Hair-Friendly Foods You Should be Sneaking into Your Diet

Conditioning treatments and nourishing masks aside, there are ways that you can improve your hair health from the inside. Giving your hair the nourishment that it needs by including the right foods in your diet is an all-rounder way to diversify your eating habits and get beautiful hair at the same time.

It’s true that not all of us have the time or energy to prepare a delicious meal out of hair-friendly ingredients, but there’s no harm in improving your menu to try new foods, especially if the benefit is that you get better hair.

Your Hair Needs Nutrition

Just like any other part of your body, your hair requires essential nutrition as well so that it thrives and stays healthy. Compromising on a balanced diet means taking that away from your hair; so, we’ve gathered up information on all the best foods that you can add to your grocery list to help improve your luscious locks. To make sure you don’t have to go out of the way to get some of these ingredients, we added some of the most affordable foods and ingredients to the list.

The Foods You Need to Be Eating for Healthier Hair

It is time to upgrade your shopping list and take some notes, ladies. We’ll list down some of the beneficial foods and what special nutrients they contain.

Leafy Greens like Spinach

Rich in iron, leafy greens like iron should be a staple part of your grocery list. Hair cells require iron in order to thrive while deficiencies can result in hair loss. Without adequate iron, the body won’t be able to transport nutrients and oxygen to critical parts of the body. To reduce iron consumption, your body will inhibit hair growth, making strands weak.

Add Tangerines to Your Cart

Citrus fruits like tangerines are rich in vitamin C, which may not seem like an important ingredient in the hair growth process. However, it does influence iron absorption from foods like spinach, giving it a more important role than you think. Replace processed foods in your diet and snack on fresh fruits like tangerines instead.

Are you in the Mood for Mackerel?

Fish protein that contains omega-3 fatty acids is highly beneficial for skin and hair. A whopping three percent of the hair shaft is made out of omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll even find them in the membranes of the cells lining your scalp, and the natural oils that help keep your hair tangle free and shiny. Usually, salmon is boasted as the best choice when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, but it turns out that underrated options like anchovies, mackerel, and sardines work better.

Sweet Potatoes for the Win!

These sweet tubers are gaining popularity for their low-calorie count, amazing taste, and ability to stay light on the waist. In case you didn’t know, they’re a hair-friendly superfood. They are rich in antioxidant carotenoids like beta-carotene. Once you consume foods containing beta-carotene, it converts to vitamin A, which helps in producing the oils your scalp secretes. Not consuming enough of it will give you an extra flaky scalp and terrible dandruff problem.

Or Just Much on a Carrot

In case you’re looking to add a tasty snack or side to your meals, look no further than carrots. Like sweet potatoes, they’re rich in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for a healthy scalp.

A Bit of Almond Butter  

Admittedly, almond butter isn’t the tastiest nut butter, but when paired with the right foods like bananas, they make an awesome combination. Most importantly, it’s rich in vitamin E, which works like magic to keep your hair looking shiny and luscious. According to studies conducted to test the effectiveness of vitamin E on hair health, subjects who consumed supplemental vitamin E everyday experience a whopping 42 percent increase in hair growth.

Organ Meats like Liver

If you enjoy preparing organ meats, you’ll be pleased to know that livers contain the largest amount of biotin, which is a critical proponent for hair growth. Biotin is necessary for producing required proteins that aid in hair growth. In addition, liver meat contains the highest amount of iron, in case you were wondering. So getting a boost of iron by enjoying some protein will actually benefit your hair, after all.

Or Have Some Nuts and Seeds

If you don’t have the stomach for meats, you’ll be pleased to know that whole grains and nuts come a close second with high levels of biotin. Prepare a mix of nuts like almonds and walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds as a healthy snack to munch on when you’re waiting for your next meal.

In addition, vitamin E-rich nuts like walnuts can help protect the body from harmful UV rays whenever you go out in the sun, which can cause hair damage at the DNA level. Walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain scalp health, and copper, a beneficial color sustainer.

Eggs All Day, Eggs Everyday

Eggs are considered an all-rounder food that contains all the essentials of a balanced diet but most importantly, it contains healthy fats and protein. Your hair is made up of protein, so adding protein-rich foods like eggs to your diet is a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter if you like to eat scrambled eggs for breakfast or like to add a poached egg to your plate as a side, it’s easy to whip up eggs for any occasion. Sulfur helps in vitamin B absorption and collagen synthesis, which keeps hair strong and shiny.

Some Delicious Greek Yogurt

It’s no coincidence that ancient Greek statues boast amazing hair, especially since protein- containing Greek yogurt was a staple part of their diet. The science behind this is that it contains protein and pantothenic acid i.e. vitamin B5, which is crucial for supporting blood blow to your scalp.

No Meat, No Protein? Answer: Quinoa

For all of our vegetarian and vegan friends looking to increase their protein intake minus the meat, quinoa is the answer you’re looking for. It’s a complete protein that comprises all nine amino acids and is packed with vitamin E. Compared to rice, quinoa offers far more nutritional value in each serving. Vitamin E boosts hair growth, and also promotes sebum and scalp oil production, that prevents tangles and keeps your hair shiny.

