kris ulland

Your Nutrition Partner

A number of factors can increase your risk of hair loss, including:

  • A family history of balding on your mother’s or father’s side
  • Age
  • Significant weight loss
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and lupus and cancer treatments
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition

Most baldness is caused by genetics (male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness). Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is not preventable.

These tips may help you avoid preventable types of hair loss:

  • Be gentle with your hair. Use a detangler and avoid tugging when brushing and combing, especially when your hair is wet. A wide-toothed comb might help prevent pulling out hair. Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot-oil treatments and permanents. Limit the tension on hair from styles that use rubber bands, barrettes and braids.
  • Ask your doctor about medications and supplements you take that might cause hair loss.
  • Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.
  • Stop smoking. Some studies show an association between smoking and baldness in men.
  • If you’re being treated with chemotherapy, ask your doctor about a cooling cap. This cap can reduce your risk of losing hair during chemotherapy.

Here are a few natural remedies that can help regrow hair fast:

  • Peppermint Oil  The topical application of peppermint oil on bald spots can help regrow hair naturally. According to research, peppermint essential oil can induce the anagen or hair growth phase. It results in faster hair growth without any harmful side effects on the body. Peppermint oil usually starts showing signs of hair growth in two weeks.  You can mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil. Apply it to your scalp twice a week to see faster hair growth.
  • Rosemary Oil  Another essential oil with proven hair growth benefits is rosemary oil. According to research, rosemary oil is more effective in treating androgenetic alopecia than minoxidil. A study suggests that people who use rosemary oil lotion on the scalp twice a day see the significant hair growth and reduced hair loss. You can make rosemary oil at home by adding rosemary leaves to carrier oil.
  • Onion Juice Onion juice is an ancient home remedy for hair loss and regrowth and reducing bald spots. According to research, onion juice contains a high amount of sulfur, a mineral that promotes blood circulation in the scalp and can regenerate hair follicles. Sulfur also helps reduce inflammation and reduces hair loss due to scalp infections. Onion juice is also rich in nutrients like magnesium, potassium, folate, and Vitamin C, which are essential for hair growth.
  • Lemon  You can use fresh lemon juice or lemon oil, since they’ve both been found to enhance hair quality and growth. Lemon oil may help you maintain a healthy scalp and encourage hair growth.  Apply fresh lemon juice to your scalp and hair 15 minutes before you shampoo. You can also use lemon essential oil diluted in a carrier oil as part of a hair mask.
  • Coconut Oil The topical application of coconut oil on the scalp is another effective home remedy for hair loss and promoting hair growth. According to research, coconut oil can penetrate deep into the hair shaft. Coconut oil prevents protein loss from hair and stimulates hair growth. You can apply coconut oil and leave it on for a few hours before washing your hair, or you can also keep it overnight.
  • Scalp Massage Gently massaging your scalp for 10-15 minutes daily can also improve hair growth. According to a study, people that had gently massaged their scalp daily for 10-20 minutes saw significant hair growth and reduced hair falling out. Hair massages increase blood circulation, making hair follicles healthy.
  • Aloe Vera Gel According to research, topical application of aloe vera gel on the scalp can stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. It contains enzymes that protect the scalp from infections. You can apply fresh aloe vera gel directly on your scalp.

Dihydrotestosterone, DHT, is an androgen hormone known specifically for causing male pattern baldness. While most of the studies done on the impact DHT production can have on hair thinning and male pattern baldness have been done on male subjects, everyone has dihydrotestosterone in their bodies, including women. And DHT does have an impact on women’s natural hair growth patterns.

Researchers are not sure whether natural DHT blockers can help reduce female pattern baldness or even prevent hair loss for women, but studies on men who eat DHT-blocking foods for treating hair loss are promising.

