A healthy body from the inside is beautiful from the outside! Thus, your hair growth quality and quantity also depend on your nutritional state. (1)
Exterior hair care, such as regular oiling or deep conditioning, enhances hair texture, as does what you put inside your body. In fact, what you consume makes a more significant difference in the condition of your hair.
Consuming pulses will fulfill the body’s need for essential minerals and vitamins to make your hair healthy and happy. Pulses must be an imperative part of your diet for overall hair health. Did you know February 10th is celebrated as World Pulse Day? (2) Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of pulses.
Hair Benefits of Pulses
The following are the benefits of pulses for the hair.
1. Promote healthy hair
2. Improve hair growth
Pulses are a natural source of minerals that are good for your body. Selenium is one of them. (4)
Researchers state that selenium is a beneficial hair growth agent. Thus, a lack of selenium can hinder hair growth. (5)
Fortunately, pulse consumption can help your hair grow faster.
3. Reduce premature gray hair
Pulses contain minerals and vitamins (selenium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, folate, chromium, potassium, and magnesium) that are excellent for your body. (4) A lack of selenium, folate, and iron can cause gray/white hair in childhood or adulthood.
4. Prevent hair loss and improve dry hair
A lack of vitamin A can make your hair brittle and dry, and an excess of it can cause hair fall. Therefore, in moderation, vitamin A nourishes dry and brittle hair and prevents hair loss. (5) Pulses can give you adequate vitamin A for your hair.
5. Nourish the hair
The vitamins (vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), and niacin) (4) present in pulses are excellent for your hair. They provide nourishment to your cells.
Nutrients Present in Pulses
Split and whole pulses contain proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fibers with ample minerals and vitamins. (4)
- Vitamins: Vitamins keep your body healthy and functioning properly. The vitamins in pulses are vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and folate. However, pulses do not have enough vitamin C. (4)
- Minerals: Minerals are crucial for the body. Pulses contain minerals such as chromium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, iron, and zinc. (4)
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a rich energy source, and pulses have it in abundance, up to 60% of their dry weight. (4)
- Fiber: Fiber keeps you full and aids digestion. Pulses contain a lot of fiber. Fibers are of two types, soluble and insoluble, and pulses have both types. Legumes have dietary fiber monomers, such as fucose, arabinose, glucose, rhamnose, galactose, mannose, and xylose. (4)
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants act as a shield from anything harmful. Pulses contain antioxidants of different kinds, including saponins, lignans, and isoflavones. (4)
- Protein: Proteins help repair and grow tissues and muscles. Pulses are high in proteins, such as albumins and globulins. (4)
Pulse consumption has increased with growth in vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diets. (4)
How to Use Pulses to Benefit the Hair?
You can add pulse to your meals in multiple ways:
- Use pulses as toppings for crackers, toast, and baked potato, or mash and sprinkle them on your food.
- Add pulses to your salad with green, red, and yellow veggies. You can either roast or boil the pulses.
Which Pulses Are Best for the Hair?
The following pulses can help improve hair health.
- Bengal gram’s (lal chana) roasted flour is known as besan, the richest source of protein. It helps with hair-related issues.
- Pigeon peas (masoor dal), abundant in vitamin A, are a healthy ingredient that can cure baldness.
- Black gram (urad dal) is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins and boosts hair health.
- Green pea (moong or mung beans) is rich in fiber.
- Red lentils (masoor dal) are rich in nutrients that support hair health.
How much pulses should you consume daily?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one cup of pulses could meet the daily fiber requirement; 100 g daily is recommended. (8)
Is it harmful to eat pulses in the evening?
No, eating pulses in the evening is not harmful, but some people avoid pulse consumption in the evening.
Pulses are good sources of protein, and protein has hunger-satiating properties, meaning your stomach will feel full for longer. However, protein digests slowly. Therefore, it is recommended to consume protein at least 2 hours before sleep.
Pulses are essential to the diet due to their richness in proteins, minerals, and nutrients that boost the health of hair.
Pulses are also versatile, as you can create many mouth-watering dishes using them. Additionally, you can consume them through soups, meals, or snacks. If you are not eating as much pulses, now is the time to start.
- Oral presentations. International Journal of Trichology. 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500066/.
- World Pulses Day. United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-pulses-day.
- Singh N. Pulses: An overview. Journal of food science and technology. March 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5336460.
- Pulses: A potential source of valuable protein for human diet. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/362788395.
- Have a “Good hair Day – Huntington University of Health Sciences. https://www.huhs.edu/literature/Hair.pdf.
- Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: A Review. Dermatology and therapy. March 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979.
- VanBuren CA, Everts HB. Vitamin A in skin and hair: An update. Nutrients. July 19, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9324272.
- (PDF) beans, peas and pulses: UK consumption patterns and the impact of … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/369371129.