Concerned About Hair Loss?

March 12, 2022

Are you noticing your hair thinning or dull? Are clumps of hair coming out in your brush? Are you looking for ways to keep your hair looking lush and full? There are a variety of reasons why we might experience hair loss and our licensed nutritionists will cover what those reasons might be for you or someone you love. Tune in to learn what nutrient deficiencies can effect the quality of your hair and what nutrients to consume to give you vibrant health from the inside out. Walk away with meal and supplement ideas for a beautiful head of hair!

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JOLENE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Jolene Carlson. I'm a licensed nutritionist with a master’s in human nutrition and functional medicine. Today on Dishing Up Nutrition, we are discussing what you can do nutritionally to avoid thinning hair. Joining me as our co-host is Kara Carper, who is a certified nutrition specialist with a masters in holistic health. Good morning, Kara.

KARA: Good morning. Great to be here with you today, Jolene. This is going to be a good show.

JOLENE: Yeah, this is fun. I'm excited.

KARA: So if you're listening and you are experiencing hair loss, we just want you to know that you're not alone. It's estimated that 50% of women will experience hair loss at some point. Usually it's a little bit more towards perimenopause or menopause, but it can certainly occur in younger years as well. We have to ask: what are some of the common causes of hair loss for women? It may surprise you that there are actually many nutritional deficiencies that can cause not only thinning of your hair, but also hair loss. Now one major cause of hair loss is certain vitamin deficiencies. Now these often happen after a woman is following a particularly restrictive, maybe a low-calorie, low-fat diet, often with the goal of losing weight and wanting to lose weight a little bit rapidly.

JOLENE: So really Kara, you're saying basically all of us at some point in our life, when we fall into that whole the diet up and downs…

KARA: The diet mentality. Exactly. And I think we have all been there at certain points in our lives, cause it's such a prominent message that is still with us, unfortunately. But you know the ones I'm talking about: the plans that advertise lose 30 pounds in 30 days, plans like that, they just do not contain enough food and enough of the necessary nutrients that are going to support adequate hair growth. Later in the show, we will share some of those key nutrients that we all need for healthy hair growth.

JOLENE: Yeah. And I think, you know, when you talk about that, Kara, I think about when I look at people and just look at their skin and hair, typically it is a good way to just tell that they are getting adequate nutrition, you know, and eating well. And so that kind of helps support that if we are nutrient deficient with these yoyo diets, trying to starve ourselves, it will show up. And often it shows up in our hair as hair loss.

Effects from COVID-19 can cause hair loss


These days, another very common cause of hair loss that I, I know of, a lot of people that are affected by this is COVID-19. I was reading some information and by the American Academy of Dermatology, and they were saying that with COVID-19, that fevers and the stress from COVID are leading to hair loss and people are seeing this maybe not until 2, 3, 4 months after they have COVID-19. And then it could last up to six to nine months after they have the infection. And so people are losing their hair. And they're wondering why is this happening after, after I've had COVID? And then more importantly, is my hair going to come back? Today when we talk about some of the nutritional strategies about replacing hair loss, this will also help support this hair loss that is happening after COVID.

KARA: Yeah, that's correct. And I, well, first of all, I'm glad you brought that up in general because I actually was not aware of that until we came across this research. But I think we all kind of know someone in our life who has had COVID and especially if they had it awhile ago, they are complaining about thinning hair. And so, and another thing that's important that you mentioned, I want to reiterate is this doesn't happen like if you have test positive for COVID, you likely will not be someone who has hair loss or thinning hair for several months. Hair growth and hair do not occur overnight. It's usually a several month process, like you said.

Stress can lead to hair loss/thinning


And you had mentioned stress as, I mean, a lot of people are still very stressed out these days and we know that both physical and emotional stress can cause hair loss and hair thinning. And this might be when women are going through hormonal changes. It could be during or after a pregnancy. It could be the perimenopause or menopausal years; could even be from like a physical stressor, such as a surgery or a health issue. So again, it could be the physical or the emotional stressors leading to hair thinning or hair loss.

JOLENE: Yeah. It's really just when our body is kind of thrown off of balance. And so all these things just kind of get our body off of that happy equilibrium that it loves. And so things like the stress and the menopause and pregnancy and things like that, that you mentioned, are all different things that can cause us to be off balance. So we do work with a lot, a lot of women that are experiencing menopause or perimenopause. And so let's just address that right now for reasons why you may experience hair loss during these times of your life.

