The Best Foods and Nutrients for Hair
Hair grows out from a follicle, which is a small sac-like structure that basically homes each hair strand. The food we consume obviously has a great impact on hair growth, owing to the fact that our hair constantly grows and the follicles continuously create new hair using nutrients in the body.
Many of the nutrients that our hair follicles (and hair) love and are very beneficial for hair growth are present in the listed below:
Eggs are high in protein, biotin, lysine, vitamin D and certain minerals which boost hair growth. Examples of other foods that contain biotin:
- meat, including fish
- some vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a mineral that may help ‘create’ hair growth. But be cautious because too much selenium can cause brittle hair and hair thinning along with nausea and other problems. The recommended amount is around 3-4 nuts per day. Other foods that contain selenium include:
- meat, including liver and fish
- milk and other dairy products
- breads and cereals
‘Good fat’ is great for your health and omega 3 is great for your eyes, skin and hair. Fish is an excellent source of omega 3, protein and vitamin D therefore, it is great for your hair growth, shine and health. The richest fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids are:
If you are vegan or follow a plant-based diet, you can increase your intake of the following to get sufficient omega-3:
- seeds, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds
- flaxseed oil and soybean oil
- algae, such as spirulina
- fortified foods
Vitamin D is low in most people and some studies have suggested that it is beneficial for hair growth. You can increase your vitamin D intake from the following sources:
- fortified breakfast cereals, especially corn flakes and oats
- orange juice
- soy drinks
- fatty fish
- beef liver
- sunlight (not a food source but important to list)
L-lysine is present in the root of your hair and is responsible for the shape and volume of your hair. It is present in the in the following foods:
Besides these specific nutrients listed above, there are some foods that do an exceptional job for your over health and, in turn, your hair:
Berries are rich in compounds and vitamins that may promote hair growth.
These vitamins include Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants can help protect hair follicles against damage from free radicals, which are harmful molecules. Vitamin C also helps your body produce collagen - a protein that strengthens your hair and adds elasticity, preventing it from becoming brittle and breaking.
It also helps the body absorb iron from our diet. Studies have shown that low iron levels may cause anemia, which has been linked to hair loss.
A green leafy vegetable that is loaded with extremely beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C. All of these nutrients boost hair growth.
Vitamin A helps the skin glands produce sebum. This oily substance keeps your hair moisturised, preventing it from becoming dry and brittle.
Spinach is also a good vegan source of iron, which is necessary for hair growth. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism and boost growth and also helps with repairing brittle hair.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene. Our body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is linked to good hair health, as mentioned above.
A medium-sized sweet potato contains sufficient beta-carotene to provide more than four times of your daily vitamin A needs.
Shrimps are rich in many nutrients that are recognised to promote hair growth.
They are rich in protein, which as explained earlier is important for hair growth.
Shrimps also have a high content of B vitamins, zinc, iron and vitamin D. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of shrimp provides 38% of your daily vitamin D needs.
The best hair advice anyone can give you will always begin with following a healthy diet, as your diet is crucial for not just your hair but also your overall health. We hope this was a beneficial read and has inspired you to add these foods to your diet.