Your shampoo and conditioner are not the only defining factors when it comes to the health of your hair. It seems that the key to a healthy anything is always a healthy diet; this also applies to hair.
1. Sweet Potatoes
This nutrient-filled vegetable is an excellent addition to your diet that helps in bringing dry and dull hair back to life. Sweet potatoes are filled with beta-carotenes that are converted to vitamin A by the body when consumed. It helps in preventing dry hair and increases the scalp’s production of its natural oils that ensure your hair looks hydrated. Beta-carotenes are also found in other vegetables and fruits such as carrots, pumpkins, and mangoes.
The best thing about sweet potatoes is that they are easy to incorporate as a side dish to any meal. My favourite quick sweet potato side dish is roasting them in the oven with a splash of olive oil, a touch of salt and black pepper.
Eggs are rich in a vitamin B called biotin which is essential to hair growth and scalp health. Additionally, it is a source of sulphur that aids in the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B. It is also required for the body’s production of collagen and keratin that ensure shiny and healthy hair as well as skin.
Oysters are very high in zinc which is essential in keeping hair growth as well as the scalp’s natural oil production healthy. Deficiencies of this mineral can cause thinning or loss of hair.
Depending on where you live and your taste pallet, oysters may not always be an option. In which case, you can include other sources of zinc in your diet such as crab, clams, liver, lobster, lean beef, and fortified cereals.
The benefits of this leafy vegetable are seemingly endless. For hair particularly, it contains vitamins B, C, and E. It also is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3. Each of these nutrients is essential in hair health from growth to damage repair, making spinach an irreplaceable ingredient in your diet.
There are endless ways to enjoy and incorporate spinach into your daily meals; it can be anywhere from a simple delicious salad or including it in your sandwich, to cooking it up with pasta or a stew.
Lentils are not only rich in protein which is essential in the growing and strengthening of the hair strands, they are also rich in biotin and zinc. As mentioned earlier, biotin and zinc are important in keeping hair and the scalp healthy. Lentils are also rich in iron, making them an ideal option for vegetarians as iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to the scalp to promote healthy hair growth.
You can add lentils to your diet by combining them with salads, soups, or stews for a delicious and beneficial meal.
6. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential in hair growth and scalp health as they provide the oils needed to keep both the scalp and hair well-hydrated and nourished.
Vegetarian sources for these omega-3 fatty acids include avocados, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
7. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C that helps in producing collagen which hair follicles need to remain healthy and to promote strong hair growth. Additionally, vitamin C also aids the body in absorbing iron from plant based sources, which is essential in carrying oxygen to the scalp.
The colourful bell peppers are delicious in daily meals from salads, stir-fries, to stuffed and oven-roasted.
This delicious spice is great for increasing blood circulation all over the body, and more particularly, to hair follicles. This brings it oxygen and important nutrients that promote growth, thickness, and shine. Cinnamon is easy to add to your day-to-day diet by sprinkling it on your tea, coffee, oatmeal, toast, or adding a pinch to your cooking.
Yoghurt is packed vitamins B5 and D that improve blood flow and overall hair health. It also contains proteins that are needed to keep the hair strong and thick. You can start adding yoghurt to your diet by having it with some fruits and honey for breakfast, using it as a sandwich condiment or a base for fresh creamy sauces, blending it into a smoothie with your favourite fruit, or using it instead of sour cream to top soups or chilies.
One additional tip for healthy hair is not only to incorporate the listed foods into your diet but to also examine the products that you regularly use on your hair and their ingredients. Try to replace chemical laden shampoos, conditioners, etc. with natural alternatives if you have not already. Making that change as well as incorporating these foods into your daily diet will help you in achieving the healthy hair results you are searching for.