Menopause/perimenopause can cause hair loss/thinning


So at the beginning of menopause, which is called perimenopause, women ovulate less frequently and produce less of the hormone, progesterone. And when women have less progesterone, the body responds by producing more adrenal corticosteroids, which increase the production of the male hormones. This leads to the hair follicles shrinking and hair grows more slowly and could fall out more easily.

KARA: And we all have a certain amount of hair loss every day. So we're not, we don't want you to think that if you're just losing a little bit of hair in your hairbrush, or if you take a shower, put conditioner in and a little bit of hair comes out, that actually is normal. But it's when we start seeing the big clumps in the brush or big piles in the shower drain. But just know that I think we, I think we actually do lose a thousand hairs per on average.

JOLENE: Oh wow.

KARA: Something like that, but that would, that would be just a little amount in a brush.

JOLENE: Yeah. It's really the clumps and that's, that's when people really do get concerned is when they're taking the shower, brushing their hair and they look at that hairbrush and it's just full of hair.

KARA: Exactly.

JOLENE: And that's what we're addressing today.

KARA: And now you had started talking about the hormonal imbalances that can create this. Now menopause can start at a lot of different ages. For some women, perimenopause, which is something that leads into menopause, that can start as young as age 35. Now for others that might not start until fifties or even sixties. And so the ages do really vary. But during we know that the, a similar thing occurs it's that ovulation occurs more infrequently and less and less progesterone is produced, the hormone progesterone.

Another reason for hair loss after menopause, it's in inflammation. There's just more inflammation in the body. Now inflammation can destroy hair follicles and leave some scarring. So that can cause what we know as a, like a receding hairline. So just kind of think to yourself, are you eating anything that might be creating more inflammation? And although we don't have time to talk a lot about all the different foods and beverages and things that create inflammation in the body, we do frequently talk about that topic on Dishing Up Nutrition. So you can listen to, most of our podcasts will address that at some point. Just a couple things that come to mind though, are the high sugar foods, processed, kind of more fast food, high carbohydrate foods, some of those white boxed foods. And of course, those unnatural fats like the margarines and some of the unnatural oils would create more inflammation.

JOLENE: Yeah. And that's exactly when we talk about eating, like we're going to talk about today, some of the nutrients to help with hair loss and hair thinning, all of our food focus is around anti-inflammatory foods to really help nip that inflammation and make sure that we're supporting hair growth. Here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, to kind of help with this hormonal imbalance that can be causing hair loss, we recommend supplementing with 20 milligrams of a natural progesterone. And it's a cream form and it's called Pro-gest. This is a natural cream and it's been available to our clients, I think for over 60 years. And really, we have no concerns or issues with people using this. I know a lot of times there's a fear with people using hormones, but we have found with Pro-gest being such a bioidentical hormone to progesterone that this one is really safe for women.

KARA: Right. I know we, some people are under the impression that all hormones are lumped into the same category, but we do want to differentiate this natural progesterone cream. One dosing is approximately 20 milligrams. And so just to kind of give you a head’s up of what that means, how that's relevant, that's about the amount our bodies would produce if and when we were ovulating. So that's why we know it's just a nice safe kind of a low level.

JOLENE: Yeah, that's, that's a great way of putting it and, and having people realize that that's what our body needs and all we're doing is just giving our body what it needs in a time when it might not be making as much progesterone as it should be.

KARA: Correct, like in those perimenopausal and certainly menopausal years. So we're going to take a quick break here. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today, in addition to eating real food and avoiding processed food, we would like to also share some ideas of key supplements that support hair growth. The first supplement that we would recommend is adding in a scoop of protein powder. Personally, I like the Wellness Whey if you can tolerate whey. There are other types of wonderful protein powders as well. But I just put that in my smoothie every day. And that's just one way to increase protein in the diet without necessarily eating chicken, eggs, fish, meat; things like that. We need adequate protein throughout the day to maintain strong and sturdy hairs strand.

TERESA: Hello, this is Teresa one of the dietitians at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Before we start today's podcast, I want to let everyone know about a great deal we're offering this month on our individual online classes. From March 7th through March 20th, all 15 of our individual online classes are 50% off. So instead of $25, they're only $12.50 cents. With 15 classes, I'm sure you'll find an interesting and helpful class. Here are some of the popular classes: Breaking the Sugar Habit; no surprise there; Eating to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, 5 Steps to Boost Metabolism, Gut Reaction: Restore Digestive Health Through Nutrition. Now this class is so important because healthy digestion is really the foundation to a healthy body and mind; Getting a Good Night's Sleep and Reduce Risk of Prediabetes and Type-Two Diabetes. These are just a few of the 15 classes available. For more information on all these classes and the others go to or feel free to call our office at (651) 699-3438. Thanks for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and enjoy the show.

