What does the health of my hair show about my health in general? It shows that when my general health is down and 'lifeless' so is my hair. In fact, I have seen many people who are in the pink of health, most likely have healthy looking hair and skin, and vice versa.

During my own grow hair journey, I realize that other than using my own natural hair recipes and taking care of my scalp, it is also vital to have a 'wholesome diet and lifestyle.'

What are some vitamins and minerals that we can take to accelerate hair growth or keep our hair growing healthyily at its naturally optimum speed?

Biotin

Biotin is from the B complex family and is probably the most commonly known vitamin to prevent hair loss and gray hairs. Biotin is also important for giving us healthy skin, bone marrow and nerve tissues. When Biotin works with other B Vitamins, it efficiently helps our body system convert sugars and protein into energy to maintain our energy levels.

In a nutshell, skin infection, depression, loss of appetite, muscular pain, hair loss, brittle hair, brittle nails, dry scalp and scaly scalp can all be symptoms of Biotin deficiency.

A Biotin rich diet include cooked egg yolks, milk, cheese, fish (salmon), poultry, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, romaine lettuce, green peas, cauliflower, yeast, liver, clams, mushrooms, oatmeal, whole grains and soybeans.

Do note that Biotin can be destroyed by cannning and heat curing during food processing. Therefore avoid stuff like canned mushrooms, canned peas, canned tuna and other canned or processed food.

Otherwise you can supplement an adequate amount of Biotin. The dosage recommended for adults is about 35-100 micrograms per day – depending on the health condition of each person – do read product labels too.

By the way, if you are a normal healthy person, your body can make its own biotin. Someone having an eating disorder for example, will be deficient in biotin and many other nutrients.

Vitamin B complex also includes Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic acid and other B vitamins. All these B vitamins work well with Biotin for healthy and beautiful hair. When our scalp and hair is healthy, our hair grows at it optimum speed.

Iron

Iron is essential to the production and performance of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in our blood to all the parts in our body including our scalp. Iron also helps us sleep better and this deep rest is vital for optimum hair growth.

It is important for your body to get just the right amount of iron. Too little iron can cause anemia (low blood), depression (causes hair loss) and child developmental delays. Likewise an overload of iron can cause heart problems and cirrhosis.

Indirectly, a lack of iron in your body can lead to an unhealthy scalp, hair loss or hair growing slowly. On the flip side, having just enough of iron in your body should accelerate hair growth significantly.

A diet rich in iron are dark leafy green spinach, collard, red meat, egg yolks, dried fruits like raisins and prunes, oysters, clams, scallops, liver, chick peas, beans, soybeans, artichokes and iron-enriched cereals and grains ( read food labels). When you eat an iron rich diet with foods that contain vitamin C, your body will absorb iron even better.

Studies have shown that vegetarians consume less iron than non-vegetarians. This is because the iron consumed by vegetarians is less absorbable.

The amount recommended for adults who are iron deficient is 100 mg per day. Otherwise, a multivitamin-mineral supplement with 18 mg of iron is good enough.

Take careful note though, iron, in the form of ferrous sulfate had caused poisoning among children. There have been cases of children who died from taking even just 200 mg of iron. So to be safe than sorry, keep these supplements or any medication away from the reach of children and use child-proof containers.

Vitamin C, E and A (Anti-oxidants)

Anti-oxidants are known to promote healthy, clear and beautiful skin, as well as prevent hair loss. They also speed up your hair growth by flushing out the toxins from your body and boosting your overall immune system.

These vitamins too give a little touch of oil to your hair – preventing your hair from becoming brittle, dry and to keep split ends away for hair to grow faster.

This diet includes strawberries, oranges, lemons, kiwis, papayas, blueberries, pineapples, mangoes, winter squashes, tomatoes, capsicums, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, turnip greens, peanuts, almonds, wheat germ oil, safflower oil, liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, dried apricots, milk, egg yolks and cheese.

The supplement dose recommended for adults are 90 mg daily for men and 75 mg for women. You may increase the dosage if you are for example, breastfeeding-feeding, ill, deficient or smoking.

Vitamin E for an adult is 15 mg per day. If you feel you need more (depending on your health condition) you may take until 100 mg per day. But do not 'overload' especially if you have any heart condition or taking heart medication.

Vitamin A for adults is 90 mg per day for men and 70 mg per day for women.

Take note though, too much vitamin A whether in the form of supplements or from animal sources can be toxic, especially for pregnant women. And an excess of vitamin A can also cause hair loss. Do check with your doctor or nutritionist.

Important Notes

The information in this article serves as a general guide only. Please seek the professional advice of a general practitioner, doctor or nutritionist to know what will work best for your own health condition and situation.

Having supplements are great for our health. However, do not consume too much of anything even though it is something good.

Sometimes, too much of even supplements or a certain kind of good food for example, can do us more harm than good or they just get wasted away in our digestive system.

It has been said many times before, having a well-balanced diet (food and supplements) is most important – enough is enough enough and will keep us healthy – and healthy enough for a great 'grow long hair fast journey'.