Having a bad hair day? Are you worried about your hair thinning out?
Are you frustrated your shampoo and conditioner are just not enough to take care of your hair?
For a woman, her hair is her crowning glory, a symbol of her femininity representing her identity and beauty.
A too frizzy and dry hair is a bad hair day for many women, and it equals a bad day.
But it’s not only women. Men also worry about hair thinning and hair loss as it also changes the way they look.
In this article, you’ll learn about the best foods to eat for healthy hair. But first, let’s look at why food is important for healthy hair.
Food promotes healthy hair
The food you eat affects the health of your hair.
A study claims that diet is one of the factors that have an impact on the hair’s growth, volume, and strength.
You need to feed your hair with proteins, fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and minerals iron, selenium, and zinc.
Whatever hair color you have and whether it’s straight, wavy, or curly, these natural variations carry a part of our identities.
A healthy hair is smooth and shiny with clean-cut ends.
The secret for having healthy hair growth is to improve the health of your scalp and hair follicles. Your hair follicle cells play a role in your hair’s growth, texture, and color.
In the next section, we’ll look at some specific foods for healthy hair.
Best foods for healthy hair
You can get the nutrients your hair needs from the following foods:
Your hair needs nourishment with Vitamin E for hair growth. This nutrient is present in avocados.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant for combating oxidative stress.
The researchers observed that the hair of these patients has significantly increased in number compared to the placebo group.
Par of the reason may be because of the antioxidant activity of the tocotrienols. This helped to improve the scalp’s health by reducing lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress.
Grab a medium-sized avocado (200 grams), and it will cover 21% of your daily intake of vitamin E. Enjoy it in your favorite kind of salsa, guacamole, or as a refreshing smoothie drink!
Your hair mainly consists of proteins. Make sure that you are taking an adequate amount of protein to keep your hair in good condition.
In one study, researchers enrolled six men and fed them with a protein-deprived liquid diet but complete with all other nutrients.
The results were shocking. The participant’s hair roots shrunk significantly, and their hair changed to an unhealthy pigmentation in just 11 days.
But when participants got protein back into their diet, their hair root condition eventually reverted to normal. This makes eggs one of the best foods for healthy hair.
Here’s the good news:
Eggs are cheap and abundant sources of protein. If you don’t have any pre-existing health conditions, an egg a day will be right for you!
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are important for the nourishment of your hair, and it makes your hair thick.
However, your body is incapable of producing omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll get these only from foods.
Sixty-two percent of the group that received omega-3 fatty acid supplementation had increased hair density compared to the control group.
Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecan, and hazelnuts are examples of nuts that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Supply your hair with this essential fatty acid with a handful of nuts as your kind of healthy snack.
Raw or cooked carrots are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, is usually found in orange and yellow vegetables.
Its compounds includ3 retinol, provitamin A, retinal, retinoic acid, and carotenoids.
It helps the skin glands produce the oily substance called sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp to keep your hair healthy, which makes hair grow faster.
In animal studies, dietary vitamin A is found to activate hair follicle stem cells.
However, another study emphasized that vitamin A intake must be consumed at precise levels for the hair follicle’s optimal function.
Over supplementation of this vitamin can result in hypervitaminosis A which is strongly linked to hair loss.
5. Legumes, lentils
Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, and pinto beans are excellent plant-based sources of protein, which is vital for hair growth.
Meat is a protein staple in the diets of most people around the world.
Adequate consumption of protein is essential for hair growth since hair follicles are mostly made of protein.
Severe protein deficiencies can result in hair changes such as thinning and hair loss.
This is common among children suffering from protein malnutrition such as kwashiorkor and marasmus.
Red meats, in particular, contains ferritin, a type of stored iron that helps produce hair cell protein.
Research reveals hair loss is evident among individuals with iron deficiency.
Selenium is another micronutrient that is found in meat. It is responsible for thyroid hormone production that helps to regulate hair growth.
In a clinical trial among chemotherapy patients with ovarian cancer, there was a decrease in hair loss among patients receiving selenium supplementation compared to the control group.
Hence, the study concluded that selenium is a supportive element in chemotherapy.
Zinc, on the other hand, is another micronutrient found in meats. Research has shown zinc deficiency is also linked to hair loss.
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and folate, which are essential for your hair’s health.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that prevents oxidative damage caused by free radicals, and it helps iron absorption in the body.
This vitamin is critical in the production of collagen, a type of protein that supports hair structure.
Vitamin A helps with sebum production, which helps to keep your scalp moisturized.
Iron is an essential mineral that also prevents hair loss.
If your iron intake is sufficient, your hair hair follicles can receive enough oxygen and nutrients to make your hair strands stronger.
As per dietary recommendations, eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables a day. You can include a cup of spinach in your diet to get more nutrients that are healthy for your hair.
8. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, mandarins, clementines, lemons, and limes are rich fruit sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is essential for iron absorption, collagen production, and oxidative stress prevention.
According to research, vitamin C assists iron mobilization and intestinal absorption. It may be helpful to increase vitamin C intake among patients with hair loss associated with iron deficiency.
9. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that help regulate oil production.
This in turn makes your hair shiny and prevents the scalp from flaking.
Examples of fish that have high fatty acids are:
- lake trout, and
- albacore tuna
Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds are excellent sources of vitamin E, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.
These are nutrient-dense seeds that provide nutrients to give you a healthy mane.
Haircare is not only essential for women but also men. You can continue doing your external hair care routines, but you have to be mindful of your diet.
Insufficient intake of the abovementioned nutrients is strongly linked to hair problems such as hair loss, hair depigmentation, thinning, scalp flaking, dryness, and frizz.
Make sure to maintain eating a variety of nutrient-dense best foods for healthy hair.
These foods are rich in proteins, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and minerals iron, selenium, and zinc, not just for your hair but also for your overall health.
Just take note of the foods mentioned above and incorporate them in your diet frequently.