The condition of your hair reflects your inner health just like your skin. Therefore, your hair also requires a constant supply of key nutrients. Do you know that your hair grows about six inches a year? The rate at which hair grows is affected by factors such as age, health, genetics, and diet. While it’s hard to control your genes or your age, you can be sure that you’re eating right. Eating a balanced diet that contains the right nutrients can help promote hair growth, especially if you are experiencing hair loss due to poor nutrition. Below, we take a look at 10 foods that are essential for promoting hair growth.
1. Greek Yogurt: This protein-rich superfood is said to have been a staple in Greece and other cultures since 500 B.C. Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin B5, which is said to improve blood flow for the scalp and thus promote hair growth.
2. Spinach: Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss. Hair follicles and patterns grow with a nutrient-rich blood supply. Iron deficiency causes anemia, which disrupts the follicle’s supply of nutrients, which affects the hair growth cycle and can lead to hair loss. Spinach is a great vegetable source of iron, which is very important for hair growth. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to boost metabolism and aid in growth and repair. In addition to iron, these green leaves are rich in folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C, which help hair growth. Spinach also contains a fatty substance that acts as a natural hair conditioner. Wait, there’s more! It contains omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. All of these are best suited for hair growth foods, which keep your hair shiny.
3. Berries: A good diet for hair should ideally consist of a generous amount of foods that contain vitamin C as it helps in the production of collagen which strengthens the capillaries that nourish the hair roots. Berries are packed with compounds like antioxidants and vitamins that can promote hair growth. Strawberries are a rich source of this vitamin. Since it also helps with iron absorption, vitamin C-rich foods are good to eat when combined with iron-rich foods. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, so it is easily used by the body. Blackcurrants and raspberries are also excellent sources. Amla, or Indian gooseberry, is also high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which is why it is touted in Ayurveda as the best food for radiant skin and hair.
4. Eggs: Hair is made of protein. Therefore, a high-protein diet is essential for the overall health of your hair. A lack of protein can make your hair dry, brittle, and weak. Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss, dryness, and scaling of the scalp. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. It also contains zinc, selenium, and other hair-healthy nutrients, making them one of the best foods to eat to maintain optimal hair health.
5. Avocado: Vitamin E helps heal and repair cells. Avocados also come packed with this miracle factor. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. It also protects the scalp from damage in this way. Avocados are also packed with essential fatty acids, which are the building blocks of cells. A deficiency of essential fatty acids has been linked to hair loss.
6. Walnuts: Walnuts are an easy, low-calorie addition to your hair-healthy diet. It comes loaded with vitamins E and B, zinc, and essential fatty acids, all of which are essential for hair health and growth. Pistachios have been linked to helping treat male pattern baldness, and walnuts contain oils that contribute to the amount of elastin in hair. Elastin keeps hair smooth and prevents breakage.
7. Oatmeal: Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start your day off right. Oatmeal is highly nutritious and an excellent source of B vitamins, zinc, and copper, two of the most important micronutrients for promoting healthy hair. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which stimulate hair growth and make it thick and healthy. It is also a great source of dietary protein for vegetarians.
8. Lentils: Lentils are rich in protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, and lentils contain a lot of folic acids. The body needs folic acid to restore the health of red blood cells that supply the skin and scalp with oxygen that improves hair. It is a great source of protein for those who do not eat meat.
9. Carrots: Carrots are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A. This not only prevents your hair from becoming dry and dull but also stimulates the glands on the scalp to create sebum which helps to keep it in good shape. Most orange fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash do, but carrots take the cake.
10. Black sesame seeds: In traditional Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds are used to stimulate hair growth and restore hair color. Not surprisingly, black sesame seeds are loaded with copper and zinc. Copper is essential for the proper functioning of the body, including healthy hair growth. Insufficient copper intake can lead to hair loss and thinning. Copper is also believed to intensify hair color and delay hair graying. On the other hand, zinc plays a role in the production of new hair cells and in the maintenance of oil-secreting glands in the scalp that make hair shiny.
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