- Monica Gaydos
Whet Your Appetite for Healthy Hair
Problem: My hair is thinning, dull, or dry, or I am experiencing hair loss.
Explanation: The food you eat directly affects your hair’s growth, strength, and health. This article outlines the importance of a well-balanced diet, and describes specific nutrients and how each one benefits your hair.
Solution: Familiarize yourself with the following list of “10 Hair-Healthy Foods,” and start incorporating them into your diet for healthier hair.
Action: Try our delicious “Healthy Hair Meal” at home, and start today on your path to healthier, more beautiful hair!
At Hairpothecary, we know that strong, healthy hair starts on the inside. One of the most important things you can do for your hair is to eat nutrient-rich foods that help your hair grow as thick, strong, healthy, and shiny as it can possibly be. By nourishing the cells, roots, and follicles of your hair as well as your scalp with proper nutrition on the inside, the hair you grow will be healthier and stronger on the outside, making you look and feel better. And the good news is: many of these nutrient-rich foods are not only good for you; they are also delicious!
While it is possible to take daily vitamin or mineral supplements to enhance your overall nutrition, it is more effective to receive the vitamins and minerals you need from the actual foods that you eat. Our bodies absorb nutrients much more directly from whole-food sources than from supplements. That is why a well-balanced diet is so important to your overall health, and to the health of your hair.
10 Healthy Hair Foods
1. SALMON FOR SHINY HAIR:
Fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, trout, and mackerel provide healthy, Omega-3 fatty acids that greatly contribute to the shininess of your hair. An added benefit is that these foods can also help relieve depression and are good for your heart! If you are not a fish eater, you can get Omega-3 fatty acids from avocados, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts as well.
2. SWEET POTATOES FOR SILKY HAIR:
Sweet Potatoes contain the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A. This helps to protect against dry, dull hair. Vitamin A also encourages the glands in your scalp to produce an oily fluid called sebum that keeps your hair from drying out. Other foods that contain vitamin A are: carrots, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and mangoes. Basically, if you see a fruit or vegetable that is orange in color, it is most likely high in vitamin A!
3. GREEK YOGURT FOR LONGER HAIR:
Besides being creamy and delicious, Greek yogurt is high in protein, and proteins are the building blocks of hair. A diet high in protein will help your hair grow longer and stronger. Greek yogurt also contains vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which helps increase blood flow to the scalp, encourages hair growth, and prevents hair thinning and loss.
4. EGGS FOR HAIR GROWTH:
Eggs are wonderful for hair growth, as they are chock-full of protein and iron, along with zinc and selenium. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins, such as biotin, which help hair grow. If you do not have enough biotin in your system, you could experience hair loss and brittle fingernails. If you are not an egg-lover, whole grains, yeast, and soy flour also contain biotin, or you could take a daily biotin supplement. Ask your health care practitioner about the daily level of biotin that is appropriate for you.
5. SPINACH OR KALE FOR MOISTURE-RICH HAIR:
Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale contain high levels of vitamin A, iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C. These nutrients all contribute to a healthier scalp and hair, and keep the hair moist; therefore, the hair is less susceptible to breakage. As you can see, the old adage still holds true, and not just for Popeye: “Eat your spinach!”
6. GUAVA FOR STRONGER HAIR:
Guava contains an abundance of vitamin C, which protects hair from breaking. One cup of Guava contains 377 mg. of vitamin C, which is more than four times the minimum Recommended Daily Allowance. So go ahead and enjoy this unique and delicious fruit for stronger hair! Other great sources of vitamin C are: blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries, and sweet potatoes.
7. IRON TO PREVENT HAIR LOSS:
A diet low in iron can contribute to hair loss. To increase your daily doses of iron, eat more iron-fortified cereals, grains, and pastas. These grains also often contain zinc and selenium, which are essential to hair health. Soybeans and lentils are also high in iron, as are organ meats such as beef and liver. Shellfish and dark leafy greens are also great sources of iron. Besides helping to prevent hair loss, an iron-rich diet will give you more energy for daily life and a stronger immune system!
8. LEAN POULTRY FOR THICKER HAIR:
Protein from lean sources, such as chicken and turkey, are great for you because they have less saturated fat than beef and pork. When you don’t have enough protein in your system, your hair growth cycle can enter the telogen or “resting” phase, and when older hairs begin to release, this can lead to hair loss. (For more about the growth cycles of your hair, see “To Everything, There is a Season – Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle”) – provide link to other article. To avoid unnecessary hair loss, make sure to include plenty of protein in your diet. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can replace lean poultry with beans, tofu, and a variety of nuts as great alternative sources of protein.
9. CINNAMON FOR GOOD CIRCULATION:
Did you know that cinnamon helps to increase circulation and blood flow? The more blood that is flowing to the hair follicles, the more oxygen and nutrients your hair will receive as well. So, the next time you sprinkle that delicious cinnamon on your latté in the morning, you can feel good knowing that you are increasing your circulation and growing healthier hair at the same time!
10. OYSTERS FOR FULLER HAIR:
Oysters are rich in zinc and selenium, which will give your hair added fullness. If you do not have enough zinc in your diet, this can possibly contribute to hair loss. Zinc is also found in beef, crab, lobster, and fortified cereal. If you do not happen to like oysters, grab a handful of nuts instead, as many types of nuts are also high in zinc.