Something about a healthy, thick head of hair signals a healthy person. The health of your hair is often related to the health of your body. Like your skin, your hair can indicate deficiencies and disease. While shampoos and conditioning treatments may improve the appearance of your hair, treating it from the inside will provide lasting results. This is why you must know the diet for healthy hair, and what food and nutrients to consume to make your hair healthy.
“Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat. If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body — inside and out,” Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a dietitian says.
Overall good health and well-regulated hormones lead to thick, shiny hair. When you eat an optimal diet of natural foods and minimal additives, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors, you will see healthier hair. It’s pretty simple to see how a diet for healthy hair really can work.
But what herbs, vitamins, and foods in particular can improve the condition of your hair?
Diet for Healthy Hair – Top 7 Foods and Nutrients
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Chalk up another benefit for omega-3’s. These fats are excellent for scalp health and can reduce dry scalp, leading to shinier hair. Find it naturally in fish like salmon and sardines, or walnuts and flax.
2. Biotin – Biotin is a B vitamin that is needed to keep hair from being brittle. Other B vitamins including B12 and B5 are also good for healthy hair. Consider a B-vitamin complex supplement or eat B-rich foods like legumes (beans), brazil nuts, and oats.
3. Selenium – A trace mineral we don’t usually hear a lot about, selenium is important for immune function but can also promote healthy hair and fingernails. It is also used in hair loss formulas often. Find it in the highest concentrations in brazil nuts, but also in cod and tuna.
4. Zinc – A lack of zinc can weaken the hair shaft, leading to hair loss. It’s presence can smooth the surface of the hair, strengthening and shining it. Zinc can be found naturally in peanuts, dark chocolate, and pumpkin seeds.
5. Vitamin A – Vitamin A doesn’t just promote healthy vision, it encourages a healthy scalp too, helping your hair from the source. Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, as are other dark colored green and orange vegetables.
6. Water – Yes, I know water is not a vitamin or a mineral, but it is crucial to your overall health, is important in maintaining healthy skin and nails, and should be added to a diet for healthy hair. Dehydration leads to dry skin and scalp, so drink plenty of water every single day – about 8, 8oz glasses.
7. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Dark leafy greens like broccoli, spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. Both these vitamins help your body to produce sebum, your body’s natural hair conditioner secreted by hair follicles.
Another tip? When engaging in a diet for healthy hair, variety is key. Your hair is a symbol of your health. And whether you keep it cropped close or have long, flowing locks, keeping it healthy is simple with a natural, whole food diet.