KARA: And we'll be right back.


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Kara just mentioned adding Wellness Whey protein to your morning smoothie. Personally, I don't do a morning smoothie. I do a morning coffee with some protein, and I really enjoy the Paleo Protein. I use vanilla Paleo Protein, which is dairy free. And then I add that to my coffee, as well as some Key Greens for my fruit and veggie serving. And then I also add some heavy whipping cream as my fat and blend that together for a nice balanced morning. You can order your protein powder online at or call 651-699-3438 and pick it up at one of our offices.

KARA: All right. So before break we were just kind of wrapping up to talking about the hormonal connection to hair thinning and hair loss. And just to kind of recap that, you know, hormones obviously change in perimenopause and menopause and a really great thing that can help with that is the Pro-gest, the natural progesterone cream we talked about. Just about 20 milligrams per day, 20, maybe 40. There's really good instructions that come with it.

Iron deficiency linked to hair loss


Jolene let's talk about some other reasons that women experience hair loss. So there was a study and with women and found that iron deficiency was a main cause of hair loss for perimenopausal and menopausal women. So if you're wondering what some signs are of iron deficiency, and first of all, that is actually believed to be the most prevalent, worldwide deficiency of a mineral. Isn't that interesting?

JOLENE: Yeah. And you know, and I would even argue or add that it's not just perimenopausal and menopausal women. I know that a lot of young women that are especially really physically active, like athletes, triathletes, marathon runners, that they often also struggle with iron deficiency. So it could really affect anyone.

KARA: Yeah, no, that's a great point. So if you're not perimenopausal or menopausal, don't think that this doesn't apply to you.

JOLENE: Exactly.

KARA: Especially if you are having some hair thinning, hair loss, or we'll talk about other signs of what it looks like to be iron deficient, cause it can happen to any age. I remember getting my daughter tested when she was a baby. I mean they just test a lot of kids for iron cause even little ones can have that. So a sign of iron deficiency could be that your fingernails kind of become flattened or almost spoon shaped. So that's one reason. Another reason could be if you are at the age where you're menstruating and you're losing a lot of blood, that can lead to iron deficiency.

And you and I were talking before the show about an absorption issue, just kind of a digestive issue that can create iron deficiency. Now think about people who might be eating foods that contain iron like red meat. But what if they're not absorbing it. That can even lead to iron deficiency. Now sometimes it's, it can be more difficult to digest things like red meat if we are low in something called stomach acid or hydrochloric acid. So, and that in itself is a pretty common issue.

JOLENE: Yeah. We have a lot of clients that have a hard time eating meat because they can't break it down.

KARA: Correct. So even a sign right there could be, if you're low on hydrochloric acid, you may have kind of an aversion to meat. “Oh, I don't like meat. I can't digest it.” So all of that I guess is what we're saying the end result could be leading to iron deficiency. So that would need to be a gut problem that could be addressed by listening to some of our podcasts on that topic, coming to see a nutritionist. And yet another reason for being iron deficient could be if someone's eating more vegetarian or vegan or just not a very big protein, animal protein eater. It's more difficult to digest iron from plant-based foods. So that could put someone at a higher risk for developing an iron deficiency. So all of those things could potentially lead to thinning hair or hair loss.

JOLENE: Yeah. And one thing that I just personally noticed; I've been iron deficient in my life before. And another sigh and symptom for, or me, or one way that I can tell is really low energy. Just feeling like I don't have a lot of energy. And, or some people will even crave things like ice, you know?

KARA: Oh yes. Good point.

JOLENE: Right. And so there's, there's lots of things and we just want you to know that, you know, it's very common and if you feel like something's off, it's probably worth getting your iron looked at.

KARA: Definitely. And when we say it's worth getting it looked at, we encourage you to ask for some pretty specific tests actually. I mean, it, it's helpful to just ask your doctor, you know, can you check my iron? Typically what they will do is they'll check hemoglobin, which is kind of the easiest thing to test for. It's, what we've found though, is hemoglobin can run normal in the normal range, but you can still be low in what, what is known as ferritin, which is our iron storage. Now, if we're low in ferritin and our hemoglobin it's normal, we can still be deficient in iron and have hair loss, thinning hair, low energy. We could even have kind of some muscle cramping or sore legs, sore muscles; kind of hard to take a breath sometimes. That's another sign when I was…

JOLENE: Lightheaded.

