I recently interviewed an Allen, TX-based board-certified primary care physician named Dr. Luan Pho, MD for an appearance on “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast coming up on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. When the half-hour interview was finished, Dr. Pho said, “Oh I wish you could have asked me about how gray hair isn’t a normal part of the aging process.” Since I just turned 40 in December and the seeming inevitability of gray hair coming for me in the next few years, my ears perked up. I invited Dr. Pho to write a special guest blog post about this topic so that you my readers can benefit from his knowledge and understanding of this issue you probably haven’t heard much about. Who wouldn’t want to know how to keep gray hairs at bay and even reverse them? Check out what Dr. Pho says you need to do to make that happen in this special guest blog post!
Feeling a little tired and stressed? Who doesn’t have days like this? We all deal with this as the years pass by.
Then one day you wake up and look in the mirror and guess what happens? Your first gray hair appears. You start to “see” that you look much older than you really are. Then you begin to wonder, “Can this really be happening?” Only “old” people get gray hairs and you are too young to have any already.
Getting your first gray hair is traumatic for many and very difficult to ignore. Sadly, it is also a sign that many more gray hairs are probably soon to follow. Everyone thinks it just seems to be a normal process of aging–one in which you can’t stop no matter what you do. But I challenge you to consider these gray hairs as merely a personal wake-up call for you to improve your health and more specifically your diet.
What if I told you that there is a way to stop or slow down this process of your hair turning gray? Would you believe me if I told you that you can do things to prevent or even reverse gray hairs from forming? Graying does not have to be the inevitable process of aging if you understand what it takes to keep it from happening to your hair.
The reality is our current belief that graying is due to aging and that it is not reversible may not be true at all. So what is the answer? The answer lies in what you have been told before but may not have realized. It’s as simple as “You are what you eat.”
In my nutritional health book Health and Vitality Truths – To Know and Tell, the fallacies and preconceived ideas about what defines “healthy” eating is turned upside down. The sad fact is that the current standard American diet (SAD) is based on the archaic Food Pyramid, Dietary Guidelines, MyPlate or whatever they’re calling it these days. This diet pattern glorifies foods that are high in carbohydrates and drastically underestimates the required and necessary protein that is needed for optimal health.
A high carbohydrate/low-fat eating pattern should not be a guide for anyone who wants to get and stay healthy. We need to look at nutrition in a way in which it would enable us to use it to our advantage. Genuine health and vitality is about giving your body the specific nutrients that it needs on a daily basis.
“You are what you eat” is a truism that you can harness to your advantage if you understand what nutrients are required for better health. Food nutrition should not be based on their physical appearance or form. It should be based on the macronutrients and micronutrients found within them. Let me explain to you what these are.
Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals. The overabundance of carbohydrates consumed by most people in modern society is the major reason for the increasing rates of obesity and chronic health conditions that have befallen us. In fact, a reduction or possibly even an elimination of carbohydrates is needed in order for your health, vitality, and aging to be improved. The consumption of fat, especially saturated fat, has been discouraged since it is the reason given for the cause of cardiovascular disease. And yet there is no evidence that supports this erroneous belief.
Regarding gray hairs, this happens when your body is unable to synthesize an adequate amount of melanin. Melanin is the pigmentation that gives your hair its natural color. In order to make melanin, your body needs a specific non-essential but yet conditional amino acid called tyrosine. Your body also needs tyrosine in order to make dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, coenzyme Q10, and thyroid hormones. The availability of the needed amount of tyrosine may become deficient due to an incomplete diet low in protein.
As you probably already know, amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins. There are nine essential and eleven non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are synthesized into non-essential amino acids. This fact highlights the delicate balance as to how dietary protein intake acts on the supply of both the essential and non-essential amino acids. Therefore, consuming an adequate amount of protein and supplementation with tyrosine may be the answer to keeping your natural hair color longer.
For more details on the importance of an adequate protein diet and tyrosine, read my book Health and Vitality Truths – To Know and Tell. Learn more about the work of Dr. Luan Pho, MD at LuanPhoMD.com.