Here are six foods that might block DHT and help combat thinning hair:

  • Green Tea Green tea is rich in antioxidants. Studies show that drinking green tea might help promote hair growth by supplying the body with natural DHT blockers. Green tea might also help prevent hair loss because it contains EGCG, epigallocatechin gallate, which is thought to act as a natural DHT inhibitor. While EGCG doesn’t seem to block DHT production directly, it does reduce DHT levels that lead to hair thinning by protecting our dermal papilla cells (which are the cells found in our hair follicles) against cellular damage caused by the overproduction of DHT. Less damage equals less hair loss and a healthier scalp environment to regrow hair.
  • Turmeric Curcumin is a natural polyphenol compound derived from turmeric. It is rich in antioxidants that fight against damaging free radicals that can cause hair loss. Studies suggest that turmeric might reduce the production of DHT by minimizing DHT levels.
  • Soy Protein Soy protein products might help reduce DHT levels by inhibiting the absorption of 5 alpha-reductase, the enzyme that your body uses to convert testosterone into DHT. Studies have shown that consuming soy protein might help with hair growth without reducing natural testosterone levels, so you can work to prevent hair loss without worrying about disrupting your hormonal flow. Soybeans, tofu, soy milk and edamame are good sources.
  • Coconut Oil I mentioned the power of topically applied coconut oil to fight against thinning hair. While it’s not suitable for all hair types, coconut oil can work to support hair growth by providing intense and targeted hydration. Coconut oil might also prevent your hair from falling out by working as a DHT blocker when added to your diet.
  • Pumpkin Seeds Studies show that participants who supplemented their diet with pumpkin seeds – specifically cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil – experienced reduced hair loss compared to those who took a placebo. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrients and minerals essential to preventing hair loss, including iron, zinc and magnesium.
  • Foods Rich in Lycopene Hair-healthy foods to reduce DHT levels included fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene – carrots, watermelons, pink grapefruits, tomatoes of all kinds, and guavas are good sources.  Any foods that are naturally orange or red will contain levels of lycopene that works to inhibit DHT production. One study showed that participants who ate tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods had lower levels of the enzymes associated with 5-alpha reductase.

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit is native to subtropical regions of South America and grows on a vine, Passiflora edulis. It is thought to have originated in Paraguay, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina.

Though they’re a tropical fruit, some varieties can survive in sub-tropical climates. For this reason, they’re grown all over the world, and crops can be found in Asia, Europe, Australia, and South and North America.

Passion fruit has a tough outer rind and juicy, seed-filled center. Individual fruits vary in size from about the size of a plum to the size of a grapefruit. The pulp itself is yellow. There are several types that vary in size and color. Purple and yellow varieties are the most commonly available ones, including:

  • Passiflora edulis. These are small round or oval-shaped fruits with purple skin.
  • Passiflora flavicarpa. This kind is round or oval with yellow skin and usually slightly larger than the purple variety.

Passion fruit has a taut, shiny skin when it’s freshly picked, but the skin becomes shriveled and wrinkled as the fruit ripens

A single purple passion fruit contains:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV
  • Potassium: 2% of the DV

Though this may not seem like much, these are the values for a single, small fruit that has only 17 calories. Calorie for calorie, it’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.  Passion fruit also contains phosphorus, niacin, and vitamin B-6. Passion fruit also has a small amount of iron. Your body doesn’t usually absorb iron from plants very well. However, the iron in passion fruit comes with a lot of vitamin C, which is known to enhance iron absorption.

The flavor of passion fruit is astringent and refreshingly tart when the fruit is fresh, but it becomes sweeter and more complex as the fruit ripens. Its flavor can be compared with citrus, melon, pineapple, and kiwi. When overripe, the pulp can take on a richly complex, almost fermented flavor. The flesh is jellylike and can be scooped out and eaten with a spoon.

The seeds have a slight crunch to them, but they’re easy to eat and don’t need to be removed. The same goes for the white pith: it doesn’t taste like much, slightly bitter, and it’s  spongy or cottony.

It’s also rich in beneficial plant compounds, including carotenoids and polyphenols. One study found that passion fruit was richer in polyphenols than many other tropical fruits, including banana, lychee, mango, papaya, and pineapple. Polyphenols are plant compounds that have a range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that you need to get from your diet. It supports your immune system and healthy aging. Beta carotene is an important antioxidant as well. Your body converts it into vitamin A, which is essential for preserving good eyesight.

Diets rich in plant-based beta carotene have been linked to a lower risk of some cancers, including of the prostate, colon, stomach, and breast.

Passion fruit seeds are rich in piceatannol, a polyphenol that may improve insulin sensitivity in men with excess weight, potentially reducing type 2 diabetes risk when taken as a supplement.

A single-fruit serving of passion fruit provides around 2 grams of fiber, which is a lot for such a small fruit.  Soluble fiber helps slow the digestion of your food, which can prevent blood sugar spikes. Diets that are high in fiber are also associated with a lower risk of illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

In another study in people with knee osteoarthritis, those taking a purple passion fruit peel extract reported less pain and stiffness in their joints than those who didn’t take the supplement.