KARA: Yes. Headaches.


KARA: So there's a lot of these symptoms, so it's fine to get your hemoglobin tested, but really ask for a full iron panel. They'll probably do hematocrit. They might, and we really want that ferritin number.

JOLENE: Yeah. Yeah. That's the one that we look get the, the most, but there is a whole panel that will typically go with getting your iron tested.

KARA: Yeah. And Jolene, I would say that ferritin level, I mean, I was feeling best when mine was in the seventies.

JOLENE: Yeah. And I, I, correct me if I'm wrong, but the range is something like what eight or…

KARA: I believe so.

JOLENE: Yeah. Eight to like up to 200.

KARA: It starts pretty low. Because when I, when mine was low and I couldn't exercise, it was after a surgery where I lost a lot of blood and I, I had to rest before going up the stairs at my house and I thought, what is going on? But they said your iron's normal. Well, I dug a little deeper. Come to find out my ferritin I think was 15.

JOLENE: Oh wow.

KARA: And once I started taking our Reacted Iron at work here, which is chelated, very absorbable and easy to digest, no constipation, no gut rut feeling.

JOLENE: Yeah. And that's always a worry. So it's good that you bring that up because people typically are afraid to take iron for those reasons.

KARA: Yeah. So there are some really good chelated; ours is called Reacted Iron. So it's very absorbable and mine shot right up and I started feeling better right away.

JOLENE: Yeah. I, I think you hit it on the head where you don't want to be anywhere in those low ranges, even though the normal range might be single digits. I know I, I was at four, I mean really low, very low. Yeah. And yeah, I definitely feel way better to be 50, 60, 70, you know, higher. I don't, you know, at 15 probably wouldn't feel good either. So, so yeah. Aim for that middle to high range for those.

KARA: So another study found that almost half of post-menopausal women who were experiencing thinning hair found that it was a side effect from a prescription drug that they were taking.

JOLENE: Well. And you know, we, you kind of just talked about the hydrochloric acid, right? Having enough stomach acid. And I don't know if people realize that when you take medication for GERD or acid reflex, that actually affects your hydrochloric acid in your stomach. It can affect how well that is or how high it is. And so even that could influence.

KARA: Oh, that's a great point to kind of tie that all together.

JOLENE: Right. Right. So, I mean, it's just, we don't know with prescription drugs, even though, you know, they're, they're needed at certain points for certain people, but it's really hard to know how they're going to affect each person. There's just a lot of things that could happen.

Nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss


In addition to the prescription drugs, nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss. Okay. So let's talk about some of those key nutrients that you need to avoid hair loss or to have healthy hair. There are lots of companies that recommend certain supplement formulas to help prevent hair loss. But here we always want to start with food. I mean, that's of course who we are. Let's just see how far food takes us. And then we have these supplements that can truly supplement a good food plan. So we're going to start talking here soon about a well thought out diet plan or foods that you can eat to prevent hair loss, but to really give you the best plan for food, why don't we first talk, Kara, about some of the science behind nutrition and hair loss?

KARA: That's a great idea, Jolene, because at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, that's what we really like to look for. We like to look for the science for answers to whatever health concern, you know, might be popping up. So for example, we look to the science when it comes to weight loss. We look to science, of course, when it comes to managing cholesterol or high blood pressure. We also look to science when we are dealing with a client that has blood sugar imbalances; pre-diabetes or diabetes. We even look to the science with Alzheimer's prevention, intestinal healing. So really what I'm saying is as all aspects of health, we are going to, we're going to do a deep dive and we're also going to do that when it comes to hair thinning and hair loss. So when we come back from break, we will let you know what some of those important nutrients are for hair growth.

You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Now we've talked about a couple supplements so far. Another important supplement for hair growth is adding in a scoop of Key Collagen Powder. You can add it, you can actually add it to coffee. You can add it to water. A lot of people add it to their morning smoothie. Key Collagen contains a specific peptide that supports hair and nail growth. It's also very beneficial for bones. So Key Collagen overall is going to support hair, nails, bones, and skin. There's a lot of research on how it supports skin and even can reduce wrinkles. You can order Key Collagen on our website, And another just bonus which this goes for, I would say all of our supplements are very high quality. It's pure and it’s free of contaminants.

