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Top Foods for Healthy Hair

by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sarka_Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) You probably know that eating carrots is good for your eyes and drinking enough water helps maintain your skin's healthy glow, but did you know that what you eat affects the health of your hair? Eating a poor diet might not show in your hair as quickly as in your skin, but bad eating choices will eventually result in lackluster locks. The good news is that a balanced diet rich in certain foods will give you the shiny, strong hair you've always dreamed of, as long as you wash it regularly too.

Go Nuts for Walnuts

Walnuts are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as biotin and vitamin E. These nutrients keep your cells safe from DNA damage and protect your hair from sun damage. A biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss. The copper in walnuts is good for luster and maintaining your hair color.

If you don't like eating raw nuts, you can use walnut oil. Walnut oil works well for stir frying. The oils in nuts in general contribute to the elastin in hair, which helps it grow too. A lack of oil can increase hair breakage.

Beautiful Bell Peppers

Bell peppers of any color are great for your hair because they are rich sources of vitamin C. The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, which is an important fiber that the hair needs for healthy growth. A lack of vitamin C can cause splint ends and dry hair.

Vitamin C also assists the body in using iron. Red blood cells need iron to transport oxygen to your hair follicles to keep them healthy. 

Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain the antioxidant beta carotene that the body converts into vitamin A. Every cell in your body relies on vitamin A, and if you have a deficiency your cells suffer. A lack of vitamin A can show up on your scalp, leading to dandruff.

If you don't like sweet potatoes, you can eat mangoes, apricots, or cantaloupe, which also are high in beta carotene.

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Spinach for Strong Hair 

Popeye ate spinach for strong arms, but you should eat it for strong hair. Spinach is full of a variety of nutrients, including folate, vitamin C, iron, and beta carotene. These vitamins and minerals are crucial for healthy hair follicles. It also helps keep the oils on your scalp circulating.

Folate assists the body to produce red blood cells. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia and hair loss. Most dark, leafy green vegetables are also good sources of these nutrients.

Lovely Lentils

Lentils are an excellent source of protein as well as biotin, iron, and zinc. Your body needs protein to make hair cells. A type of protein called keratin is what gives hair its structure. A lack of protein can lead to weak hair and slow growth rates.

Super Soy

Soy products are also full of iron-rich protein. You can crunch on edamame, add tofu to your stir fries or salads, or try soy-based products, such as soy yogurt, soy ice cream, or soy cheese. Soy milk in your cereal or smoothies is an easy solution to increasing your soy intake to benefit your hair. However, be sure to buy only fermented, non-GMO soy. A lot of soy is genetically modified, and you don't want that in your system.

Adding these foods to your diet in abundance ensures that you fight off the deficiencies that can lead to hair thinning, dull hair, and split ends. Eating more of these fruits, vegetables, and legumes can also benefit your skin, eyes, heart, and nails. They are low-calorie too, so your waistline will benefit.

See also:

How to Restore Your Beautiful Hair and Skin

Science Confirms an Age-Old Remedy for Gray Hair and Baldness

Supplementing for Gray Hair

References

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-styling/top-10-foods-for-healthy-hair?page=3
http://www.joybauer.com/photo-gallery/best-foods-for-hair-health/Oysters.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/hair-loss-foods-to-eat_n_3319975.html

 

About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

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