Our hair is one of our most cherished attributes about ourselves. It makes us who we are, and if you’re like me, you want to try anything and everything for that amazing look and feel. The thing is, you can use every new product that pops up on your computer screen, or try to create your own concoction with every exotic herb and essential oil you can find. But if your hair isn’t being nourished from the inside first and foremost, then sadly, your endeavors, time, and money are being wasted.
Hair needs protein, vitamins, and minerals to grow and nourish, just like our bodies, and by taking care of the inside, the outside will remain shiny, strong, and beautiful.
Proteins, vitamins, and minerals all have important roles in the maintenance and strength of your hair:
- Protein—Ensures that each strand grows out fully.
- Vitamin C—Protects your hair from breakage and thinning.
- Vitamn A—Produces sebum (oil) that acts as a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp; this prevents dry hair, itchiness, and dandruff.
- Biotin—Wards off brittle hair that can lead to hair loss.
At every stage, our hair needs nutrients to thrive. Below, we have listed some of our favorite “healthy hair foods” that are not only delicious, but are easy to prepare. Find your favorite recipes with these foods for hair growth to show your hair the love you have for it. There is no excuse to let your hair go hungry!
Lean beef has been a popular source of protein for a long time. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it stocks us up with B vitamins, iron and zinc, all of major importance to a healthy head of hair. Without sufficient protein in our diets, our hair goes on strike. The growth of new hair can’t keep up to replace what’s falling out naturally (an average of 100 strands a day). If not rescued in time, our thinning hair will result in an overall hair loss. The healthiest way to eat lean beef is sautéed or steamed, which you can then add some yummy vegetables for an extra dose of health.
Oranges get all the hype as a great source of Vitamin C, but guava has four to five times more Vitamin C than its counterpart. Vitamin C is essential so your hair doesn’t become brittle and break off. It works wonders for those struggling with thinning hair, as it promotes hair growth.
Guavas are soft and sweet when ripe, and can be eaten as a snack, in a salad, or added in a smoothie with other healthy items. Guava juice is also delicious, as well as guava jelly, that can be made at home.
Sweet potatoes are delicious in just about any dish, but don’t let that fool you. Like other orange-colored vegetables and fruit (e.g., carrots, butternut squash, pumpkins), sweet potatoes are packed withVitamin C, copper, iron, protein, and beta carotene. Your body converts this to Vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes the growth of healthy hair cells and protects against dry, dull hair and dry scalp that can begin to flake off, creating dandruff. This amazing vegetable can do wonders for you hair and overall health of your body.
You can get really creative with recipes surrounding sweet potatoes. I’ve found the best is to cut it into small chunks, add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stick them into the oven. It’s easy and delicious and your body and hair will thank you.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, biotin, and other B vitamins. These are essential for hair growth, hair strength, and overall scalp health. Protein is a major constituent of hair, and the protein in eggs is considered extremely high quality.
To get the best use of your egg’s ‘good stuff’, eat both the egg white and yolk. However, if you really can’t handle the yolk, be sure to make up for it in the egg whites. Most of the protein is contained there anyway, so as long as you are adding in more egg whites, then you will be fine.
Try to eat at least one egg daily, whether it be poached, boiled, scrambled, or even put in milk raw.
Oatmeal is a extremely underrated when it comes to its health benefits. Oats contain B vitamins, zinc, protein, and copper. These are some of the most important micronutrients for preventing hair loss, as well as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
If a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast sounds too bland, through in some fruit and granola to add to the taste. It’s a great way to start the day and to boost the health of your hair. There are also energy bars made of oats that are perfect snacks for those mid-afternoon slumps, and DIY protein oat bar recipes that are mind blowing.
Oysters can be intimidating, but they contain more zinc per serving than any other food. They also have Vitamins A and C, while also containing fewer than 2 grams of fat. Zinc is essential for our hair to grow and oil glands to work properly and vital for hair growth. When the growth of our hair is slow, there’s dandruff, or hair loss, it’s likely due to low zinc levels.
Small oysters are popular on the half shell (raw), but larger ones can be fried, grilled, roasted and steamed. You can also add oysters into dishes if the taste is too strong for you.
Salmon is a super-food, packed with high-quality proteins, amino acids, and loads of vitamins and minerals. But most importantly, this super food comes with omega-3 fatty acids that our body cannot produce on its own. It keeps our scalps healthy and our hair hydrated. However, all of these nutrients together are essential to proper hair growth, the prevention of dry hair, and excessive hair loss. Salmon also helps the body process insulin more efficiently. Hair loss in both males and females can be due to insulin resistance, so this super-food can be highly effective.
If you want to add salmon into your diet, please remember to avoid farmed salmon! Wild-caught salmon has the necessary density of nutrients your hair needs. You can eat it grilled, smoked, or freshly baked for any meal of your choosing.
Many of us are on a continuous path of eating healthy to keep our bodies at their best. But we often forget that our hair is a part of our body, needing proteins, vitamins, and minerals to thrive and shine. Why not include the foods to our healthy habits that not only take care of our body, but nourish the beauty that makes you, you? Find your favorite food for hair growth and get started on your journey to shinier, stronger, fabulous hair.