BRITNI: Hello, this is Britni, one of the dietitians at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I want to interrupt the show to let everyone know about the spring sale on Nutrikey products. Save 15% off all Nutrikey products starting Monday, March 14th through Saturday, March 19th. This is a great time to stock up on products you normally use like Magnesium Glycinate, Omega-3 1000, Bifido Balance, or try something new, such as Key Collagen, Biotic 7, Curcumin 400 or Key Greens.

Plus there's free shipping on all orders and you can feel confident using Nutrikey products because they are manufactured in a GMP certified facility in the United States using pharmaceutical grade ingredients and are independently tested by a third party. And most importantly, we use them in clinic. So we know they work. Enjoy the sale online at That's or stop by one of our six twin cities locations. Thanks for listing to Dishing Up Nutrition. Let's get back to the show.


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. For good hair growth we suggest avoiding refined, damaged fats, such as soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and most vegetable oils. Use only natural fats like butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, avocado oil, and bacon grease. We also suggest adding the essential fatty acid GLA-160. Most people find their hair has more shine when they add three GLA 160 capsules daily. One with each meal supports hair growth.

KARA: Jolene, I might be a little biased towards GLA and omega three, because I will say whenever I run out of either one of those, I notice that my skin starts kind of get getting cracked and more dry. My hair gets more brittle. My nails are breaking more. It is, so it is kind of easy to become deficient in both of those essential fatty acids.

JOLENE: I agree. And I just notice that even with my diet, if I'm not eating enough fats, I can really tell by how dry my skin is, especially this time of the year.

KARA: Yes. More this time of year in. And like you had said, we always start with food first. So I would never just take those supplements without making sure that I was first incorporating healthy fats several times per day, which is kind of our baseline. So in regard to circling back to the science behind things, we thought the best place to get answers would be from the NIH, the National Institute of Health.

Science behind hair loss: importance of getting sufficient protein


So they published a research article January of 2017. It was called Diet and Hair Loss: Effects of Nutrient Deficiency and Supplement Use. So Jolene, you're going to kind of tie this together; information from this research article on how Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we like to look at the science behind hair loss.

JOLENE: Yeah. And luckily the science supports our message, which is nutrition. So we can finally start to get into the foods that we can eat to address some of these nutritional deficiencies that lead to hair loss. In the NIH study, the first sentence said, nutritional deficiency may impact both hair structure and hair growth. And it went on to say that the loss may occur when there has been sudden weight loss or a decrease in the amount of protein that is eaten; kind of going back to what we talked about earlier, Kara, at the very beginning about stress. You know, stress can be so many different things, including nutritional stresses to our body. And this often happens when we do those crash diets and we literally are in our body's eyes starving it, you know, where it's not getting enough nutrition or not enough calories or energy per day, or it doesn't have enough fat or enough protein. All of this leads to nutrient deficiency. And with women that of often shows up as that hair loss.

So for us, we recommend about 12 ounces of animal protein. And of course this varies, you know, people are different, but you just want to really make sure you're getting enough protein for you. And that you're including protein in every meal and/or snack that you eat.

In addition to the protein, of course, adding that fat. I always say fat is flavor. So whatever, whatever you eat think of fat is kind of like the extra topping or addition to give your food flavor. And that will end up being about a tablespoon of natural fat. It's really fun to put that fat into vegetables. It makes them just taste delicious. And that way we can also get our cup or two or three of vegetables in addition to that protein.

KARA: And we absorb the nutrients from the vegetables more by adding in the healthy fat.

JOLENE: Yeah, I mean, and I think that's what I love about how we talk about food is that it's not just about the types of foods. It's about eating them together. Like that balance is so important. Your body recognizes them as being real nutritious food and they really help each other out. In addition to those macros, with the, the proteins, the fats, the, the vegetables, those foods are also going to give us those essential B vitamins, vitamin C, and a good array of antioxidants.

All of these decrease that stress in our body from being either malnourished or nutrient deficient. And so our eating plan is just really designed to give the body energy and you get that energy through these nutrients that will give you long term health. This makes your body happy and a happy body will take care of itself with healthy hair, healthy skin. I, like I said before, I like to, a lot of times when you just talk to people and they're talking about their food or not feeling well or losing hair, a lot of times you can just look at somebody and tell again, by their skin and hair, if they're getting adequate nutrition. It's just usually a sign that your body is fed well and doing well.

