Although not everyone has a flowing healthy mane due to genetic and other factors, everyone loves a good head of hair. Healthy hair is a big deal and this is why the global hair care industry is valued at 87.7 billion dollars. The interesting thing is that caring for our hair can be as simple as ensuring our diet is on point.
While factors like age and genetic makeup cannot be changed, diet is one thing you have control over. In fact, consuming a diet lacking the right nutrients is one of the major factors that can lead to hair loss.
So how can you maintain healthy hair?
Eating food with a balance of the following nutrients – protein, vitamins, and minerals, will supply your hair with all that it needs to remain shiny, lustrous and strong…
Hair is made of protein so ensuring you have enough of it in your diet is important if you want to keep it strong and healthy. If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Also go for chicken, turkey, fish and dairy products.
While also rich in protein, beans are also a great source of iron, which is an especially important mineral for hair. Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss because the hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient-rich blood supply. As such, inadequate iron levels (serum ferritin) will lead to anemia which disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding.
Fatty Fish (Omega-3)
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids which are important nutrients our fats the human body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp. They also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Other oily fish like sardines and trout, as well as fruits like avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts, are very rich in Omega-3s.
Sweet Potatoes (Vitamin A)
Sebum is an oily substance created by our hair’s sebaceous glands. It’s like a natural conditioner and its production is dependent on Vitamin A. Without sebum, you’ll likely experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. Orange/yellow colored vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A).
Nuts (Vitamin E)
We spend a lot of time outdoors and in this part of the world, we get a lot more sunlight than others. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage our hair but foods rich in vitamin E provide protection for your hair. Nuts are tasty, nutritional powerhouses rich in Vitamin E, zinc and selenium so try to include them in your diet.
Spinach (Vitamin C)
Spinach is a super-powered vegetable loaded with beneficial nutrients like vitamins C and A as well as folate, all of which promote hair growth. It is also a great plant-based source of iron, which is essential for hair growth. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism and aid growth and repair.
Your hair health also depends on your diet and a lack of the nutrients mentioned above – vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein, and essential fatty acids may slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss. Ensuring they’re included in your diet will aid your hair growth and health.