Best Foods to Eat for Healthy Hair
Did you know that your hair will show the signs of a poor diet first? In fact, dull, dry and slow growing hair may be a sign that your crash diet is wrecking your hair. Healthy hair requires protein along with essential nutrients from whole foods, like fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. While that ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie may look delicious, it just doesn't give your hair the essential nutrients it needs to create long, luscious locks. Instead of opting for that late-evening guilty pleasure, choose a snack that will benefit not only your body's health but your hair's health as well. Now you may be asking yourself, "What are the best foods to eat for healthy hair?" Lean protein, fatty acids, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables are the all-time hair champions.
It's not a secret that protein is the building block of hair and if you don't get enough, your hair will show the signs. When your diet is lacking protein your body will ration nutrients to vital organs first and your hair follicles last. So why starve your hair with a bad diet? If you don't get enough protein and amino acids, your hair will grow more slowly, and strands will become weaker over time as your body begins rationing what little protein you do have.
Lean red meat contains iron and zinc which helps hair follicles grow. A deficiency in iron can lead to hair loss over time, so be sure to eat iron-rich proteins such as legumes, poultry, and seafood. Greek yogurt is also packed with protein and contains vitamin B5. Vitamin B5, or Pantothenic Acid, helps blood flow to the scalp which may help with hair growth and can be effective in preventing gray hair. Other great sources of protein are soy, eggs, beans, milk, and cheese. So you may want to re-think that donut or muffin for breakfast. Your hair will thank you.
Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to nourish hair follicles for shinier and strong hair. A 2010 study found that a deficiency in essential fatty acids can result in hair loss. Foods rich in essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, include fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Omega-6 fatty acids, another essential fatty acid, can help moisturize the scalp and supports hair health. Foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, beans, are a fantastic source of omega-6 fatty acids.
Fruits, Leafy Greens, and Vegetables
Dark greens, such as spinach and broccoli, are packed with vitamins A and C. Vitamins A and C produce sebum, a natural scalp oil that conditions the hair. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, and too little iron can make hair dry and weak. Vitamin C can be found in green peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruits.
Vitamin A combats dry skin, which can cause dandruff. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you, so be careful when consuming Vitamin A, as too much can actually result in hair loss. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body, so beta-carotene rich foods such as Brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and kale, are also great sources of Vitamin A.
Pro Tip: A dinner of lean beef with a side of sweet potatoes and broccoli is an example of a meal that is not only healthy for you but also incredibly healthy for your hair.
Beautiful, healthy hair, like most things in life, requires a balanced diet and care. The best foods for healthy hair are lean protein, essential fatty acids, fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables. By eating the right foods you can help your hair grow long and strong while adding shine. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore your hair care routine either. You should do both - eat right and care for your hair with regular haircuts and professional hair care products. We know how hard it is to keep healthy with our busy lifestyles, but your body and your hair will thank you for all of your efforts.
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