KARA: Sure. Because what is showing up on the outside is stemming from what's going on in the inside.

JOLENE: Absolutely.

KARA: Yeah. And again, it might take, it might take several months, you know, to have a low-calorie, low-fat kind of a starvation diet and start noticing hair, thinning, hair loss. And then it might take a few months of eating more animal protein and healthy fats and vegetables until that hair growth starts back up again. So it's, it's not overnight, but yeah, it's definitely telltale when it, somebody's experiencing a lot of those things on the outside.

JOLENE: Yeah, and we just feel better. Right? I mean, you can even tell just by how you feel like typically once you get that energy back, you feel better.

Animal protein is a building block for hair growth


KARA: Energy is a big thing; stable moods. So we've, we've mentioned protein quite a few times and that's because it is really the staple. When, when we're talking about what we need, the building blocks for hair growth, we really need what we're getting from animal protein. So let's just talk about specifically what some of those key nutrients are that we're getting from this good protein. Animal protein examples, such as chicken, turkey, beef, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy; a lot of people do fine with dairy. If you don't, you likely, you know, have some clues about that, whether it's intestinal issues or acne or allergies or things like that. But if you can tolerate dairy, there's a lot of great dairy choices as well that are proteins.

Now, eggs; I, I do love eggs and I'm going to share in a minute how I like to switch up the way I prepare them, otherwise I do get a little bit tired of eggs, but eggs are wonderful. They count as an animal protein. When you eat a couple of eggs, maybe two or three for breakfast, you're getting a lot of great essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients are folate, riboflavin, and vitamin D, which many, especially where we live, Jolene, in the Northern latitude in Minnesota, many of us become deficient in vitamin D. There are also a lot of key minerals, calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, selenium, and zinc. Zinc is another common mineral deficiency, right alongside with iron.

JOLENE: And all those, those that you just mentioned, I thought right away about thyroid health too, you know, which is a…

KARA: Oh, correct.

JOLENE: Yeah. And all those are just so essential for thyroid.

KARA: I'm glad that you mentioned that. Yeah. The iron, the iodine, the selenium and the zinc; all very important for the thyroid. So here are some examples of portion sizes. Choosing a half cup of full fat cottage cheese will give you about 15 grams of protein, and you're going to get a lot of great B vitamins. You're going to get niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12. You'll get phosphorus, potassium and vitamin D, calcium, magnesium. I mean, kind of, you can see it where all these vitamins and minerals really add up in these animal protein sources.

So let's just say a typical day, maybe I have eggs for breakfast. For lunch, I would have either a tuna or a salmon salad. And then maybe a snack later in the day would be a half cup of cottage cheese. And then my protein at dinner could be having a nice chicken vegetable soup. And I'm having adequate protein in that soup, which can be tricky. But three to four ounces is what we're recommending for a meal portion. So that's about 12 to 14 ounces of protein in one day. And that is what your hair needs to really, you know, promote that hair growth that a lot of our listeners are looking for.

JOLENE: And all that sounds so delicious. You know? So when you talk about it, it doesn't seem hard to have some cottage cheese or have a tuna salad or have some eggs. I, I will say that I love, and I think I just published this in an article online for what a nutritionist eats in a day, but I do love cottage cheese caprese. So I basically take my cottage cheese and put some tomatoes on it, some basil, salt, pepper, and, you know, just kind of gives a little extra spice if you want to kind of change up your cottage cheese.

KARA: That's a great combo too.

JOLENE: Yeah. What do you do with your eggs?

KARA: What do I do with my eggs? Well, this morning, I, I had boiled them ahead of time and so they were ready to go, but I also will do a scramble with cheese and mushrooms. Sometimes I make an omelet with spinach. I try to really mix it up because I get tired of just eating the exact same prepared eggs every day.

So, all right, we're going to talk more about how you can grow luscious locks when we come back from break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I always tell clients that healthy hair starts with a healthy gut. So we suggest to clients that they add in probiotic to their list of preferred supplements. And the first one that's usually our go-to: it's Bifido Balance. The capsules are pretty easy. There's also a powder, but just adding two Bifido Balance capsules before each meal can really help to support better digestion.

In addition to supporting, you know, the way we digest our protein, the Bifido Balance can help to reduce sugar cravings. So if you're someone experiencing digestive problems, you know, that can be a little bit complex. So we would suggest that you look into setting up an appointment with a dietitian or a nutritionist. There might be a lot of layers involved in a digestive concern. And again, there's the old adage “health begins in the gut”. You can call 651-699-3438 for more information. You can also go online to our website, And we have a blog on intestinal health. We have a lot of great articles and podcasts.

