It took me a few years before I fully realized why my dad always insisted on a healthy diet and, whenever I put some kind of homemade hair or face pack, suggested that I should rather eat them up. As you can understand, I never found the proposition appealing until a few more years when I came to know about the benefits that come with eating healthy. It seems that our hair grows from about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month. So it makes sense if we help this growth process. And the best thing is, it may begin at home with the very meals we eat. Taking in the right kind of food gives nourishment to the entire body which in turn translates into glowing skin and lustrous mane. Here is a list of top 10 foods that can spell wonder for your hair.
- Salmon: This fish has loads of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B-12, Iron and high-quality Protein. Omega-3 fatty acids support scalp health and a deficiency may cause dry scalp and eventually dull hair. For the vegetarians, a good source of plant-based Omega-3 fat is one or two tablespoon of ground flaxseed.
- Spinach: God knows what made Popeye so bald. For, a man-eating so much spinach should have given Rapunzel a strong competition! These green leaves are a great source of Vitamin B, C and E, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids. Our body needs Vitamins A and C to produce sebum which is an oily substance secreted by our hair follicle and acts as a natural conditioner. Spinach also has loads of lutein which is good for the eyes.
- Beans: These are an excellent source of protein which is an essential ingredient promoting hair growth. Your hair-care diet should include legumes like kidney beans and lentils. Apart from protein, they also have iron, zinc and biotin, all of which are essential for the body. In rare cases, a deficiency in biotin can lead to brittle hair.
- Nuts: It really pays to go nuts over, er, nuts. Walnuts, cashews, pecans and almonds are packed with zinc. A deficiency of this ingredient may lead to hair loss. So, if you want to hold on to your hair, make sure to include nuts in your daily menu. Walnuts are also a very rich source of an Omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium which is important for a healthy scalp.
- Egg: What’s the most essential nourishment for healthy hair? Protein? ‘Eggsactly! And you can get loads of it from the one thing that has found a permanent place in the daily menu of many. Eggs. Apart from Proteins they also contain Biotin and Vitamin B-12.
- Banana, Oats, Raisins: All these contain something that leads to hair thickness. This magic ingredient is called silica. So, for hair that’s stronger and more durable, go for silica-enriched food.
- Oyster: These have plenty of zinc which helps in regulating the production of a hormone called androgen. When the level of this hormone is low, it may cause hair loss, along with slow hair growth and dandruff. Other zinc-rich options include crab, clams, liver, lean beef and wheat germ.
- Sweet potato: This vegetable deserves to make more frequent appearances in your menu than just at Thanksgiving. Sweet potato has lots of beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A by our body. This prevents dull hair and dry skin, one of the primary things that cause dandruff. Carrot, kale, butternut squash, asparagus and pumpkin are other smart choices.
- Low-Fat Dairy Products: Skim milk and yogurt are two great sources of calcium. In fact,one cup of low-fat yogurt has more calcium than a cup of fat-free milk. Calcium is an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain two high-quality protein sources whey and casein.
- Chicken and turkey: Our body does not only need enough protein but this also has to be of high quality. Inadequate or low quality protein may lead to weak brittle hair and, in case of severe deficiency can even cause a loss of hair color. Chicken and turkey provides just that, high quality protein that our hair so needs. They also provide iron with a high degree of bio availability. This means that our body can easily get the benefits out of these.
There are plenty of supplements available but taking in the essential nutrients from food is always a better choice. So ladies and gentlemen, before you march to the bathroom armed with shampoo, conditioner and hair packs, do take a trip to your kitchen!