When you’re chowing down at your favorite burger joint or cruising through the snack aisle at the store, you’re probably not thinking about how your diet impacts your hair health. Before you take another bite, consider if you’re getting healthy nutrients for hair growth.
The Connection Between Food and Hair Health
Your hair, like any other part of your body, is made up of nutrients and minerals you eat. And if you’re eating something that’s not that healthy, your hair will suffer.
- Many unhealthy foods promote the production of free radicals. And free radicals can make your which can make your hair look less healthy, by making it thinner, drier, and more brittle.1,2
- Some unhealthy snacks, like those loaded with sugar, promote the production of chemicals that can stress your hair follicles. This can cause your hair to fall out.3,4
- A lack of healthy nutrients in your diet can be as damaging as what you do eat. Hair loss has been linked to diets that are too low in protein and other nutrients.5
Once you understand the connection between your diet and your scalp tresses, the next step is eating the right nutrients for hair growth and a healthy scalp.
The Best Foods for Your Hair
Next time you cook dinner, try to include some ingredients that will help promote healthy, luscious locks.
- Hair thrives when you have a diet that includes plenty of protein.6 Good sources of protein include eggs, beans, lean meat and seafood, and soy.7
- In order to grow in a healthy and beautiful way, hair needs a lot of iron and zinc.8 Foods like lean meat, beans, nuts, and vegetables are good sources of these nutrients.9,10
- The high vitamin and nutrient content in the Mediterranean diet, or a diet high in raw vegetables and fresh herbs, may help slow or prevent hair loss. Sounds like a good reason to chow down on vitamin-rich foods like a tasty pesto or salsa!11
- Your hair follicles will flourish when you’re eating hair growth vitamins, like B, C, E, and beta-carotene.12 Superfoods for your hair include salmon, dark green vegetables (like spinach), carrots, and eggs, which are loaded with healthy vitamins for hair.13
Now, the great thing about these nutrients for hair growth is that they’re already part of a healthy diet. You don’t have to choose between healthy hair and healthy skin, or any other part of your body.
Stay Away From These Hair-Damaging Snacks
Just as some foods are a dream come true for your locks, others can be a real nightmare. If you want to preserve your hair’s health, you don’t ever want to nosh on these unhealthy foods.
Greasy Foods: If you eat a diet high in grease, the skin on your scalp may get oilier, resulting in clogged hair follicles, thin hair, or even hair loss.14,15
Foods Containing Mercury: High amounts of mercury can lead to hair loss.16 Fish are a great source of healthy nutrients and you don’t want to cut them out of your diet entirely, so try to eat more sardines, scallops, and achovies, because these fish have low mercury content.17
Sugar: A diet high in sugar will make your body produce more DHT, a hormone that can cause hair loss.18 Any hair-healthy diet will keep your sugar intake to a minimum.
Everyone takes a cheat day here and there, so don’t panic if you’re obsessed with tuna melts. But your hair health will improve if you include some lean, healthy, protein-rich beans and raw veggies in your diet, too!
Food for Thought (And Your Locks)
Healthy nutrients for hair growth are just one part of caring for your tresses, along with using healthy products, and avoiding damaging heat. That said, when it comes time to review your hair care routine, know that it’s not complete unless it includes some snacks and meals loaded with hair vitamins.
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