Nutrition Counseling


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As we all know, the past several months, years, have been difficult with COVID-19. For a lot of us, our food choices may not have been the best. Maybe extra pounds have snuck on or things like anxiety, depression, and low energy may also be part of your day. We all know that processed foods are not our friend. While eating real foods, we feel better. Eating real foods several times a day, leads to weight loss, more energy and better moods. How do you get back to real food and off sugar or these habits that have crept in?

Let me suggest the first thing is that you make a plan. I always like to use the phrase that it takes a tribe. All of us need the support to help us succeed when we make changes in our life, including our diet. In March, we have the Nutrition for Weight Loss program starting up. You will get weekly classes and individual counseling to help you reach your goals. If it's time for you to make a commitment and find your tribe for your health, sign up now, so you can have plan. You can call us at 651-699-3438 or online at

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program

So Kara, before break, we were trying to hit some of the ways that real food can really help with nutritional deficiencies. And we were really talking about our macros, our protein, our fats, our vegetables, but then you really gave an extensive list on all of those key vitamins and minerals that are found in those foods. And it was an extensive list, which…

KARA: Mostly, I mean, but found all in real foods, right? The real animal proteins.

JOLENE: Right.

KARA: And the healthy fats. We, you know, we didn't talk as much about, but those are, are very nutrient dense, but then all those fruits and vegetables with the vitamins and minerals.

JOLENE: Yeah. I just love it. Cause it just, I mean, we, I, I, even though I say it all the time with clients, we talk about it all the time and I know it's our mission here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, it's just amazing the power that food has.

KARA: Yeah.

JOLENE: With everything that it contains for our health.

KARA: I agree.

JOLENE: And nutrition is where we want to start. And, and with that comes a reminder of how easy it is to fall into those habits of those processed and packaged foods. And just to remind all of you and myself that those foods are nutrient poor. If we were to put a list of all of those things that you mentioned for processed foods, we wouldn’t have a list. There's just nothing in them that benefits us.

KARA: Empty, basically, empty, empty calories.

JOLENE: Empty calories. Yep. We're not nourishing our body. We might be eating, but we're not nourishing. And of course, if you do choose those foods, then it's going to contribute to that damaged hair and hair loss.

KARA: Right. Yeah. So even an example, it might be like a frozen meal that looks like it has a protein in it. It looks like it has a little vegetable. You're thinking it might have like a fat, which might be an unhealthy fat, like a vegetable oil, but there, the quality is, you know, compromised.

JOLENE: Exactly.

KARA: And so when we're looking at nutrient poor choices like that, unfortunately it can create the opposite of what people are wanting that are tuning in today, which is better hair growth. So that's just going to create more damaged hair and hair loss. And so we had talked about just examples of what to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I had said, well, one example would be tuna or salmon salad. Well, particularly salmon salad would be really good for strong, thick hair because it's very high in the omega-3 fatty acids; those essential omega three fats that most of the population are deficient in in. And so think about the omega threes as helping to keep the strands of hair very strong.

Nutrients to support healthy hair


JOLENE: Yeah. Those omega threes are just amazing what they can do for your hair, your skin, your energy, your brain. They really are power foods. I like that you talked about eggs and you talked about eggs for breakfast, and I also appreciate you sharing how that can get old pretty quickly. So thanks for sharing that you can make lots of different egg dishes. So you talked about some of the great things about eggs. So I just want to mention some of the other nutrients. They're just, again, such a power food.

One of those nutrients is choline. So choline helps not only to maintain healthy hair, but it also helps your memory. So again, you know, that brain food. Other nutrients in eggs that I don't think you mentioned; there was a lot, but there's also vitamin a and vitamin B12, in addition to all the other ones that you talked about. And all of those, all those vitamins and minerals are going to allow for that strong, healthy hair and just support your overall health.

KARA: And just kind of back to very briefly, back to omega threes. But I have to put in a plug for the yolks of eggs.

JOLENE: Yes. The bright orange yolks.

KARA: That is where we're getting the majority of all the nutrients that we listed. But the yolks also contain I've, I've heard someone and refer to it as liquid gold. It could have been Darlene Kvist, the owner of Nutritional Weight and Wellness, but somebody referred to that as liquid gold. It's like the perfect nutrient in the yolk.

