As our skin, our hair needs essential nutrients we get from the food. We need to think more about the food we eat, or do not eat, and about consequences certain foods can have our hair. Luckily, we are equipped with amazing food choices we can incorporate in our diets to provide minerals and vitamins for our hair.
What we need and why
We need protein, as hair is made of protein. If you do not consume enough protein, your hair is likely to become weak, dry and brittle, moreover, lack of protein, or extremely low protein diet may result in hair loss.
We need iron; lack of iron, a very important mineral for the hair, may result in hair loss. The hair follicles and root are fed by nutrient rich blood supply. If iron levels are below a certain point, you will experience anemia, and this will disrupt the nutrient supply to the follicles, affecting the growth cycle. The low level of iron may result in shedding as well.
We need vitamin C because this vitamin aids in the absorption of iron. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which is very important for body in general.
We need Omega-3 fatty acids; firstly because the body cannot produce these important acids, and secondly, omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp providing the oil that keep our scalp and hair hydrated.
We need vitamin A to make sebum. Sebum is created by our hair’s sebaceous glands, providing natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. An itchy scalp and dry hair is a result when sebum is not provided.
We need zinc. A lack of zinc leads to hair loss and dry scalp.
We need vitamin E for hair protection against sun’s damaging effects and other pollutions.
We need biotin, a water-soluble B vitamin. Extremely low levels of biotin can cause brittle hair and lead to hair loss.
Where can we find those important nutrients?
This is the list of top 15 essential foods that will enhance your hair and boost its growth.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, however, remember that egg yolk in fact will make your hair longer and beautiful. Eating too many egg whites can block the absorption of biotin into the body, causing a depletion of this nutrient. Eggs are excellent sources of omega-3s.
Salmon is rich in protein, vitamin D and omega-3s (about 3% of the hair shaft is made up of these fatty acids). If salmon does not suit your taste, you can get these important acids from fish like herring, sardines, mackerel and trout.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. The cells in our body cannot function without vitamin A. It is best to opt for the food that is rich in beta-carotene, because vitamin A can be toxic if taken in large doses. Other great sources of beta carotene are carrots, mangoes and apricots.
Almonds are necessary for hair growth due to their high biotin content. One cup of almonds contains nearly one-third of your daily requirements. Almonds are so powerful that you should be able to see the results in a month or two.
They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, biotin and vitamin E, so they should become your favorite snack. Walnuts are also a great source of copper, a mineral that will keep your hair natural color and lustrous.
Lentils are powerful legumes packed with protein, zinc and biotin. This is an especially great choice for vegetarians and vegans. Lentils are also full of folic acid that is necessary for restoring the health of red blood cells that supply the skin and scalp with oxygen.
It is a necessary low-fat dairy for hair growth. Greek yogurt is high in protein, vitamin B5 and vitamin D. Remember that one cup of low-fat yogurt has more calcium than a cup of fat-free milk, and that yogurt is in general great for your posture, nails and teeth. Other great sources of dairy are low-fat cheese and skim milk.
They have almost five and a half more vitamin C than oranges, which makes them a must in your diet. Yellow peppers support hair growth by increasing the circulation of blood to scalp (and improve the effectiveness of other herbs and foods) and protect the hair follicles from damaging effects. Vitamin C is used in the formation of collagen, and collagen is required by hair follicles and blood vessels.
It is such a powerful vegetable that has numerous benefits not just for the hair, but for the organism in general. Spinach is packed with iron, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamin C. Other great leafy green vegetables include broccoli, and kale.
Blueberries are exotic fruits loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C is also important for circulation and for supporting tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. They contain a plant chemical called proanthocyanidins, that interacts with hair follicles and accelerate growth. Due to the great source of vitamin B, blueberries are necessary for healthy hair growth. Other great options are kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries.
It is another great option when it comes to protein. Poultry is also rich in zinc, iron and B vitamins. Chicken and turkey are foods low in fat, which is an additional benefit for supporting hair growth. Poultry also contains vitamin B3, a vitamin that encourages better blood circulation in the scalp. Beef is another good source of lean protein.
Pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3s, which are important for shiny and soft hair. These seeds are rich source of vitamin A, E and K, zinc and biotin. Pumpkin seeds contain linoleic and oleic acid, oils that affect androgen levels in the body (lack of androgen is believed to be the primary cause of hair loss) and cucurbitin, a unique amino that is responsible for their effect on hair growth.
They are rich in vitamin E, and just a few little seeds can supply you with an abundance of this vitamin. Sunflower seeds will enhance blood flow to the scalp, which is important for faster hair growth. A handful of raw sunflower seeds will supply your organism with a good amount of omega-6 fatty acids as well.
Oysters are rich in zinc, and zinc deficiency will lead to dry and flaky scalp. With only three ounces of oysters you will satisfy your daily value of zinc, and get enough protein as well. If oysters are not your food, you can also get this essential mineral from fortified cereals and whole grain breads.
Beans are magical food for numerous reasons. Rich in protein, zinc and iron, all legumes are promoting hair growth and health. Beans are a great source of biotin, a very important B vitamin we need for healthy hair. One should also include beans in diets due to the good amount of fiber and protein.
Feed your hair to be beautiful and healthy!
Images by: 123RF Photo Stock, GetStencil.com & DepositPhoto.com
Last article update: 02/19/2019