12 Foods You Should Be Eating For Amazing Healthy Hair
How your hair looks and behaves depends on a range of factors from age to weather, but two of the most important things that determine hair heath are genetics and diet. While the first of those is not something you can change (baby, you were born this way), the second of those is entirely up to you!
Fun fact: Did you know that, on average, your hair only grows about 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month? That’s about 6 inches (15 cm) per year.
But this number can change according to how healthy your hair is. Hair loss, breakage, and other issues can actually cause your hair to grow much slower. Again, this depends on a variety of factors, but food is one of the major contributors.
Here are 12 amazing foods you should start eating (or eat more of) for amazing, healthy hair!
Eggs are one of the best sources of a range of nutrients essential for hair health. First of all, our hair is made up mostly of protein, and needs more protein for nourishment. Eggs are obviously an amazing source of protein, but they also contain another essential vitamin, biotin, which is also very beneficial, especially for faster hair growth.
2. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and more are great sources of Vitamin C. Not only does Vitamin C contribute to overall health and a better immune system, it also provides your hair a lot of benefits. From producing collagen in the hair to preventing hair breakage and fall, citrus fruits are your mane’s best friend.
Another great source of Vitamin C is the tropical fruit, guava.
3. Lean Meat & Poultry
Similar to eggs, meat is another major source of protein, which is necessary for your hair to maintain its health and repair damage. Poultry like chicken and turkey are great sources of protein that are also lean. But red meat provides an added benefit of iron, which is essential on its own and also aids the process of absorbing other nutrients as well. Lean red meat as well as liver are great choices for this.
4. Beans & Legumes
If you’re not someone that eats meat, beans and legumes are the next best source when it comes to protein. Unlike meat, they do not contain any (bad) fat, and are super cheap to buy as well. Different types of beans and legumes also come with bonus nutrients, like natural oils, silica, iron, zinc, biotin, and so much more. From bean sprouts, and soya beans, to lentils, chickpeas, green grams, kidney beans, you have so much to choose from!
Omega-3 fatty acids are very good for hair nourishment. It helps retain moisture in hair, and to give your hair an overall shiny and glossy look. The good news is it comes in tiny little delicious parcels of goodness in the form of nuts. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are rich in omegas 3 and 6, as well as Vitamins A, E, and more.
One of the best ways to incorporate nuts into your diet is to carry them in little go-to snack bags that you can pull out whenever a mid-day hunger pang hits you. You can also switch the butter on your morning toast to any nut butter that you like.
Very much similar to nuts, foods like flax and pumpkin seeds are also great carriers of omega-3 fatty acids. Not only this, but they also come with loads of other nutrients, including but not limited to, zinc and iron. Add a sprinkling of seeds on your toast or salad, or use them to garnish foods like soup (swap the croutons out for them).
Water isn’t technically a food, but it is one of the most important things that you should be including more of in your diet if you want ensure your hair is healthy and luxurious. Drinking enough water will hydrate your entire body and ensure effective blood circulation throughout, including the scalp! This helps encourage healthy hair growth and keeping your hair glossy.
8. Oily Fish
This is the omega-3 fatty acids coming into play again! Since our body is unable to produce this nutrient on its own, we need to supplement it through food. Oily fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with these healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so get fishy with your lunch!
9. Leafy Greens
Green vegetables are one of the healthiest things you can add into your diet. Dark leafy greens are a very rich source of iron. Iron provides a host of health benefits to your body and> hair, but also helps in the absorbing of other nutrients (and even oxygen) into the body more efficiently and effectively. Spinach and other leafy greens come packed with not just iron, but also Vitamins A and C, zinc, beta-carotene, folate, and so much more!
Shellfish is another seafood that is a great aid in maintaining healthy hair growth. Shrimp, oysters, crab, clams, etc. are also a good source of zinc. This is important because low levels of zinc have been linked to hair problems such as dandruff, slow growth and brittle hair. Shellfish is also abundant in other nutrients good for your hair like Vitamins D3, E, B12, iron, and even small doses of omega-3.
11. “Orange” Foods
If you were to pick a theme color for your diet, your best choice would probably be orange (or green, but that’s for another day). This is because foods that are orange, like carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins, etc., get their natural tinge from something called beta-carotene. But that’s not all beta-carotene is good for! Along with providing a ton of health benefits, it also helps maintain a healthy scalp, prevent dry hair (by producing sebum), as well as protect against breakage.
12. Low-Fat Dairy Products
Dairy is also a great source of protein that you can include in your diet. Not only is is protein-rich, dairy products also provide calcium, whey, iron, and casein – all good for you. The best way to incorporate dairy into your diet would be with a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt topped with nuts and berries (which have their own beneficial properties when it comes to hair health).