17 Foods to Eat – Improve Your Hair

17 Foods to Eat – Improve Your Hair

A thick and fully grown hair is a common expectation among most of the men and women, regardless of their age.

While hair has its own growth cycle, many factors affect the rate of hair growth. Such factors include the genetics, the age, health condition, nutrition (diet) etc. Although many have disregarded the importance of a healthy diet, it is crucial for a healthy hair growth in humans.

The diet being a controllable factor when compared to other factors like age and genetics, adhering to a healthy diet could benefit a person in many ways. Sometimes they do not even realise that they are losing hair due to a poor diet plan.

In this article I will talk about nutrition dense food which can make your hair look thick and strong. However, be mindful that the hair loss due to genetics could not be overcome by a diet.

1. Eggs

The first item in the list is my most favorite source of protein, the eggs. When I say eggs, it’s not only the egg whites but the whole egg.

Yes, the egg yolk contains biotin which is important for healthy hair growth, and also has protein. Biotin is known to assist in the production of keratin in our body. Keratin is found in the cells making up the skin, hair and nails, providing a strong structural outlining to such cells. 

In a study, it was observed that the deficiency in biotin has led to hair thinning and weak hair in the test subjects [1]. Therefore keratin is important for the strength of the hair. 

Protein is important to repair the cells and tissues in the human body. Lack of protein in the body could lead to an increase in damaged cells and make them weak. As a result the hair will also be weak and will break off easily [2].

Do not over eat whole eggs. Especially since it has high amounts of cholesterol. Limit your intake to one egg or maximum of two eggs per day, if you have a moderate body activity level.

2. Spinach

Spinach is a powerhouse rich in iron, folate, magnesium, potassium and vitamin A all of which may directly and indirectly help to keep the hair healthy.

While iron helps the circulation of blood by producing haemoglobin, which will increase the supply of oxygen and blood to assist the cell growth in the hair. The folate will also help to repair the damaged cells in our body [3].

Spinach is also rich in vitamin A. The importance of Vitamin A for hair is that it helps the collagen synthesis process [4]. Collagen is a protein found in the cells and tissues of mammals including humans.

Collagen is required to keep the surface of the skin healthy. Further collagen helps the sebaceous gland to produce sebum, which is an oil that helps to keep the hair and scalp moisturized. 

However be mindful not to overdose the daily requirement of vitamin A (1300 micrograms per day), it also can lead to hair loss [5]

3. Meat

Meat is preferred by most individuals as a part of their meal. Meat is rich in protein and iron, which are important for the hair.

Protein provides strength and repair the damaged cells and tissues while iron will improve the blood and oxygen circulation within the body by increasing the level of haemoglobin.

In a research it was found out that low level of iron has lead to hair loss [6]

However meat also contains fat, which could lead to elevated levels of cholesterol if consumed over the limit. 

You can eat steak, turkey, mutton, lamb, chicken as a source of meat.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is preferred as breakfast by most individuals. Oatmeal is rich in protein, Vitamin E and iron. As discussed earlier protein and iron are both important for a healthy cell development, including hair. [7]

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties which helps the body to repair itself from the damage caused by the free radicals [8]

Try your best to avoid or minimize the use of instant oats with artificial sweeteners. Instead go for rolled oats, steel cut oats which have higher nutrition content.

5. Carrots

Carrot is a vegetable which is rich in various kinds of vitamins. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and biotin which are as discussed before, important for a strong and healthy hair growth.

Carrot

You could include carrot in your salad or eat with your other meals as a veggie. You could also make a juice out of carrot, but I personally believe that eating carrots row as veggie is better than making it a juice. This is since you would have to add sweeteners or sugar for juice, which may be unhealthy.

6. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in various kinds of nutrients including protein and iron [9]. Both protein and iron are crucial for healthy hair growth, as we discussed before.

However, in my personal opinion, I believe that flaxseeds are suitable only for women. In a previous article I have explained how flaxseeds could lead to a reduction in testosterone. This may decrease the sex drive in men.

