Eat Smart For Healthy Hair
It has actually been shown that certain nutrients in certain foods actually keep your hair strong and beautiful. What this means is that even though you are using all the right products and doing all the right things when it comes to hair care, it may not make a difference if you are lacking the nutrients your hair desperately needs. We've created a quick guide with all of the best foods to give you hair that is healthy, long and strong.
Chicken, Spinach, and Red Peppers
Spinach and chicken are excellent sources of iron and should be the items you first load onto your plate. Iron aids your body's red blood cells in transporting oxygen to your hair follicles. A constant flow of oxygen is crucial for healthy hair. When it comes to iron, it's best to try and get it from both plant and animal sources.
Another tip is to eat fruits or vegetables along with your iron-rich fused diet. The Vitamin C in your fruits and veggies increases the amount of iron your body can absorb, so adding red peppers to your chicken and spinach will significantly increase the benefits.
Known better for being an aphrodisiac, oysters actually give you a generous helping of zinc, which is essential for many body functions. Zinc aids the cell division that must take place in order for healthy hair to grow, and low levels can even lead to hair loss. Since a zinc deficiency has been linked to certain scalp conditions and thinning hair, you may want to increase the number of zinc-rich foods you are taking in each day.
Just one oyster fulfills your entire daily zinc requirement, but we know they can be somewhat of an acquired taste. If the thought of eating oysters does nothing good for you, you'll be happy to know that your zinc needs can also be met through 3 ounces of lean pork or beef. You can also just fill your requirement for the day with some fortified cereal at breakfast.
Add some rich color to your plate as you eat healthy for your hair. These bright orange veggies are filled with beta-carotene; a carotenoid that converts to Vitamin A. This vitamin is responsible for regulating the production and turnover of cells. New cells replacing dead ones after they've been sloughed off is a major contributing factor for normal hair growth and a healthy scalp.
Since beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant, it also protects the skin on your scalp from UV rays as you go about your day. To make sure you get your daily dose of beta-carotene, a baked sweet potato is a great snack. Other good sources include carrots, apricots, squash, or cantaloupe. A good way to get everything you need from your daily fruits and veggies is to load your plate with as many colors as possible.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is just as good for your hair as it is for your body. The majority of hair is made up of keratin, which is also a protein. This means that getting enough protein in your diet is essential to keep your hair strong and growing. Hair growth occurs in a cycle, which includes the shedding of old hair so that new hair can grow.
If your diet is lacking in protein, the re-growth process could take much longer and make your hair look thinner. Eggs are amazing for your overall health, since they also provide excellent sources of zinc, iron, and B-vitamins. These vitamins help your food metabolize faster, which means that what you eat is converted into energy faster. Your body needs energy to perform all of its many functions; including the growth of your hair.
Focus specifically on Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin B-6 since these carry the nutrients from your diet to your hair follicles. Try to eat 3-5 eggs per week as well as poultry, lean meat, fish, and lentils, which also provide protein and B vitamins.
When it comes to nutrition, salmon is almost always at the top of the list of must-eats. This fish offers excellent levels of omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, iron, and protein. Omega 3's are amazing for hair, and act like a deep conditioning treatment from the inside out. They keep up the moisture levels in your scalp and hair, keeping it nice and shiny.
To get the full benefits that salmon has to offer, you should be eating it at least twice a week. You can also choose other fatty fish like mackerel, trout, or sardines. If seafood makes you queasy, substitute the fish for two tablespoons of flaxseed in smoothies or oatmeal. There are so many hair-healthy foods, that you are sure to find something you can work into almost every meal to eat healthy.
Looking good begins with feeling good, so eat healthy to look and feel your absolute best!
Updated October 26, 2011