Top 10 foods for healthy hair

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Like every other part of your body, the processes that support strong and vibrant hair are reliant on a balanced diet. Of course, there’s more to your hair than what you eat – smoking, hormonal imbalances and poor sleep habits can also have a negative impact on hair health. However, if you eat a well-balanced, protein-rich diet which includes the following foods, you’ll be giving your hair the best chance of staying healthy.

1. Salmon

Salmon, particularly wild salmon, is rich in protein and vitamin D – both important for healthy hair. However, it’s the omega-3 fatty acids found in this cold-water fish which make it truly great for hair health, as around three per cent of the hair shaft is made up of these fatty acids. Omega-3s are also beneficial for the natural oils which keep your scalp and hair well-hydrated.

Alternatives: herring, sardines, trout, mackerel, avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids and they’re also quite rich in biotin and vitamin E, which help to protect your cells from DNA damage, as well as from the effects of the sun. Furthermore, increasing your intake of biotin can help to prevent hair loss. Walnuts also contain copper – an important mineral which maintains your natural hair colour and lustre.

Alternative: walnut oil as a replacement for canola or safflower oil.

3. Oysters

Oysters are super-rich in zinc. Low levels of zinc in your diet can cause a dry, flaky scalp, and even lead to hair loss. Oysters also contain a good amount of protein, without which your body wouldn’t be able to replace the hairs which you naturally shed every day.

Alternatives: nuts, beef, whole grains, fortified cereals and eggs.

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4. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A – an important vitamin for every cell in your body. Vitamin A can also help protect and produce the oils which sustain your scalp. Being low on vitamin A can leave you with itchy, annoying dandruff.

Alternatives: carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots.

5. Eggs

Apart from being a great source of protein, eggs are loaded with zinc, selenium, sulphur and iron. Iron helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron is often a major cause of hair loss, especially in women.

Alternatives: chicken, fish, pork, and beef.

6. Spinach

The iron, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach can help to keep your hair follicles healthy and your scalp oils circulating. It’s also best to eat spinach raw, as heat can diminish its nutritional value.

Alternatives: broccoli, kale, and Swiss chard.

7. Lentils

Legumes are bursting with protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, which make them a great alternative source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat eaters.

Alternatives: soybeans and kidney beans.

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8. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in hair-friendly protein, vitamin B5 and vitamin D. Recent studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D may contribute to increased hair loss and reduced hair follicle health.

Alternatives: cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, and skim milk.

9. Blueberries

Blueberries are a nutrient superhero. Blueberries are so rich in phytonutrients that even though they don’t contain the antioxidant vitamin C, they still provide as much antioxidant protection to the body as more than 1200 milligrams of vitamin C. When it comes to hair health, the ‘C’ stands for critical for scalp circulation, which supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little vitamin C in your diet can lead to weak, easily-damaged hair.

Alternatives: kiwi fruit, sweet potatoes, papaya, tomatoes, and strawberries.

10. Poultry

Chicken is packed with protein, as well as zinc, iron, and B vitamins, which all contribute to maintaining healthy hair. Hair is mostly comprised of protein, so it goes without saying that foods rich in protein are super-beneficial for hair.

Alternative: lean beef.

Rosemary essential oil

You can’t eat rosemary essential oil, however, it can still be used to increase circulation to your scalp. Simply add a few drops to your shampoo when you wash your hair, or use a few drops of rosemary oil and massage your scalp regularly.

Alternative: coconut oil.

For further information, go to WebMD.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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5 Comments

Total Comments: 5
  1. 0
    0

    Vitamin A may be good for a dry scalp, but is certainly not good if you have an oily scalp.
    It is very hard to find geniune shampoo specifically for oily hairl

    • 0
      0

      If baldness runs on either side of the family I’m afraid there is not much you can do about it. You can eat as much healthy food as you like but you will still lose your hair no matter what.

  2. 0
    0

    Wear a hat! If it is going to fall out it will. Like HOLA said it is genetic. Look at the royal family, and don’t tell me they don’t get the best diet, the best of everything.

  3. 0
    0

    I can’t stand eating fish i dislike it immensely
    Loosing hair is not in my family. and i had a thick head of hair, i eat fairly well.
    Personally i think too many genetically modified foods are in our diets, but they like to blame other things. If i eat a lot of fish and as it is i take a high dose of fish oil, and my scalp becomes oily. I don’t use shampoos any more they don’t even keep my hair clean.
    Eucalyptus soap does a better job, and i’m only 61! Not impressed really


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