A number of women and men spend practically all their lives trying to maintain healthy hair. It might seem a next to impossible task, with the host of hair maintenance regimens required to maintain healthy hair. However, what most people don’t realize is that what they put into their mouths directly affects their hair. Here is a list of some of the proven foods that you should eat for healthy hair.
Proteins are the building blocks of hair and it is important to make sure that you get enough protein in your diet to generate healthy and strong hair. Hair that is weak, brittle and dry often indicates that you are not eating enough protein. People who suffer from hair loss are likely to be consuming diets with extremely low protein content.
Some of the proteins that you should incorporate into your diet for healthy hair include eggs, chicken, fish, turkey and dairy products. Vegetable protein sources such as nuts and legumes are also good sources of protein to generate healthy hair.
The sun causes damage not only to the skin, but also to the hair. Vitamin E helps to counter the harsh effects of the sun on the hair as well as stimulate circulation. Blood circulation is important in helping the scalp maintain the productivity of hair follicles.
Nuts are rich in Vitamin E and you should definitely include them in your diet.
When there are insufficient levels of iron within the body it results in anemia and hair loss. Baldness has also been associated with low iron levels in the body. Iron is an important component when it comes to blood generation and nutrient rich blood feeds hair follicles.
Red meat, fish and chicken are good animal sources of iron. Vegetable sources of iron include spinach, broccoli, lentils, kale as well as other leafy vegetables.
The cells lining the scalp contain Omega-3 fatty acids helping to keep hair well hydrated.
Good food sources for Omega-3 fatty oils include oily fish like salmon, trout, herring, mackerel and sardines. Plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include pumpkin seeds and avocado.
The body needs Vitamin A for sebum creation and sebum is generated by the sebaceous glands found in the hair. Sebum plays an important role in naturally conditioning the scalp. Dry hair and an itchy scalp often indicate that sebum generation is lacking.
Good sources of Vitamin A include pumpkins, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Vitamin C foods complement iron rich foods, because they aid in the absorption of food rich in iron. Vitamin C is also known to be an antioxidant, helping to protect the body from pathogens. Collagen production is also aided by Vitamin C, which strengthens capillaries supplying nutrients to the hair shafts.
Good food sources of vitamin C include blackcurrants, sweet potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, papaya, guava, oranges and kiwi fruits.
Zinc and Selenium
The scalp needs adequate protection as the base of hair growth and zinc and selenium provide this protection. Lack of either of the two minerals often leads to a flaky scalp and hair loss.
Sources of zinc and selenium include fortified cereals, eggs, wholegrains, oysters and beef.
Biotin, which is a water-soluble B vitamin, helps to prevent hair from becoming brittle.
Good sources of Biotin include wholegrans, yeast, liver, soy flour, and liver and egg yolk.
Directly Feeding The Hair
Most of the foods mentioned above indirectly ‘feed’ the scalp and provide it with the nutrients needed for healthy hair growth. However, there are ways to ‘directly feed’ the scalp for healthy hair growth.
- Rubbing ginger, onion or garlic juice helps in curbing dandruff and promoting hair regeneration.
- Avocado, eggs, coconut oil and olive oil have since time immemorial been used as natural hair care products. They are used as natural conditioners or treatment oils helping to deliver moisture and nutrients to the hair follicles.
- Combining Vitamin E gel capsules into your conditioner helps in stimulating blood circulation.
Lastly, a good scalp massage helps to stimulate circulation and this in turn helps blood to bring nutrients to the scalp. A few minutes of scalp massage on a daily basis goes a long way in stimulating blood circulation.