saladMSG – the nation’s favourite scapegoat for the past 25 years may not be the bad guy everyone has been taking it for, after all.

Also known as Monosodium Glutamate, or Umami to the Japanese, or the fifth taste (savoury), MSG is simply one of the most common naturally occurring amino acids found in protein-rich food. It’s found in aged cheese, pepperoni, milk, walnuts, tomatoes, broccoli, chicken, beef, and fish. There is no chemical difference between manufactured MSG and naturally occurring glutamate.

Science busts the myth

The most up-to-date clinical research has found no link between MSG and cancer, MSG and allergies, or MSG and hair loss. Indeed, given the fact that the body needs MSG to effectively digest proteins, and if we do not consume it in sufficient levels, the body must then produce it in order to perform its digestion.

Role of diet in maintaining healthy hair

Of course the smart thing to do is have a balanced diet – just because we now know that MSG doesn’t cause all the bad things, doesn’t mean we can go ahead and add it to everything. Healthy hair is an outward sign of internal well-being – you are what you eat, after all – so here are some great tips for great hair that will make you feel great too:

  • Hair requires an iron-rich blood supply for good growth. Without iron, blood supply to the scalp is compromised, hair follicles become weaker, and hair simply stops growing and starts to fall out. Eat plenty of green veg, red meat, chicken, fish, and lentils to maintain good iron levels in your blood and avoid hair loss.
  • Protein is needed to make hair – without it your hair will grow in dry and brittle. Again, red meat, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, legumes and nuts are all great sources of protein.
  • Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron and it is also involved in the production of collagen (for strong capillaries) so eat plenty of fruit and berries and potatoes (leave the skins on) to guarantee that the iron-rich blood is able to reach your hair-growing extremities.
  • Scientists have been producing hair loss products containing omega-3 fatty acids recently because of its important role in hair growth. Eat more oily fish which contains omega-3 in higher levels, as well as avocado and walnuts, to hydrate your scalp and keep your hair well nourished.
  • B vitamins and in particular, Biotin, are crucial to healthy hair. Biotin has long been a key ingredients in oral and topical treatments for hair loss, so we have it on good authority that this nutrient will help you grow bright and healthy hair. Biotin can be found in wholegrains, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast.

By eating well you can protect your hair so that it continues to grow in healthy, radiant and strong. You will look great on the outside, and feel invigorated on the inside.

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By Ian Watson

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