Many people want strong and healthy hair, especially as we grow older. When it comes to thick, healthy hair, we are bombarded with tons of hair care products promising to improve the look and feel of our hair. However, many of us forget that proper nutrition is one of the important things to help nourish those gorgeous locks. So, before you go and spend another few hundred on professional treatments, cuts or products. Let’s look at the 10 best foods to boost hair growth together.
Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, two key nutrients in promoting hair growth. Eating an adequate amount of protein is vital for hair growth because hair follicles are made of mostly protein. Therefore, a lack of protein in the diet actually promotes hair loss. Biotin is vital for the production of keratin, which is why biotin supplements are often marketed for hair growth. So… get scrambling, poaching, frying and boiling!
Spinach is a healthy green vegetable that is loaded with numerous beneficial nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamins A and C, all of which promote hair growth. Vitamin A specifically helps the skin glands produce sebum. This oily substance helps moisturize the scalp to keep hair healthy. The iron in spinach is also essential for hair growth as it helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism and aid growth and repair. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to make a spinach salad, add some spinach to your smoothies or throw some into an omelette in the morning.
Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, meaning it can help keep those strands strong and long. Your body can’t actually make these healthy fats; therefore you need to get them from food or supplements. Besides supporting your hair growth, consuming salmon also reduces inflammation and protects you from diseases. Try one of these 16 Healthy Salmon Recipes from Good House Keeping.
Almond butter contains a wide range of nutrients such as protein, healthy fats and certain vitamins, all of which have been linked to hair health. More specifically, it is the vitamin E content in the nuts that researchers say is particularly good for keeping your locks thick and lustrous. Just a tablespoon of almond butter provides nearly 3.87 milligrams of Vitamin E! Try this Banana Almond Butter Smoothie.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene. The body converts this compound into Vitamin A, which you guessed it… is linked to good hair health. Vitamin A also promotes the production of sebum, same as our friend spinach. This Healthy Loaded Sweet Potato Recipe from Love & Lemons is our favorite way of consuming for Vitamin A.
Firstly avocadoes are just delicious, nutritious and a great source of healthy fats! They are also an excellent source of Vitamin E, which promotes hair growth. Like Vitamin C, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. Vitamin E also protects areas of the skin, like the scalp from oxidative stress and damage. Damaged skin on the scalp can result in poor hair quality and fewer hair follicles. Now you have an excuse to order that overly priced smashed avo at your local café.
Are you looking for a vegetarian or vegan source of omega-3? Well get excited because chia seeds are absolutely full of them! Not to mention fiber and antioxidants. This nutritional powerhouse is considered a complete protein, containing 20% more protein than soybeans, and helps promote beautiful and luscious locks. These tiny, shelf-stable seeds can easily be added to cereal, smoothies, puddings and even as a hearty-healthy boost in baked goods.
A half cup of your favorite squash contains just a mere 83 calories and less than a gram of fat. However, it is loaded with iron and beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A, which we now know is an important vitamin for hair growth and strength. Pumpkin is also full of Vitamins C and E, which help repair your body’s cells from damage. It’s probably time to get your Grandma’s Pumpkin soup recipe.
Like other plant-based foods, grapes contain polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, which help reduce cellular damage. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) found in grapes help to prevent dihydrotestosterone production, which is a main factor in hair loss. OPC also stimulates the growth of hair follicles. Eating about a cup of grapes per day can also help to protect your tissues from inflammation… talk about a win!
Chickpeas, Lentils, Beans and Peas
These four are all considered pulses, a.k.a the dry, edible seeds of vegetables. They’re packed with plant-based protein and fibre, making them super filling and often more cost-effective than buying meat. These items are also full of folic acid, which is one of the B-complex vitamins that help to keep hair healthy and renew cells vital for hair growth. Try pulse-based products like Banza pasta instead of the traditional refined-grain versions for a nutrition boost.
For more health & nutrition tips, click here.