Many factors related to the quality of our hair depend on genetics and age. We cannot choose whether our curls are curly or straight or what color our hair grows naturally. Texture, thickness and growth rate are also controlled by Mother Nature.
But there are things you can do to encourage the growth of strong curls and prevent excessive hair loss. It starts in the kitchen (for everything else there will surely be a product). The following are 9 great foods for healthy hair.
Eggs are high on our list of healthy hair foods because they are high in protein and biotin, as well as other nutrients like zinc and selenium. Hair follicles are mainly made up of protein, and it is known that insufficient protein in the diet causes hair loss.
Biotin is an essential nutrient for the production of a certain type of protein called keratin. If you have a biotin deficiency, consuming more can improve hair growth. For this reason, many nutritional supplements that claim to improve hair quality contain biotin.
Berries are a fantastic addition to your diet because they contain certain compounds and vitamins that promote hair growth. One of the largest is Vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants protect hair follicles from free radical damage, which is naturally present in the body and is related to aging. Our body also uses vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein that is required to prevent hair from becoming brittle and breaking. Finally, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and prevent anemia, which has also been linked to hair loss.
Spinach is an excellent source of nutrients such as folic acid, iron, and vitamins A and C. Each of these nutrients play a role in healthy hair growth. Vitamin A especially helps the skin’s glands to produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp and in turn cares for healthy hair.
Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen through the body to aid growth and repair. A cup of spinach contains 54% of the recommended daily vitamin A plus 4% RDA for iron for women and 10% RDA for men.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel promote hair growth due to their concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. A study of 120 women taking fish oil and antioxidant supplements found that their hair was thicker on average and they lost less.
Another study concluded that fish oil supplements can significantly reduce hair loss in women with thinning hair. If you are not a fish fan, a fish oil supplement is an excellent alternative. However, fish also contains other healthy hair nutrients such as protein, selenium, vitamin D3 and B vitamins.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are on the list because of their beta-carotene. This compound is converted into vitamin A by the body, which we know helps in the production of sebum. Sebum is important for the health of the scalp and helps to keep the hair moisturized.
Vitamin A can also increase the rate of hair growth and promote thicker strands and prevent other hair follicles from going back. You can get more than four times your recommended daily dose of beta-carotene in a medium-sized sweet potato.
Avocados contain healthy fats along with a good amount of vitamin E and they are delicious. Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals and promotes hair growth.
A study in people with hair loss showed that the participants had 34.5% more hair growth after taking a vitamin E supplement for eight months. It also plays an important role in protecting the scalp from oxidative stress and damage. and dry or damaged scalp often results in less active hair follicles.
Oysters are a kind of acquired taste. If you don’t like them, don’t worry. Because of their zinc content, they are ideal for hair growth. However, zinc is also present in large quantities in foods such as red meat, legumes (chickpeas, lentils and beans), dairy products, eggs, whole wheat, nuts and seeds.
Zinc is a mineral that supports the growth and repair cycle of your hair. Zinc deficiency has been linked to a form of hair loss called telogen effluvium, which is thankfully reversible by adding more zinc to your diet.
However, keep in mind that too much zinc can also cause hair loss. It is recommended that you get your recommended daily allowance from food sources, as these provide small but healthy doses, while supplements can overload them.
Prawns are an excellent complete food for healthy hair because they contain protein, B vitamins, zinc, iron and vitamin D, all of which can promote strong curls. Shrimp also contain a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, although overall they’re very low in fat.
EFAs are associated with better hair growth, while a vitamin D3 deficiency appears to contribute to hair loss. You may also want to talk to your doctor about taking a D supplement as this is a nutrient that is primarily synthesized in response to sun exposure. More and more adults are deficient because we spend a lot of time indoors.
If you want to reduce meat but don’t want to neglect your protein intake, beans are the perfect solution. In addition to a good amount of protein, beans provide iron, biotin, zinc, and folic acid, all of which are essential for healthy hair growth. Even better, beans are very versatile and quite affordable so you can eat a lot of them.
If you are struggling with hair loss that is not genetic or hormonal in nature (e.g. pregnancy or hair loss in men), or if your hair grows much slower than average (0.5 inches per month or 6 inches per year) Diet can be part of the cause
Focus on eating foods that are high in protein, vitamins A, C, D, and E, essential fatty acids, and iron. Zinc, folic acid and biotin are also linked to healthy hair growth. A full diet heals a variety of diseases, and dense, shiny hair is just an indication that you are healthy inside and out.