8 best foods for noticeably healthier hair
We all want the hair we see in shampoo ads. A headful of shiny, thick, lustrous locks making heads turn when you walk down the street. But what if your hair falls short of that? Maybe it’s time to look beyond the shampoo aisle and instead look to the grocery aisles for foods to feed your hair.
The secret to thick, strong, shiny strands does not begin with expensive shampoos or fancy salon treatments – it begins with your diet. Eating a variety of healthy foods will give you the mane you’ve always wanted. Fill up on theses nutrients to begin growing your healthiest hair ever:
· Iron and zinc – These two dynamic minerals are necessary for helping stimulating hair follicles to grow
· Vitamin D – The sunshine vitamin may help activate hair growth. However, few foods actually contain it naturally and spending too much time in the sun increases exposure to harmful UV rays damaging to hair. The best bet is to take a 1,000 IU supplement of vitamin D each day.
· Protein – A major nutrient, protein wears many hats from promoting cell growth and repair, acting as an enzyme to boosting hair strength. Women need at least 46 grams of protein a day while men require at a minimum, 56 grams daily.
· Omega-3 fatty acids – Dry hair is a common problem often the result of overuse of heat appliances such as flat irons to over exposure to wind and sun. Hair that is hydrated will look shiny and feel soft. Omega-3 fatty acids help hydrate hair leaving it more silky and manageable.
· Biotin – The vitamin biotin is essential for good hair growth and has been linked to reviving hair.
Here’s a look at 8 foods providing the above-mentioned necessary nutrients reviving and restoring your hair to its healthy best:
An important nutrient hair needs is protein and salmon is an excellent source. A 3-ounce portion of salmon is relatively low-calorie of only 155 calories but contains 23 grams of protein. Another bonus salmon provides is its rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other types of fish providing both protein and omega-3s include tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring, trout, and halibut.
2. Beans and split peas
For those loving plant-based proteins, legumes are the way to go. Legumes include kidney, pinto, black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and split peas. These nutritional nuggets are good sources of iron, zinc and biotin, all nutrients showing your hair some love.
For high-quality, healthy protein, choose boneless and skinless chicken breasts. A baked 3-ounce portion provides 25 grams of protein, more than half the amount required daily for women. Add leftover cooked chicken breasts to salads or stir-fry’s.
4. Spinach and kale
To get your shine on, search out dark, leafy-green vegetables. The darker the green, the more nutritional value it has. Look for spinach, kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, or Romaine lettuce to eat daily. These staples of the Mediterranean diet are good for your hair as they contain iron, along with vitamins A and C, all which are considered hair-healthy nutrients.
5. Lean red meat
Lean red meat is not to be shunned when it comes to hair health. Delivering excellent sources of iron, zinc, and protein, lean red meat such as beef is hard to beat. Iron deficiency can lead to dry, brittle and lackluster hair. A 3-ounce portion of lean beef offers about 25 grams of protein, 2.1 milligrams of iron, and 4.28 milligrams of zinc.
6. Nuts and oil
Nuts of all kinds from almonds, cashews, pistachios, and pecans, offer beneficial omega-3 fatty acids for lustrous locks. About 25 to 30 percent of our diet should come from fats. The emphasis should be on healthy fats like nuts but this also can include oils such as olive and canola oils for healthy monounsaturated fat.
7. Milk and yogurt
Be sure to go down the dairy aisle when searching for hair restoring foods. Nutrients found in dairy foods like milk and yogurt benefit overall health as well as hair. Rich in vitamin D, protein and calcium, these foods are a no-brainer for feeding your hair.
Eggs provide a double dose of hair restoring nutrients by providing both protein and biotin. Protein can help to strengthen hair while biotin appears to improve the keratin infrastructure – a basic protein that makes up hair. Even though biotin deficiencies are rare, inadequate levels may result in loss of hair.