It you have tried every shampoo and conditioner to get your tresses looking gorgeous and still have not succeeded, you might want to take a look in your kitchen.
As a dietitian, I help many people with their health and nutrition goals. But when it comes to having beautiful hair and a healthy scalp, we often forget that what we eat and drink will directly affect the quality of our hair. Most people will consider the hair products that they use and treatments (blow drying, styling) that they do to their hair, but it’s easy to forget that what you put into your body is just as important if not more important.
Hair grows about ¼ to ½ inch every month and the foundation of all new hair, skin and nail growth is reflected in the nutrients that we eat. If you’re a healthier eater, then you will grow strong and healthy cells inside and outside of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet will provide your body and hair the growth-promoting proteins and iron that it needs to get those fabulous locks you crave.
So what should you do if you want lovely locks? First and foremost, you should make sure that you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods and lean proteins like fish (salmon and tuna for omega-3 fatty acids), chicken and beans are just few great foods for healthy hair. Avoid diets low in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, because they are often the cause of hair dull and brittle.
Salmon is one of the best foods for healthy hair. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the scalp drying as well as Vitamin B-12 and iron. Vegetarians can add 2 tablespoon of chia seed or flax seed into their foods to get omega-fatty acids from plant sources.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is ideal for maintaining a healthy scalp and great for our eyes! Added bonus.
Nuts are a tasty snack and great for beautiful hair. One nut in particular, the Brazil nut, is a great source of selenium. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts such as cashews and almonds and have a high zinc content. Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss.
Eggs are an excellent source of high biological protein, biotin and vitamin B-12, all elements important in maintaining healthy hair. Unlike some food, preparation of eggs does not seem to make a difference – the benefits are the same so enjoy scrambled, hard boiled or over-easy any time of the day!
Beans are full of protein. Protein is important for healthy hair growth. Beans are also rich in iron, zinc and biotin. Biotin deficiency causes brittle hair.
Green Leaf Vegetables
Dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli are high in vitamin A and C, which are necessary for the production of sebum, making them excellent foods for healthy hair. Sebum is an oily substance secreted by hair follicles and is essential for the natural hair growth and shine.
Lean turkey and chicken are high in protein. Lack of protein can cause loss of hair color. Eating chicken may help prevent the loss of hair color and can help keep hair strong.
Milk and milk products are high in calcium and protein. Calcium is an important mineral that stimulates hair growth. Shoot for 3 servings per day to provide your body with around 1000mg of calcium. Aim for low-fat or fat-free yogurts, milk, cheese and sour cream.
Oysters are an excellent source of zinc. Beef, lamb, nuts and whole grains are other foods that also contain zinc for healthy hair. Bonus – zinc is an immune booster. See ya later cold!
Durum is high in protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins. Commercial bread and breakfast cereals contain vitamins and minerals essential to maintaining healthy hair.
The number one thing you want to remember is balance, balance, balance. Eating most meals and snacks from the major food groups will provide your body with the nutrition you need to produce lovely, gorgeous locks!