We all want healthy, luscious hair. However, it is important to understand that healthy hair does not automatically ‘sprout’ because we use the best hair products. Rather, healthy hair is a combination of many, many things, including genetics, stress, environmental factors, and — of course; nutrition.
What we eat reflects on every single part of our body, our hair included. This means that there are certain foods to concentrate on for a healthy body and healthy, beautiful hair.
Here are the foods to incorporate into your diet for long-lasting, healthy-looking hair:
Lean poultry has beneficial protein that helps with hair growth. When the body does not have enough protein, hair growth slows down, and old hair begings to fall out. Lean poultry such as turkey and chicken have less saturated fat than pork and beef and are preferable.
Salmon and other fish like mackerel and sardines have very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids not only protect our body from disease, but also help with hair growth and keeping hair full and shiny.
Beans, Peas, Chickpeas, and Lentils
Our hair follicles are made up of proteins. It only makes sense to eat lots of proteins to support hair growth. For vegetarians, beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils are a great way to get the protein needed for hair growth.
Greek yoghurt has a very high protein level, and we know that protein is the building block of the human body. So, one of the more important works of Greek yoghurt is to help repair broken-down cells. One other thing Greek yoghurt does is that it releases vitamin B5 into the human body, and this helps with blood flow to the scalp. This reduces hair loss and thinning, and accelerates hair growth.
Spinach is not only delicious when cooked properly. It is also packed with amazing nutrients (like so many other dark green leafy vegetables), including vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, iron, and vitamin A. These vitamins work together, resulting in longer, bouncier hair and a healthy scalp. Kale is an excellent alternative for spinach, as it also has all the amazing nutrients that spinach carries.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that eggs are on this list! Eggs cover the human body’s needs for protein and iron. Eggs are also an excellent source of a B-vitamin called Biotin. This helps hair and fingernails grow.
Oysters have an abundance of zinc, which accelerates hair growth. Not having enough zinc in the human diet can increase hair loss because cells that build hair are fuelled by zinc. Alternatives to oysters include crab, lobster, beef, and fortified cereal.
Carrots are packed full of Vitamin A, which is required for the growth of every cell in the human body. So, carrots are a good choice for quick hair growth. Carrots also stimulate the scalp to produce sebum which keeps the scalp and hair roots healthy to boost hair growth.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a great antioxidant. Thus, they help fight dull, dry hair. This is because the human body turns beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which helps protect against brittle, lacklustre hair. Vitamin A also encourages the glands in the scalp to produce an oily fluid called sebum that keeps hair from drying out. Mangoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and carrots are also great sources of beta-carotene.
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and peanuts are great sources of healthy fats, protein, zinc and biotin. The combination of these vitamins supports healthy tissue development on the scalp and also helps to stimulate new hair growth while preventing hair loss.
Vegans can attest to the fact that chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Chia seeds are considered a complete protein, and keep the human scalp healthy while promoting beautiful, luscious hair. The seeds contain copper and zinc — two very important minerals for hair health. Copper regenerates hair and leaves hair thick and voluminous, while zinc stimulates protein synthesis, which is vital for hair growth.
Pumpkin is fully loaded with beta-carotene and iron, as well as vitamins E and C, that help repair the scalp’s cells after damage. What's more; pumpkin has high levels of magnesium, a mineral that is involved in protein synthesis and the hair growth cycle.
If we are looking for another reason to love avocado, this is it; avocado is beneficial for healthy hair. It is full of biotin and healthy fats, and also contains Vitamin E, an antioxidant that nourishes the hair. Avocado also protects the scalp from oxidative stress and damage.
Whole grains are always better than white refined carbohydrates, and buckwheat is as whole grains as they get. Buckwheat is a gluten-free, nutritious seed that is packed full of fibre and antioxidants, so switching it for oatmeal — at breakfast — or rice in a stir fry is a great way to incorporate it into your diet for healthier hair.
*The best nutrients and vitamins for hair growth include omega-3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, and iron. We have curated a list of foods that offer these nutrients and vitamins in spades.
The idea is to understand that beautiful, healthy hair goes beyond just a great shampoo and conditioner, and starts with what we put into our bodies.
So, let’s begin to eat right. For a healthy body and mind — and of course, for healthy hair.