Flaxseeds

7. Almond

Almond is rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamin E and biotin, all of which help to keep the hair strong and healthy.

The healthy fats in almonds will help to keep the hair bright and vibrant by nourishing the hair strands [10].

You could take almond in the form of plain milk and almond butter.

8. Barley

Barley is a cereal which is rich in various kinds of nutrients. Among such nutrients are protein and iron. As discussed before both protein and iron are crucial for hair.

Further barley contains vitamin E and B. We know that vitamin E has antioxidant properties which help to overcome the damage caused to the cells by the pollution and free radicals in the environment.

But how does vitamin B help hair? Vitamin B helps the cell metabolism or the cell activities. Further vitamin B helps the red blood cell formation and assists to carry out oxygen throughout the body.

The barley water also helps to cool down the body, especially during the summer. This cooling down effect helps against dehydration and protects the hair from drying.

9. Tuna, sardines and fatty fish

Tuna, sardines and fatty fish are rich in protein and iron. They are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

How does omega 3 help hair? Omega 3 fatty acids helps to protect the skin against sun burns, infections and help to keep the skin healthy including the scalp [11] [12] [13].

Further the research studies states that the omega 3 fatty acids will help to fight against hair loss and promote hair growth [14] [15].

10. Avocado

Avocado is a great source of healthy fats which help to keep the hair vibrant by nourishing the hair strands.

Further avocado is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties which assist the body to fight against the free radicals and the pollution. Further the experts suggest that vitamin C will help in the process of production of collagen.

This will help to keep the skin healthy and fresh, enabling a healthy hair growth.

11. Berries

Berries are loaded with vitamin C. As discussed before the antioxidant properties in the vitamin C help the body to fight against the damage caused by the free radicals [16].

Further it helps in the collagen production process which helps to keep the skin healthy. Further it helps to keep the hair strong and prevent brittles [17] [18].

Berries

The berries that you could consume include blueberry, blackberry, strawberry etc.

12. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is consumed as a dessert and is loaded with protein with little amount of fat. Protein helps hair growth by strengthening the hair and repairing the damage cells in the body.

13. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits including orange, lime, lemon etc. are loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B. While vitamin C helps the fight against free radicals and collagen production, vitamin B will assist the blood circulation within the body.

14. Pumpkin

Pumpkins are dense with vitamin A and vitamin C. Both of these vitamins are crucial for a strong and healthy hair growth, as we discussed before.

15. Peanuts and Walnuts

Peanuts and walnuts are great sources of healthy fats which helps the human body in many ways. As I mentioned before, healthy fats will help to keep the hair vibrant and strong by nourishing the hair strands.

Further both peanuts and walnuts are rich in vitamin E and biotin. Vitamin E improves the blood circulation and assists the body by helping to fight against free radicals which could damage the cells of our body.

Biotin will help in the production of keratin which is an important protein to provide strength and structure to the hair.

16. Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are dense with protein, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Protein helps the cells and tissues to repair while providing strength to them. Protein will strengthen the hair strands and minimize the brittles.

Iron improves the blood and oxygen supply to the cells in the body, including the hair by producing more haemoglobin.

Vitamin A will assist in the process of producing collagen and will help to nourish the hair with natural oils.

Vitamin C has the antioxidant properties which will help the fight against free radicals and also help the collagen production.

17. Chickpeas and lentils

Chickpeas and the lentils are highly rich in proteins which are important for the hair and the cells in the body.

Further chickpeas and lentils have iron, helping the blood circulation in the body. And small amounts of vitamin C which has antioxidant properties to fight against the free radicals.

Conclusion

Although we may give little importance to nutrition when it comes to the aspects related to hair growth and loss, nutrition does play a significant role.

Always make sure to include nutrition dense food in your diet to live a healthy life and to ensure a healthy hair growth.

If you are losing hair due to a nutrition deficiency, then adhering to a nutritious diet would help to overcome such a situation.

However, you should have an idea about the daily required level of above nutrients. Check out the values which are recommended by the British Nutrition Foundation for a healthy adult.

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