When it comes to having healthy hair, there are several factors that come into play. Luscious locks are often due to great genetics, a great hair care routine, and a healthy diet. The weather, certain hair products, and unhealthy foods can damage your hair more than you realize. So how do you improve the health of your hair?
The foods you eat can cripple or benefit the body. Healthy hair requires a lot of essential nutrients, which most people don’t get in the Standard American Diet. They might think they are getting the nutrients, but overcooking foods or adding other refined carbs or sugars can negate those benefits. Just like the various organs and systems in your body, each strand of hair requires consistent nourishment.
Despite what people tell you, the nutrients you need for your hair are abundant in plant-based foods. Some of the primary nutrients that are necessary for hair growth include omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron, vitamins A, C, & E, and biotin. Check out the following list with some of our favorite foods for healthy hair growth.
Because flaxseeds are rich in omega-3s, which are essential for promoting hair growth, they are great to consume if you have thinner hair. They work to increase the hair’s elasticity and help to decrease breakage. Additionally, the oil from omega-3s helps to hydrate your scalp and omega-3s contain cells that actually line the scalp! Start adding them to smoothies, smoothie bowls, oatmeal, or homemade energy bars.
Protein is necessary if you want to promote hair growth, and beans are excellent sources of plant-based proteins. Because the protein is plant-based, your body can easily process it! Beans are also rich in iron, zinc, and biotin, all of which help to keep your hair healthy. You can add them to veggie bowls, soups, curries, and stews.
Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, or collards are all rich in iron, a mineral that hair cells need. This is why people with iron deficiencies tend to experience hair loss. If the body doesn’t have enough iron, not enough oxygen and other nutrients adequately transported to the hair roots, ultimately making hair strands weak. There are many ways to get greens into your diet, smoothies and salads being the easiest ways.
Speaking of iron, berries are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron! Vitamin C also works to naturally strengthen hair follicles and helps with the production of collagen. Raspberries and cranberries are especially beneficial because they are rich in biotin, which works to increase hair volume and growth. Lacking in biotin can contribute to thinning hair or discoloration of hair. Add these berries to smoothies or just eat them fresh!
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are abundant in beta-carotene! The vitamin A helps with the production of sebum, which is an oily substance that helps to moisturize the scalp and promote hair growth. Sweet potatoes are very easy to incorporate into your diet. You can boil them for a healthy mash, roast them in the oven, or you can even juice them if you are a juicer.