Eat These 6 Foods For Healthy, Shiny, Gorgeous Hair
We all want healthy, shiny hair, but for some of us it may seem like an enigma. Each year, we spend hundreds of dollars at the drugstore looking for the perfect combination of products to make our locks lustrous and strong, but what we really need may be a diet overhaul.
Like many health concerns, products only mask the problem and don’t get to the source. Adjusting your diet, however, can play a huge role in giving you healthier skin and hair, amongst a host of other benefits.
Why does hair get dull and lifeless?
According to Joy Bauer, one of the world’s leading authorities on health and weight loss, “It is estimated that we each lose about 100 hairs per day. The actual number you’ll lose on any given day depends on how abundant and healthy your follicles are, what medications you’re taking, and many other factors, some of which are beyond your control.”
Further, our hair is made up of a protein called keratin and when we over-eat processed foods and sugars, our body responds by producing less healthy follicles, causing dull skin and brittle nails.
Not eating enough protein can cause weak or thin hair as well. According to Bauer, “All basic nutrients contribute to keeping us whole and healthy, but protein provides the building blocks that allow us to repair, replace or grow bones, skin, muscles and hair.”
Protein doesn’t only come from meat, however. Eggs and some grains, seeds and vegetables are great sources of protein and can be very beneficial to your hair and the body overall. Fortunately, adding in hair-nourishing foods is really easy – not to mention tasty!
6 Reasons Why You Need More Protein in Your Diet
Check out these 6 foods for beautiful, healthy hair:
Lentils are full of protein, iron and folic acid, amongst other vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential for hair growth. These nutrients also increase the supply of oxygen to the brain, which propels hair growth.
Lentils make a great addition to salads, soups, or simply on their own. They have also been staples in cleanses since ancient times because of their nutritionally dense, easy-to-digest properties.
People in Asian cultures have been consuming seaweed products like nori and wakame for centuries, and for good reason! Seaweed contains amazing phytonutrients (aka disease fighting compounds) amongst a host of vitamins and minerals including iron, copper, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.
This mix of powerful ingredients is like a super smoothie for hair, helping strengthen and smooth locks, while also increasing thickness and improving hydration of the scalp. Seaweed can be enjoyed as a better-for-you wrapper for veggies, on sushi, in soups, or in sheets as a crunchy snack.
Raw, organic almonds (and walnuts, too) are an amazing source of protein and a filling snack to boot! The manganese and selenium content in almonds will support your body in producing keratin to keep your hair shiny and strong. Almonds are a great breakfast topper and raw, organic almond butter tastes amazing on toast!
If you’ve missed the memo about the amazing health benefits of kale and other greens, remember that they are totally rad and necessary to your health overall and will give you a perfect lion’s mane! Ok, maybe that’s an overstatement, but seriously, greens are full of antioxidants and minerals that help produce sebum – a scalp oil that works as a natural hair conditioner, sending super shine and strength to each follicle.
Spinach, for instance, is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. Folate and iron are especially important for women since anemia, or lack of iron in the body, can increase risk of hair loss.
This may be the best news for anyone out there with a sweet tooth. Chocolate, or rather raw cacao, contains anti-aging antioxidants called flavonoids, which fight free radicals to protect your skin and hair from UV damage.
However, this one does come with a caveat. We’re not talking about any old chocolate bar from the grocery store. Instead, look for high quality and high-cocoa content (at least 80%) with low sugar for the best nutrient value.
These tiny wonders are often overlooked because of their small size, but many seeds are incredibly nutrient dense. And since they are small, you can add them to your diet in many ways! Chia, pumpkin and flax seeds are full of hair boosting protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, fiber and loads of omega-3s for shiny, supple hair. Add seeds to your breakfast, in smoothies or just make your own snack mix with raw nuts and seeds.
Diet plays such a huge role in our overall well-being, and the health of our locks is no exception! Adding in superfoods from this list to each meal ensures you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep your hair shiny and healthy and protect it from environmental damage.
Keep in mind, if you’re having long-term problems with your hair or if it seems to be falling out at an abnormal rate, it may be time to see your doctor to rule out thyroid or other issues.
What are your favorite foods for shiny, healthy hair? Please share with us in the comments below!