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, and stronger 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 keep you and your hair looking their best.
While this isn’t technically a food, it is still essential to healthy hair since we are primarily made up of water. It is important to stay hydrated 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. When the body doesn’t get enough water intake, it will become dehydrated and your hair will lose moisture, along with your skin. 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. If hair health isn’t enough of a reason to get those 8 glasses a day, there are also health concerns from being dehydrated. The Center for Disease Control reports, “Drinking water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, constipation, and kidney stones.”
Salmon is a healthy food superstar; it is an oily fish rich in vitamins D and iron. A study performed at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences related to iron found that, “Women with iron deficiency status are at a risk of telogen hair loss.” Vitamin D is important because it can help stimulate the follicle. If you don’t like fish, flaxseeds are a good vegetarian replacement for these nutrients.
3. 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 help to strengthen fragile hair. The biotin in these two foods is also important for healthy hair. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, “Biotin, combined with zinc and topical clobetasol propionate, has also been used to combat alopecia areata in both children and adults.”
Beef is a rich source of zinc, which is helpful in improving hair growth. Zinc deficiency is a cause of hair loss and dryness, so including beef is a great solution. Zinc is also said to help combat premature graying of hair in addition to helping with hair growth according to studies published in Dermatology Practical and Conceptual medical journal. 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. Beef also has high levels of protein with is important for strong hair and scalp health.
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 prevent 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 caused by the environment according to a study published in Pharmacognosy Review.
Lentils are a great vegetarian source of protein. Protein is essential for cell renewal and it is also necessary in restoring the health of red blood cells that supply skin and scalp with much-needed oxygen. Protein is essential for hair health. A study published in Dermatology Practical and Conceptual reports that not having enough protein “can result in hair changes that include hair thinning and hair loss.” Lentils also are a good source of iron, zinc, and biotin, too.
7. Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
What do these two have in common? They’re both orange. They are also both excellent sources of Vitamin A. A recent study in Dermatology Practical and Conceptional states that, “dietary vitamin A has been shown to activate hair follicle stem cells.” Part of the way Vitamin A helps the scalp is by encouraging the production of enough sebum which is essential to hair health. Sebum is like natural oil that your scalp produces and it important for your scalp and the length of your hair to stay moisturized and not become dry and brittle. Dandruff or flaky scalp is just one condition of what might happen if your scalp does not produce enough sebum.