Want to hear a secret the hair care industry doesn’t want you to find out? It turns out that strong, healthy, shiny hair is not the result of expensive products—it’s the result of a healthy body and a healthy diet.
Many cases of dry, brittle hair and excess shedding are a result of a nutritional deficiency or imbalance—especially in women. Luckily, there are certain foods that contain vitamins and minerals that will support the optimal health of your hair.
Try incorporating the following eight foods into your diet—your hair will thank you!
Having enough fat and oil in your diet is important for both hair growth and strength, and nuts are an excellent and healthy source of fat! More specifically, try Brazil nuts, which contain a high amount of selenium, and walnuts, which contain alpha-linolenic acid—an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Both of these nutrients are important for healthy hair.
Spinach and other dark leafy greens
One of the biggest causes of hair loss in women is iron deficiency—and dark green vegetables are a great source of this nutrient! Dark leafy greens are also high in vitamins A and C, which your body uses to produce sebum—the oil that protects your hair and keeps it moist and strong.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like wild-caught salmon support the health of your scalp, while a deficiency in these fatty acids can lead to dry scalp and dry hair. If you’re vegetarian, try adding flax seeds or flax seed oil to your diet for the same effect.
Consuming foods that are high in beta-carotene is crucial for healthy hair and scalp, as the body converts this antioxidant into Vitamin A, which keeps your scalp and your hair from becoming dry.
Eggs contain a ton of vitamins and minerals that are important for hair. They’re not only a great source of protein, they also provide four minerals that your hair needs to stay healthy: zinc, selenium, sulfur and iron.
Beans and lentils
Nutritional powerhouses, beans, lentils and legumes, are packed with protein, and also contain iron and zinc—two hair growth promoting minerals. Beans are also a good source of biotin, which in cases of a deficiency can cause dry, brittle hair.
Meat and poultry
Hair is actually made of protein, so including enough of this nutrient in your diet is crucial for maintaining healthy hair. The best sources are organic grass-fed meats, organic free-range poultry and wild-caught fish, or for vegetarians, nuts, seeds and legumes. Nutritionists recommend consuming about 50 grams of protein per person, per day, or 0.36 grams per pound of body weight.
Oysters are one of the most powerful all-around beauty-boosters on the planet, but they are especially good for your hair! Oysters have high concentrations of vitamins and minerals crucial for hair health, including folic acid, iron, protein, selenium and zinc.
While your hair’s health can definitely be improved with the addition of these foods to your diet, if you are losing hair and it does not improve or stop quickly, be sure to speak to your doctor, as hormones, stress and other imbalances in the body also play a role in the health of your hair.
-The Alternative Daily