Healthy hair growth diet? What is it and what benefits do these foods have to promote fuller, thicker hair?
From beauty blogs to health websites, every expert claims to have the definitive healthy hair growth diet. But do you know why these foods are best for fast and full hair growth? Here we explain the top 10 foods that are part of any good healthy hair growth diet plan.
10 best foods for healthy hair and hair growth
1. Salmon – Rich in vitamin D and protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids (an ingredient the body is unable to synthesize on its own), eating salmon twice a week is essential for healthy looking hair. Don’t like salmon? You can also get essential fatty acids from other fish, such as herring, sardines, trout and mackerel, as well as non-seafood, such as avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
2. Nuts – Make nuts a regular on your healthy hair menu. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, biotin and vitamin E as well as copper, and are an excellent source of food to protect the hair and help it keep its color. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition hair, and are a terrific source of zinc, an ingredient known to strengthen hair follicles. Not a nut for walnuts? Try cashews, pecans or almonds. Some studies also show that Brazil nuts, one of nature’s best sources of selenium, boast an important mineral for a healthy scalp.
3. Oysters – Best known for their aphrodisiac properties, oysters are also a rich source of zinc, a mineral that binds proteins to strengthen hair follicles. Just 3 ounces of these nutritious shellfish boast a whopping 493% of an adult’s daily allowance. Zinc also helps support the oil glands that maintain hair follicles’ moisture and prevent dry strands. Of course, oysters are also a great source of protein too. Without enough protein, your body can’t replace the hairs that you naturally shed every day.
4. Sweet Potatoes – With its well-deserved reputation as a superfood, sweet potatoes contain omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, K and E. It is also an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, which your body turns into vitamin A. No cell in the body can function without enough vitamin A. Though some experts link vitamin to thinning hair, the vitamin promotes the production of sebum, a substance secreted by hair follicles to protect them from drying out. Carrots, cantaloupe, mangos, pumpkin and apricots are all good sources of beta carotene.
5. Eggs – Are a great source of high quality protein, along with biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H), B vitamins, zinc, selenium, sulfur and iron. It’s an excellent source of nutrients for hair growth and hair strength.
6. Spinach – The nutritional profile of spinach makes it an excellent superfood for anyone longing for lovely locks. Rich in iron, beta-carotene and folate, spinach is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to maintain hair follicles’ moisture. This acts as the body’s natural hair conditioner.
7. Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) – The star of your favorite hummus is a very good source of protein, vitamin B6 and zinc. Protein is needed for hair growth, and zinc and vitamin A work together to prevent dandruff and minimize hair loss. Expand its repertoire beyond appetizers to feature it in curries, rice and quinoa for a nutritious super-boost. Other beans, like the tiny but mighty lentil is also packed with protein, iron, zinc and biotin (vitamin B7 or H).
8. Low-fat dairy products – Scour the grocery store aisles for low-fat dairy products such a skim milk, cottage cheese and nonfat Greek yogurt. Both are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality, hair-friendly protein sources. Dairy products are high in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid – an ingredient sometimes seen on hair care product labels) and vitamin D, which is often linked to hair follicle health and helps the body absorb calcium.
9. Blueberries – Say yes to blueberries, a superfruit. You probably know the benefits of eating enough vitamin C, but did you know that this vitamin can also promote healthy hair growth and stimulate the growth of existing hair. Vitamin C works together with iron to facilitate absorption and also helps with the creation of collagen, an essential part of hair growth. Add to cereal in the morning, include in your favorite yogurt or take a pack to work for a healthy afternoon snack.
10. Hemp Seeds – Don’t be put off by the name; hemp seeds are great for you, especially your hair! Packed with gamma-linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that helps stimulate hair growth as well as maintain its overall health, these seed gems are a must for your trail mix. Not just for hippies!
Bonus: Eat seaweed when you can! Seaweed contains a wealth of nutrients vital to overall health and healthy hair, including iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, zinc, sodium, potassium and a range of vitamins. It can also bind with toxins and expel them from the body, keeping your body cleansed from the inside out. Take as a supplement, sprinkle on salads or eat delicious seaweed salad with your next sushi dinner.
We spend so much money on hair care products to nourish from the outside in, but how much do we spend on nourishing hair from the inside out? A brilliant, tried and tested way to improve hair health is to rock a healthy diet and complement it with a scientifically proven, drug free hair growth vitamin supplement.