Passion fruit is rich in magnesium, an important mineral that scientists have linked with decreased stress and anxiety. A systematic review from 2017 suggests that magnesium can help people manage their anxiety levels.

Passion fruit is safe to eat for most people, but allergies do occur in a small number of people.  Those with a latex allergy appear to be most at risk of a passion fruit allergy. This is because some of the plant proteins in the fruit have a structure similar to that of latex proteins.

Purple passion fruit skin may also contain chemicals called cyanogenic glycosides. These can combine with enzymes to form the poison cyanide and are potentially poisonous in large amounts.

How to Buy

You can usually find passion fruit in the produce section of larger grocery stores and supermarkets, and since it’s cultivated all over the world, from California and South America to Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand, it’s available year-round.

When choosing passion fruit, ripe ones will be purple, reddish, or yellow in color, and their skin may be smooth in less ripe fruits or wrinkly when they’re riper. Green ones are unripe but will ripen within 3 to 5 days at room temperature. You’ll know that a passion fruit is fully ripe, with maximum sweetness, when its skin is slightly wrinkled.

Passion fruit does not respond well to heat preservation and canning, but people can freeze it for later use.

You can find frozen passion fruit pulp in many grocery stores and Latin markets, which is ready to use in most recipes once it’s thawed. Frozen passion fruit pulp tends to be quite tart.

You can sometimes find bottled passion fruit juice, though it often contains additional sweeteners, so if a recipe calls for passion fruit juice to be reduced, the bottled product can produce a sweeter result than the recipe intended.

How to Store

You can store ripe passion fruit in the refrigerator for two to three days, or you can scoop out the pulp and freeze it for up to three months, sealed in freezer containers or bags.

How to Cook

Even though you don’t eat the skin, it’s a good idea to wash your passion fruit thoroughly before using it. To begin with, use a sharp knife to cut the fruit in half. The skin can be tough, so you might want to use a serrated knife so that you don’t squash the fruit while cutting it.

You will find a gelatinous, yellow, seed-filled pulp that can be easily scooped out with a spoon and eaten as is or used in all kinds of recipes, like drinks, sauces, and desserts.

To make juice, you’d puree the pulp, seeds and all, and add water and a bit of maple syrup. You can then strain it to remove seed particles as well as any bits of the white pith (although both the seeds and the pith are edible). The juice, or the fresh pulp, are great additions to smoothies.

You’ll need 10 to 12 passion fruits to produce a cup of pulp..

Some of the more popular ways to use passion fruit include:

  • Drinks. It can be squeezed through a sieve to make juice, which can be added to cocktails or used to make a cordial to flavor water.
  • Desserts. It’s often used as a topping or flavoring for cakes and desserts like cheesecake or mousse.
  • On salads. It can be used to add a crunchy texture and sweet flavor to salads.
  • In yogurts. Mix it with natural yogurt to make a delicious snack.

To eat a passion fruit raw, cut it in half and use a spoon to remove the pulp from the rind. The rind is not edible. People can eat both the seeds and the pulp, or just the pulp.

Remove the seeds by pressing the pulp through a strainer or cheesecloth and use the juice in a variety of ways, such as:

  • mixing with water and sugar to make a drink
  • adding the juice to other fruit juices, such as orange or pineapple
  • adding the juice to yogurt with other fruit
  • boiling it into a syrup that a person can make into many other things, such as sauces or desserts
  • making it into a jelly or jam
  • making it into a soft drink or wine



Mango Passion Fruit Smoothie

Layla Pujol / Laylita's Recipes

4-6 Servings


  • 10 to 12 ounces of fresh mango slices from about 2-3 smaller mangoes or 1 large mango
  • 1 ½ cup passion fruit concentrate or pulp – unsweetened (use frozen packs if you don’t have access to fresh passion fruits)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice from about 3-4 limes
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups of water adjust based on how thick you want the smoothie – can also replace with dairy-free milk or yogurt based 
  • ¼ cup maple syrup – adjust based on natural sweetness of mangoes and your personal preference
  • Ice as needed


  • Place the mango slices, passion fruit concentrate, lime juice, water and sugar in a blender. Mix until smooth.
  • For a slushy to frozen treat consistency add ice and crush until smooth.
  • Serve the passion fruit mango smoothies garnished with lime slices and mint.



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