JOLENE: Absolutely. And you do want to go for that gold color.

KARA: Yeah. We don't want to get rid of the yolk. And so what other nutrients do we get from animal protein that our hair needs? I had kind of listed off zinc as one of them, but meat is very high in zinc. And I think about 75% of the population is deficient in zinc.


KARA: Not getting enough zinc from food. So that's three out of four people. So just keep in mind that meat is going to be very high in that important mineral. And there's a lot of benefits to eating foods that contain zinc as well as the idea of supplementing with zinc. If you suspect that you're low or you're just looking to boost your immune system, especially during the COVID pandemic, of course, everybody wants their immune system working as well as possible. So another great reason to get adequate zinc.

Hydration is critical for healthy hair


JOLENE: Yeah. Yeah. And it's, and it's easy to get zinc if you know where to look for it, you know, both from food and supplements if needed. And we, we of course need to talk about because it's super important is hydration, you know, to make sure that we're fully hydrated. So I just want to make sure when we're talking about, you know, being nutrient rich and having healthy hair, healthy skin, being able to recover from an illness, make sure that we are drinking enough filtered water each day.

Our typical recommendation is half your body weight in ounces. And to really make sure that you're getting water as often as possible. This hydrates your body and your metabolism. And it also is going to hydrate your skin, your scalp to make sure that our hair is growing as well as it can. And of course, on the opposite side of that, if you're drinking the beverages that dehydrate like soda, alcohol, too much coffee, that's going to have the opposite effect. So, you know, especially if you are drinking any of those things, which, you know, we want to stay away from most of those on a, a regular basis, make sure you're drinking extra water. So water helps your hair grow. Drink enough water.

Eat frequently during the day to balance the blood sugar


KARA: Now another tip that we have is to eat frequently enough to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day, keep your energy levels up and also just keep a steady stream of high, highly dense nutrient rich foods. And so we had talked about the opposite of that is the low calorie, low fat kind of 500; I would even say 1200 would be too low in calories. Not that we look at calories, but that is low, but we want to have adequate nutrients coming in.

So oftentimes that means having three meals and anywhere from one to three snacks. It's going to vary from person to person. And you can work with your dietitian if, if you're seeing one on how frequent you need to eat for your body. But we would say every few hours, every few hours eating a balanced meal or a balanced snack is going to give you the nutrients that you need to support the cells that are going to go create hair growth. And of course, nutrient rich foods are going to be the animal proteins, the healthy fats: butter, coconut oil, avocado, and as many vegetables as possible with more limited fruits.

JOLENE: Yeah. And I mean, I, I just want to circle back. I know we talked about it a lot today, but, but you mentioned it again, that protein, protein, protein, and, and I'm not saying just eat protein. The balance of course matters with the fats, vegetables, all the other essential nutrients, but just realizing that if we're not including protein with each meal or snack, we're really compromising our body's ability to repair and to get that hair to grow back. So make sure you eat protein, enjoy your proteins and have it with all your meals and snacks.

KARA: That's right. And that's just because that really is the main building block that our body needs for hair regeneration for, for good hair growth. And so another thing that you're going to be getting from protein, especially if it's red meat, is that iron. That you know, a lot of people that are dealing with hair loss or hair thinning are low in iron, as we mentioned earlier. So having red meat, even a couple times per week; pairing that with some foods that are higher in vitamin C. And we think about like strawberries, red peppers, oranges, you know, that's going to help the iron to be absorbed more efficiently.

JOLENE: So today we've talked about some of the causes of hair loss. There are many. We talked about COVID-19, stress, nutritional deficiencies, iron deficiency, medications perimenopause, as well as menopause and overall gut health. But here at Nutritional Weight Wellness, we want to focus on food first. So Kara, what were some of the key food ideas we had?

KARA: Sure. So just to sum up, 12 to 14 ounces of animal protein every day, really incorporating those healthy fats that are good for skin, hair, and nails, and just good quality vegetables and fruits that are going to give us the vitamins and minerals that we need for hair growth.

JOLENE: Yeah, that's perfect. And, and real food is always where we want to be and start. But if you do need additional support, we did mention supplements like Pro-gest, protein powder, Key Collagen and GLA-60, which can help your hair grow back and repair in a quicker fashion. Or you can just reach out to us too, if you do need additional support or individualized counseling or classes for your plan.

KARA: Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness: it's to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple, but a very powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you so much for joining us today. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

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