of thiamine is to reduce stress and relax the body and many studies support the fact that stress can have adverse impacts on hair and nail health. Flaxseeds benefit the hair and nail health, as a tablespoon serving of flaxseeds supplies the body with about 11% of the daily recommended dose of thiamine while a similar serving of ground flaxseed contributes with 8% of the daily recommended dose of thiamine. Additional sources of dietary thiamine are legumes, pork, rice and whole-grains.

Magnesium-Rich Flaxseeds for Healthy Hair and Nails

Magnesium is an integral mineral for hair and nail health. Magnesium proactively arrests inflammation that can interfere with hair growth or even cause ridges in the nails. Magnesium reduces stress, which is yet another reason for poor hair and nail health. One tablespoon serving of flaxseed can contribute to the body with 10% of the daily recommended dose of magnesium and a similar serving of ground flaxseed make up for 7% of the daily recommended dose of magnesium. It is thus easy to see that flaxseed is a rich source of dietary magnesium intake and benefits and promotes the hair and nail health. Additional food sources for dietary magnesium are cashews, yogurt, peanuts, almonds, spinach, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, avocado and black beans.

Dietary Suggestions for Flaxseed Consumption

As is evident from the information provided above; flaxseed can contribute to hair and nail health owing to the fact that these seeds are a rich source of Omega-3, thiamine and magnesium; however, some care needs to be taken in regards to the consumption of flaxseeds.

It is comparatively easier for the body to absorb nutrients from ground flaxseeds; whereas, whole flaxseeds can pass through the digestive system, unprocessed.

It is also integral to understand that sustained flaxseed supplementation for 4 to 6 months is required to experience noticeable changes in new hair growth.

Those affected by hormone sensitive cancers, prostate cancer and even endometriosis should consult a doctor about flaxseed consumption on a daily basis. It might not be the right course of thiamine, magnesium and omega-3 supplementation under these particular circumstances.

Flaxseeds can be difficult for the digestive system to process and as such; individuals with bowel irregularities or a narrowed esophagus are best served by avoiding flaxseed consumption. It can definitely lead to a worsening of digestive problems.

Flaxseed may interfere with the effects of birth control medication, blood thinners and hormone replacement therapy. It might also cause interactions with diabetes medications. As such; flaxseed is best avoided when on any of the above drugs.

In conclusion; flaxseed has true potential for hair and nail health, but caution needs to be exercised in certain circumstances. Flaxseed is by no means a miracle seed; however, it does have potential benefits for hair and nail health when consumed over time.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 24, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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