What you eat is as important for healthy, shiny hair as it is for your overall health. Protein is the foundation of healthy hair, which helps hair to be strong and grow more quickly. Here are 10 great sources for healthy, lucious tresses.
1. Lean red meat. Red meats are a great source of iron. Iron deficiencies not only cause serious health issues, but people with iron deficiencies will also often experience hair loss or poor hair growth. Women are especially at risk for this. Other good sources of iron include egg yolks, turkey, whole grains, dried fruit, and beans.
2. Eggs. They are chock full of biotin, which is a B vitamin that helps with hair growth and maintaining a healthy scalp. Other biotin-rich foods include peanuts and almonds, salmon, avocado and wheat bran.
3. Bananas, beer, oats, and raisins all contain silica, a mineral believed to increase hair thickness. Silica helps hair to be stronger and more durable. With all of the developments in hair-care products, such as curling irons and flat irons, having durable hair is more important than ever.
4. Dark green vegetables. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard are jam packed with A and C vitamins. Vitamins A and C help produce sebum, which is a scalp oil that acts as a natural hair conditioner.
5. Oysters. These shellfish contain an impressive amount of zinc, which regulates production of androgens hormones. Low androgens levels can cause hair loss, slow hair growth and dandruff. Other foods rich in zinc include crab, clams, liver, lean beef and wheat germ.
6. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene to Vitamin A, which moisturizes hair and skin and protects against dull hair and dry skin that can cause dandruff. For additional sources of beta-carotene, be on the lookout for carrots, pumpkin, asparagus, kale and butternut squash.
7. Beans are excellent sources of iron-rich protein. Kidney beans and lentils are good go-to beans; in particular, lentils are key players in general hair maintenance and support.
8. Fruits and vegetables. In general, veggies and fruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. Dry and weak hair can be a result of low Vitamin C levels. Great vitamin C sources include leafy greens, broccoli, citrus fruit, strawberries and green peppers.
9. Salmon. Simply put, Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy scalp. An unhealthy scalp may become dry, with dull hair as a result. Other great Omega-3 sources include herring, mackerel, sardines, walnuts and flax seeds.
10. Vegetable oil is notorious for helping to restore shine to hair. Just a teaspoon a day of healthy oils, such as peanut oil, safflower oil, or sunflower oil can help do away with dry and lackluster hair.
See? Having and maintaining strong and healthy hair is easier than it sounds. More than half of these foods are likely already in your diet. Just up your intake a bit and your locks will be the envy of all of your friends in no time.
Alison Marth is a freelance writer for a variety of health and beauty websites. She is currently pursuing a degree in cosmetology and enjoys learning about nutrition in her spare time. She recommends the beauty blog of High Maintenance Salon for anyone interested in health and beauty tips.