The condition of your hair is a clear indication of your overall health. If your locks are looking a bit damaged, chances are you’re stressed, and even possibly deficient on B vitamins. Dry and dull hair means you need more vitamin A rich foods, like dark-green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and apricots. If you’re losing hair and your scalp is dry you may have a zinc deficiency–foods rich in zinc include nuts, seafood, eggs and legumes. Essential fatty acids found in fish and nuts also help a dry scalp and dry hair.
It’s that simple- start from the inside out! Here’s a list of foods you should incorporate into your diet for shiny, thick and beautiful hair.
Besides being rich in protein and vitamin D, the omega-3 fatty acids found in this tasty cold-water fish are vitals. Your body cannot naturally produce these fatty acids, which are needed to grow strong hair. Omega-3s are also found in cell membranes, in the skin of your scalp, and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.
Vegetarian options include: avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
Walnuts are the only nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which help protect your cells from DNA damage. Make sure to incorporate walnuts into your diet frequently, as too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Copper is another great mineral found in walnuts, which keeps your natural hair color vibrant.
Oysters are rich in zinc, a lack of which can lead to hair loss (even in your eyelashes), as well as a dry, flaky scalp. Three ounces has a whopping 493% of your daily value. You can get zinc through fortified cereals and whole grain breads, but oysters boast a good level of protein as well.
Vegetarian options: Nuts
Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body then turns into vitamin A. Every cell of your body needs vitamin A to function. If you suffer from an itchy scalp or dandruff, try adding a sweet potato a day to help protect and produce healthy scalp oil.
Think orange: Carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots are all good sources of beta-carotene.
A great source of protein, eggs are loaded with four essential minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron is a major cause of hair loss.
The iron, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
Lentils are packed with protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, making it a great staple for vegetarians and meat eaters.
Greek yogurt is high in hair-friendly protein, vitamin B5 and vitamin D. Emerging research links vitamin D with hair follicle health.
Superfood blueberries are full of vitamin C, which is critical for circulation to the scalp. It also supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles which produce strong, healthy hair. Too little vitamin C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.
Look to hair-healthy zinc, iron, and B vitamins to keep your hair strong and plentiful. A diet rich in protein is the foundation of healthy strong hair.