You are what you eat–literally.

And because your hair is part of you, what you eat reflects in the health and state of your hair. If you want hair that is healthy, longer, stronger and shinier you should be paying attention to what you put INSIDE your body, not just what you use on the hair itself. These superfoods will help you and your hair looking their best.

1. Water = Hydration

We are primarily made up of water. It is important to stay hydrated and to keep all of your body cells working properly. By drinking enough water daily, you are also helping the hydration and moisture levels of your hair as well. By not drinking enough water daily, you are hindering your hair growth as well. If you don’t like the taste or want to spruce up your regular water, infuse it with some berries or citrus, which will give you added vitamins as well.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Iron, Vitamin D = Salmon

Salmon is a healthy food superstar; it is an oily fish rich in protein, vitamin D, and fatty acids. The Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy scalp, resulting in hair growth. Salmon also contains iron and Vitamin B12 which can help promote strength and shine in your hair. If you don’t like fish, flaxseeds are a good vegetarian replacement for these nutrients.

3. Biotin, Vitamin B, Protein= Chicken & Eggs

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? A diet with both contains good sources of protein that will really help your hair! Hair and nails are both composed of protein, which supports body and hair strength. Your hair is the last part of your body that gets the protein, so a lack of this in your diet could affect its state of hair fall and length retention. Eggs are full of B vitamins, especially biotin (B7″> and panthenol (B12″>. Yolks have important vitamins and minerals that the egg whites do not. Chicken is a rich source of protein, as well as several B vitamins that helps to strengthen fragile hair.

4. Zinc, Vitamin C = Beef & Oysters

Beef and oysters are rich sources of zinc, which is helpful in improving your hair’s natural luster. Zinc deficiency is a cause of hair loss and dryness, so include beef and oysters in your diet. Zinc is also said to help combat premature graying of hair. Make sure to eat enough vitamin C in your diet, which will help the zinc absorption. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, as well.

4. Biotin, Vitamin E, Zinc = Nuts

Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, and we need healthy fats to look and feel our best. Walnuts and almonds in particular are high in omega-3 fatty acids which can help keep hair strong, and zinc which can help aid in hair loss. Walnuts in particular also contain a great amount of vitamin E and biotin. The vitamin E can help protect your cells from DNA damage cause by the environment and too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Brazil nuts are another great option to snack on for hair health. They contain a good amount of the mineral Selenium. A deficiency in Selenium has been linked to slower hair growth.

5. Folic acid, Iron, Biotin = Lentils

Lentils are a great vegetarian source of protein and are contain an excellent amount of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for hair growth and cell renewal and it is also necessary in restoring the health of red blood cells that supply skin and scalp with much-needed oxygen. Lentils also are a good source of iron, zinc and biotin too.

6. Vitamin A = Carrots & Sweet Potatoes

What do these two have in common? They’re both orange. They also are an excellent sources of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps the scalp product enough sebum. Sebum is like natural oil that your scalp products and it important for your scalp and the length of your hair to stay moisturized and not become dry and brittle. Dandruff flaky scalp is just one condition of what might happen if your scalp does not produce enough sebum.

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