Having great hair isn’t just about what you put on your hair. What you eat greatly determines the health of your hair. Certain nutrients and vitamins are critical to growing healthy hair, and without them your hair may have dryness, dullness, breakage, and even hair loss. As an added bonus, incorporating these foods into your diet grow better skin and nails as well! Read on for the best foods to incorporate into your diet for shiny, healthy hair.
Protein is essential to hair growth. Since hair is formed from a hardened protein called keratin, protein is basically the building blocks of hair growth. Growing hair is considered “non-essential” to your body, so if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, your body will send the protein you do eat to more essential needs like your vital organs. Thus, it’s important to get plenty of protein in your diet if your goal is to grow healthy hair. Chicken is a great lean source of protein, and has less saturated fat than beef or pork. If you don’t eat meat, try chickpeas or quinoa instead.
Like chicken, Greek yogurt is packed with hair-growing protein. Greek yogurt is also high in vitamin B5, which improves blood flow to your scalp and may help with hair growth. Additionally, yogurt is rich in zinc, a mineral that helps with tissue growth and repair.
Proper vitamin C intake keeps hair moisturized and prevents split ends. One guava has 125mg of vitamin C – that’s twice the minimum daily recommended value in one serving!
Bell peppers are one of the highest natural sources of split end-preventing vitamin C. Just one pepper has more than 5 times the daily recommended value! Plus they make a delicious, low-calorie snack.
Almonds are a natural source of magnesium, which helps to maintain strong hair and nails. Plus, almonds are high in protein. Pack raw almonds in your purse for an on-the-go snack, swap almond butter for peanut butter, or add slivered almonds to your oatmeal for a yummy crunch.
Vitamin A found in sweet potatoes helps your body to produce sebum, an oily fluid produced by your scalp (why your hair looks “greasy” if you don’t wash it for a few days). Without sebum, hair becomes brittle and dry, so eat sweet potatoes for shiny, glossy hair!
Cinnamon is good for improving your circulation, which brings nutrients to your hair follicles for better hair growth.
Eggs are rich in protein AND iron, both of which are essential for healthy hair growth. Eggs are also rich in Biotin, a B vitamin that helps manufacture stronger hair and nails.
Blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants. Antioxidants help your body’s cells to fight against damage from free radicals. The cells in your hair follicles are no exception! Add blueberries to your morning cereal or eat them as a healthy snack.
Having a zinc deficiency in your diet can cause hair loss. Luckily, oysters are rich in zinc. Not keen on shellfish? Zinc is also found in beef, pumpkin seeds, and fortified cereals.
Not only is salmon packed with protein and biotin, but it’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s reduce inflammation and promote moisturized skin, like the skin on your scalp! Remember, a healthy scalp = healthy hair growth. Eat wild caught salmon for the most omega-3’s.
Spinach made Popeye super strong, and it can also help you to grow super strong hair! Spinach is loaded with hair healthy nutrients like vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C. For maximum nutrients, try spinach raw in a salad in place of lettuce.
Walnuts are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, they contain vitamin E, which repairs damaged hair follicles. Eat them raw as a snack or try them chopped up in oatmeal.