So, I am not sure if I am not eating enough protein, iron or oils or Omega 3's or fat! But my hair just feels less healthy. Sometimes super oily and then other days really dry and brittle. I can't swallow pills so I can't tak those hair, nail skin pills (whic I don't think are vegan anyway!). Has anyone else had any hair problems and what have you done? Any great shampoos/conditions/treatments? My hair is light and fine, but lately it just feels like gross, gets knarly easily too...I can't wear it down!!!
I guess the whole nutrient factor depends on what you eat. I'm pretty sure for hair, you want to be getting enough iron. You can get iron from dark leafy greens (think kale, spinach, etc.), soybeans, white beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and some cereals. You need to be careful with cereals, though, since many have added sugar and junk you don't want. I like Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin FlaxPlus granola cereal. It's delicious and has some iron, not to mention it also contains pumpkin seeds (iron) and is a good source of Omega-3's. Speaking of Omega 3's, you will want to incorporate flaxseed into your life if you haven't already. As far as protein goes, if you're eating lots of veggies, you probably are getting protein, but to be on the safe side, it wouldn't hurt to include tofu, tempeh, or seitan into your diet a few times a week. Hope maybe this is helpful.
Dry brittle straw like hair is a sign of low thyroid(hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency). Note not all hypothyroidism is caused by iodine deficiency there are multiple causes such as hormonal imbalances, adrean insufficiency, other endocrine problems, nutrient deficiency etc.
Vegan diets can be low in the mineral iodine if your produce isn't growin in adequate soil which to be fair covers alot of our produce these days. Eggs, dairy, cheese are the main dietary sources of iodine and being that vegan's don't include these foods in there diet iodine can be a problematic nutrient for some. Seaweeds are really only reliable plant source of iodine but many can't hack the taste of them which is another problem. I would supplement personally with a little kelp powder if not consuming seaweeds semi-regularly and following a 100% vegan diet.
Omega-3 deficiency can also cause dry hair and skin and vegans sometimes also find omega-3 to be a problematic nutrient to get. Good plant sources of omega-3 include soy/tofu products, nuts, seeds(chia,hemp in particular is very balanced omega-3/6 ideal ratios), flax, some dark leafy greens are a source of good fats. Vegans require the body to convert the fatty acid ALA into EPA and DHA and thus can sometimes have lower levels than meat eaters, there are good vegan DHA supplements which can be beneficial for some.
As powerlifer said seaweeds are a good source of iodine, and if you don't like the taste of nori try dulse! I completely adore this sea vegetable, it's a lovely purple colour and it tastes amazing!
Some great ways to incorporate sea veggies in your diet is to add it to pasta, use it when making beans (it helps reduce flatulence too!), cut it up into soups to add a natural salty taste, eat it straight out the bag (my favourite!) or bake it for a few minutes to make chips!
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