Avocados: the Millennial Superfood

It can be difficult to add staples rich in omega-3 fatty acids, to your diet, especially when you’re practicing a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fortunately, avocados are the trendiest and most Instagram-worthy superfood you’ll find at the grocery store. Aside from protein, they also contain vitamin E to increase follicle activity and ultimately, hair growth. Moreover, avocados are a great source of monosaturated fats that are beneficial for your heart. You can eat them as a side or a main dish, or even add it to your smoothie.

Mix it up with Some Lentils

 Although we’ve mentioned quinoa and avocados as protein-rich foods that vegetarians and vegans can enjoy, it simply isn’t enough variety. That’s why adding lentils to your basket is the best way to gain healthy nourishment for your hair while staying on a budget. Let’s not forget that avocados aren’t cheap, so having affordable and inexpensive items on the list makes it much easier to diversify your plate.

Lentils are rich in protein, phosphorus, fiber, folate, iron, and potassium. The iron in lentils helps the blood deliver oxygen and nourishment around the body. Keeping up with your body’s iron requirements by consuming lentils also means preventing unwanted hair loss, so it’s a win-win situation. They taste great in a salad, stew, or prepared as a soup, just make sure that you season them generously.

How About Some Chia Seeds?

It’s true that numerous seeds contain beneficial nutrition for your hair, but chia seeds often don’t get the attention they’re due. They’re considered a valuable food that comprises all the essential nutrients your hair needs. Just a few tablespoonfuls deliver a boost of hair-friendly nutrients. It contains a concentrated amount of omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to scalp pH, shine, and oils. Another mineral that chia seeds contain is calcium, which stimulates the hair shaft to grow. Lastly, they contain antioxidants that protect your scalp and hair follicles from damage by free-roaming radicals.

Magic Beans to the Rescue

Beans such as the kidney and soy varieties contain zinc, which is a beneficial mineral for better hair growth. If your body is deficient in zinc, it can lead to the deterioration of protein that makes up your hair, which means brittle and fragile hair strand, and more split ends. Weakened follicles can lead to excessive shedding and hair loss, and this damage is difficult to reverse. Zinc is an essential component in the body’s process of producing RNA and DNA, which consequently has an impact on the division of cells in the hair follicle. Adding beans to your diet is a great way to introduce beneficial minerals like zinc to your diet, so how about starting now?

Guava Fruit for Your Hair Woes

Although we’ve covered tangerines, you should know there are plenty of other Vitamin C sources you can rely on, such as guava. It may not seem like it, considering the fruit’s thick and gooey texture, but its vitamin C content rivals that of citrus fruits. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that protects the body from the effects of oxidative stress, which is caused by free-roaming radicals. By eliminating these radicals, vitamin C allows increased collagen synthesis, an important protein that helps in hair growth. Just a reminder, vitamin C helps with iron absorption too, so it’s directly related to getting luscious locks.

A Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Who would’ve thought that the popular holiday spice would be the perfect ingredient to boost hair growth? It turns out, cinnamon acts as a stimulant that helps in increasing blood flow. Although it works well if you apply it to your hair as a topical treatment, adding it to your food can stimulate the hair follicles to increase cell division, which means enhanced hair growth.

Add Some Chick Peas to your List

These adorable peas are far more beneficial than being the main ingredient for houmous (a Middle Eastern dip that also works as a spread). Chickpeas are rich in vitamin B9 (folate) i.e. a single cup of cooked chickpeas contains over 1000 micrograms of folate. Folic acid is considered a crucial supplement for pregnant mothers. Why? Because of its unmatched ability to enhance cell growth. Similarly, it increases cell division inside hair follicles and protects the color from premature graying.

What You Shouldn’t Be Eating

Aside from hair-friendly foods that can give your long tresses an extra boost, you need to be wary of the dangerous foods that can cause some serious damage to your strands. These foods can such the nourishment out of your hair and counter the nutrition that beneficial foods provide.

Stay Away From the Sugar

For starters, you need to lay low on the sugar, because they hinder optimum protein absorption and sustain oxidative damage. The same applies to seemingly ‘sugar-free’ and ‘low sugar’ alternatives, sweeteners can do just as much damage, if not more.

Say Bye to Greasy Fast Food

Consuming food that’s cooked in lots of oil, such as French fries and fried chicken, can lead to a greasy scalp and skin, which clogs your hair follicles and pores. This causes hair loss and you don’t want that, do you?

We Wouldn’t Recommend the Swordfish

Next time you go to a restaurant, be careful as to the kind of fish you order. While salmon and anchovies are fine, bigger fish like swordfish are not. This is due to the high mercury levels that you can find in these species, which leads to hair loss. Make sure you stick to fish that lies on the bottom of the food chain because they live shorter lives and have less exposure to mercury.

The Main Takeaway

Keep a balance. If you rely on the seasons to get good and affordable produce, you’ll always find some hair-friendly foods to eat throughout the year. And when you’re short on time, just take a Kerotin Hair Growth Formula Vitamin, it’s the easiest route to better hair.