Such a popular topic like this one, many people are actually not aware that there is a direct relationship between one’s diet and your hair and even skin! What you feed your body is externally represented through your hair and skin and if you feed your body poorly and lead an unhealthy lifestyle, your hair and skin will absolutely show and reflect that. Certain vitamins are known to have a positive effect on hair and skin and should be considered when trying to consume a balanced diet.
Although not necessary, but used by many people because of their high amounts, specific dietary supplements can be taken to enhance hair and skin growth. Biotin is the most popular dietary supplement taken for hair growth and overall increased hair quality because of its role in strengthening and nourishing the hair.
Iron is another vital vitamin that is crucial for healthy hair. Having too little iron causes anemia which leads to the shedding of the hair. Because the hair follicle is dependent upon a rich blood supply, having low iron levels in the blood depresses the amount that is supplied to the follicle, diminishing the hair growth cycle. Animal products like red meat, chicken and fish offer iron with a high bioavailability. Vegetarians can incorporate spinach, broccoli, kale, and lentils which are other excellent sources of Iron.
Best Foods for Healthy Hair:
Salmon: Full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids that are essential fats our bodies do not make, this delicious fish supplies the cells that line the scalp and keep a sufficient amount of oil present in the scalp for healthy nourishment. Other good sources of omega-3 are mackerel, sardines, and herring.
Sweet Potatoes: the Beta- Carotene present in these potatoes is converted into Vitamin A which is vital for cell growth and leads to the reproduction of hair growth. Vitamin A also creates an oily substance called sebum which is responsible for maintaining a healthy scalp and serving as a natural conditioner. A deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to dull, lifeless hair that can lead to hair dandruff. Carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, and kale are also excellent sources.
Nuts: rich in Vitamin E, nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts all provide significant amounts of Vitamin E to protect your hair from the sun. Also containing Zinc and Selenium, nuts are a wonderful source of many different vitamins all of which aid to the healthy development of hair.
Eggs: not only are they protein rich and versatile in cooking, they also supply sufficient amounts of Biotin to create lustrous hair and nails. Peanuts, almonds, salmon, and avocado are also all excellent sources.
It is important to make sure that you are consuming enough protein in your diet, since your hair is mostly composed of protein. Keep in mind that protein doesn’t have to come from only red meat, but can come in many forms. It is important to choose lean protein choices to control fat intake and avoid the onset of weight gain and reduce the risk for developing heart disease. Chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, and greek yogurt are all superior sources of protein and should be consumed in abundance because of the presence high quality protein contained in them. Adults need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a normal adult who consumes a 2000 calorie diet, 5.5 ounces of protein is recommended each day.
Drink WATER:YES…we have all heard it way too much! But it is important to keep in mind that making sure your body is well hydrated makes for strong, soft, and lustrous hair!
Avoid heat products: although this is often difficult, the heat from curlers, irons, and blow dryers damage the hair and affects the quality, strength, and shine.
Avoid sulfate shampoo and conditioners: unfortunately most shampoos out in the market contain Sulfate, a toxic known to damage hair. It is best to switch to an organic sulfate-free shampoo to make sure you are providing the best cleansing products for your hair.
Avoid Stress: having too much stress in your life can mess up hormone levels in your body and lead to an effect on your metabolism. This can often times lead to hair loss and shedding and is usually temporary until the stress is relieved.