It's been said that premature gray hair is genetic and the chances of going gray increase 20 percent every decade after the age of 30.
Well now some studies point to the following aggravators:

• Stress — Research shows a possible link between gray hair and stress- as witnessed by presidents before and after their term.

• Medical condition — Thyroid, adrenal, sex gonad or pituitary gland imbalances can promote gray hair.

• Vitamin deficiency — It's possible that you have a vitamin B complex, vitamin B12 deficiency or a vitamin D deficiency. These can be caused by vegan diets, ulcers, gastritis, colitis, Crohn's disease, gastric bypass surgery, taking certain medications or birth control, anemia and of course not enough sunshine.

• Mineral deficiency — Researchers measured the amounts of copper, zinc and iron levels in the blood of 66 study subjects under age 20 going prematurely gray and discovered their copper concentrations to be far lower than people the same age who weren't turning gray.

Copper is essential for the production of melanin, which gives hair its pigmentation. Foods with high amounts of copper include walnuts, sesame seeds, shiitake mushrooms, cashews, asparagus and spinach. Walnuts increase blood flow to your head and scalp, so your hair will also grow faster.

Zinc plays an important role in the production of new hair and skin cells. Foods high in zinc are raw shellfish of all types and raw pumpkin and sesame seeds.

• Excess Oxidation— alcohol, cigarette and marijuana smoking, medication use, eating foods with chemical flavorings and preservatives, exposure to chemicals in our workplace or home. As we age, our bodies produce less catalase antioxidant enzyme, resulting in the build-up of hydrogen peroxide in our hair follicles — which literally bleaches hair follicles from the inside out.

By eating foods high in catalase (garlic, onions, cauliflower, potatoes, broccoli, kale and cabbage) we promote neutralization of oxidation to restore healthy hair pigment.

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