Many people want strong and healthy hair.
Interestingly, your hair grows about 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month and 6 inches (15 cm) per year. How quickly it grows depends on factors such as age, health, genetics, and diet.
Although you can’t change factors like age and genes, diet is one of the things you can control. In fact, eating a diet that lacks the right nutrients can cause hair loss.
On the other hand, a balanced diet with the right nutrients can help promote hair growth, especially if you suffer from hair loss due to poor nutrition.
Here are the 10 best foods you can eat to promote hair growth.
Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, two nutrients that can promote hair growth.
Adequate protein intake is important for hair growth because hair follicles are primarily made up of protein. A lack of protein in the diet has been shown to promote hair loss
Biotin is necessary for the production of a hair protein called keratin, which is why biotin supplements are often marketed for hair growth. Research has also shown that consuming more biotin can help improve hair growth in people who are biotin deficient.
However, biotin deficiency is rare if you follow a well-balanced diet. There is little evidence to show that healthy people benefit from consuming more biotin
Eggs are also a great source of zinc, selenium, and other hair-healthy nutrients. This makes it one of the best foods to consume for optimal hair health.
Berries are full of beneficial compounds and vitamins that can promote hair growth.
This includes vitamin C, which has powerful antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants can help protect hair follicles from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules are found naturally in the body and the environment
For example, one cup (144 grams) of strawberries provides 141% of your daily vitamin C needs
The body also uses vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that helps strengthen hair to prevent it from becoming brittle and breaking
Additionally, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from the diet. Low iron levels can cause anemia associated with hair loss
Spinach is a healthy green vegetable rich in beneficial nutrients like folic acid, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which can promote hair growth
Vitamin A helps the glands in the skin to produce sebum. This oily substance helps moisturize the scalp to keep hair healthy
One cup (30 grams) of spinach provides up to 54% of your daily vitamin A needs
Spinach is also a great plant source of iron, which is essential for hair growth. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel metabolism and aid growth and repair
Additionally, iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss.
4. Oily Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel contain nutrients that can promote hair growth.
They are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to hair growth.
A study in 120 women found that taking a supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants, reduced hair loss, and increased hair density
Another study found that taking a fish oil supplement significantly reduced hair loss and increased hair growth in women with thinning hair
However, there are only a few studies on omega-3 fatty acids and hair growth. More studies are needed before health experts can make any recommendations.
Oily fish is also a great source of protein, selenium, vitamin D3, and B vitamins, nutrients that can help promote strong, healthy hair
5. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene. The body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is associated with good hair health.
A medium sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs
Research has shown that vitamin A increases sebum production, which helps maintain healthy hair.
In addition, vitamin A can also speed up the rate of hair growth and stimulate the growth of thicker hair, while also preventing the regression of other hair follicles.
Avocados are delicious, nutritious, and a great source of healthy fats.
They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which can promote hair growth. A medium avocado (about 200 grams) provides 21% of your daily vitamin E needs
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
In one study, people with hair loss experienced 34.5% hair growth after taking a vitamin E supplement for eight months
Vitamin E also protects areas of the skin, such as the scalp, from damage and oxidative stress. Damage to the skin on the scalp can lead to poor hair quality and a reduced number of hair follicles
Also, avocados are a great source of essential fatty acids. These fats cannot be produced by the body, but they are essential building blocks for your cells. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been linked to hair loss
Walnuts are delicious and convenient and contain a variety of nutrients that can promote hair growth.
For example, one ounce (28 grams) of almonds provides an impressive 37% of your daily vitamin E needs
In addition, they also provide a variety of B vitamins, zinc, and essential fatty acids. A deficiency in any of these nutrients has been linked to hair loss
Walnuts have also been linked to a variety of other health benefits besides hair growth, including reduced inflammation and reduced risk of heart disease
This makes walnuts a great and easy addition to your diet.
The seeds provide a large number of nutrients with relatively few calories. Many of these nutrients can also promote hair growth. They include vitamin E, zinc, and selenium.
One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds provides almost 50% of your daily vitamin E needs, along with a variety of hair-healthy B vitamins
In addition, some seeds such as flaxseed and chia also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of flaxseed provides 6,388 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. That’s more omega-3 fatty acids than half a fillet (178 grams) of salmon (16, 29).
However, flaxseeds provide a type of omega-3 fatty acid that the body does not use as efficiently as the omega-3 found in fatty fish. However, it is a great addition to the diet.
To get the greatest variety of nutrients, it is best to take a mixture of seeds.
Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help hair growth.
In fact, a yellow bell pepper provides nearly 5.5 times the amount of vitamin C found in an orange
Vitamin C helps increase collagen production, which can help strengthen hair strands. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect hair from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defense system. It has been linked to hair loss and hair graying
Additionally, bell pepper is also an excellent source of vitamin A.
This vitamin can help speed up hair growth while stimulating sebum production, which helps keep hair healthy.
Oysters are among the best food sources of zinc
Zinc is a mineral that helps support the hair growth and repair cycle
A deficiency of zinc in the diet can promote telogen effluvium, a common but reversible form of hair loss caused by a lack of nutrients in the diet
Studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can reverse the effects of hair loss caused by zinc deficiency
However, taking too much zinc can also cause hair loss. This is why getting zinc from foods like oysters may be better than taking supplements since foods provide zinc in small but healthy doses.
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