In the world of Instagram-worthy, Kardashian-endorsed hair vitamins and growth serums for outstanding curls, we’ve grown accustomed to quick fixes for our hair. We know that nutrition is the driving force behind keeping our bodies in top shape, but a balanced diet is just as essential to keeping your hair happy as it is to keep your body in working order.
The good news is, there are so many healthy and delicious snacking options that contain all the right vitamins and minerals necessary for you to maintain your hair’s shine, strength, fullness and overall health. Here are 10 hair friendly recipes for this summer to get you started.
Credit: Rasika, Chowhound
The signature dish of Rasika, a restaurant serving modern Indian cuisine in Washington DC, is simple to make and delightful to eat. Palak chaat is spinach lightly coated in chickpea flour batter and fried, topped with various spices, and garnished with onion, tomato, cilantro and sauces.
Spinach is rich is vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron which can all promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. A healthier form of fried food that’s nutrient-rich—it’s win-win.
For spinach chaat:
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
- 6 cups canola oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 teaspoon Toasted Cumin Powder (see page 23 of the cookbook)
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 medium tomatoes, center pulp and seeds removed, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup gram flour (besan)
- 1/4 teaspoon deggi mirch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
Need a crunchy snack fix? Avocado chips might be your next obsession. The ingredient list is short, with just avocado, Parmesan, and a few spices. A perfect alternative to regular potato chips.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fatty acids and vitamin E, which both encourage hair growth. Vitamin is an antioxidant which can help combat stress—a popular source of hair loss.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Credit: The Lemon Bowl
Popsicles are a crowd favorite when it comes to summer snacks and this healthier version won’t disappoint.
Greek yogurt is a healthy source of protein and berries tend to be high in antioxidants and vitamins. For instance, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are all rich in vitamin C, which helps absorb iron—a mineral that can prevent certain disorders that cause hair loss, like anemia.
- 2 cups low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups mixed berries fresh or frozen
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Credit: A Couple Cooks
A savory bruschetta-like snack with sweet potatoes as the star ingredient. Sliced sweet potatoes topped with onions, cheese and sour cream— makes for a great appetizer.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene, or vitamin A which helps the scalp produce sebum.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Hot sauce
- Monterrey Jack and cheddar shredded cheese (Mexican blend)
- 3 green onions
- Sour cream
Credit: Once Upon A Chef
This snack has all the ingredients of a granola bar and the light crunchiness of a Rice Krispy Treat. For curlies on the go, this is a convenient snack bar.
This granola bar calls for almonds, which contain a hefty amount of the recommended daily vitamin E amount, which is thought to reduce cell damage and improve hair growth.
- 1-1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (available at Whole Foods or natural food markets)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
Credit: Cooking LSL
All fans of avocado toast will love this twist to the beloved classic. This recipe includes a crunchy baguette, mashed avocado, and seasoned shrimp.
Shrimp contains vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth like vitamins B and D, zinc, and iron. In addition to those, they offer a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to aid in growth.
- 1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil for drizzling
For the shrimp:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp, deveined, tail on
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt, or more if needed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- juice from 1/2 lemon
For the avocado spread:
- 2 large ripe avocados, mashed
- juice from 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small garlic clove — , pressed (optional)
- parsley for garnishing
Credit: Dizzy, Busy & Hungry
This healthy baked treat would make a great party snack. Other than spices like coriander and paprika, the only ingredients in this recipe are chickpeas and black beans—don’t feel pressure to stick to the script, add whatever seasoning your heart (and your taste buds) desires.
Beans are a source of zinc and other nutrients. Zinc assists in the hair growth and repair cycle of your hair.
- 15.5 ounces chickpeas
- 15.5 ounces black beans
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
Credit: Dixie Chik Cooks
If we’re being honest, Salmon and cream cheese are an odd couple, but they work. Add some brilliant flavor to your favorite crackers with these fancy looking bite-sized snacks.
Fatty fish like salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to hair growth and may encourage hair density.
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of juice from a jar of capers
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce, or hot sauce
- 4 oz smoked salmon, cut into cracker size pieces
- Triscuits, or your favorite crackers
- 1 tbsp dill
Credit: Real Simple
Pizza, the universal favorite, is arguably amazing in all its forms. This “pizza” only requires English muffins, boiled eggs, tomatoes, and mozzarella (not including seasonings). Who knew boiled eggs could be so good?
Eggs are known to be a good source of protein and biotin—both of which aids in healthy hair growth. Hair is made of protein and biotin is important for keratin production.
- 4 English muffins
- olive oil
- tomato slices
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
- grated mozzarella
- kosher salt
Credit: A Spicy Perspective
A 3-ingredient flavor
powerhouse—simply peppers of your choice stuffed with ricotta cheese. These colorful and cheesy appetizers take only about 10 minutes to bake and can even be drizzled with a little honey for a sweet-savory vibe.
Sweet peppers are high in vitamin C, which (in addition to its antioxidant properties) promotes collagen production, which strengthens hair.
- 1 1/2 pounds mini peppers or a mix of mini peppers and jalapeños
- 12 ounces garlic and herb seasoned chevre goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey
Hungry yet? Do you keep your hair in mind with your current diet? Get the discussion going in the comments.