Of course choosing the right products is vital to the health and appearance of your hair, but we also often talk about diet, exercise, sufficient sleep, keeping stress at bay, and overall well being as equally important. Below we take a look at the healthiest foods you can eat to stimulate hair growth and keep those locks soft, shiny, and stunning. While taking vitamins and supplements like Biotin can help in this area as well, there's nothing like getting the goods straight from the source. We're even throwing in some delicious recipes incorporating the superstar hair health ingredients that you should be adding to your menu!
Hello vitamins (including C which helps produce collagen that keeps hair strong) and antioxidants which protect hair follicles against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.
Talk about delicious and nutritious!
Pro Tip: eat fruits and berries in the morning on an empty stomach and wait at least 30 minutes before eating anything else for optimal health benefits.
Sure Popeye wasn't known for his hair per se, but he was definitely on to something with eating all that spinach - it's loaded with beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which promote hair growth. Vitamin A also helps the skin glands produce sebum - the oily substance that helps moisturize the scalp to keep hair healthy.
Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, vitamin D3, and B vitamins - all nutrients that help promote strong and healthy hair.
Salmon is affordable, versatile, and easy to make - think smoked or high quality canned salmon on a crostini, in a salad, or protein bowl, or poached/steamed/baked salmon for dinner with veggies.
"This simple Honey Mustard Grilled Salmon is made with just 6-ingredients but packs a ton of flavor. The perfect recipe for summer barbecues or a quick and easy weeknight meal on the grill." —Davida
A great source of beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A), sweet potatoes should be your go-to for promoting the production of sebum, speeding up the rate of hair growth, and encouraging the growth of thicker hair, all while preventing hair follicles from regressing.
Hint: Simple roasted sweet potatoes would make a great side for the salmon recipe linked above. And don't be scared - these are a GOOD carb!
You probably saw this one coming. Avocados are a notoriously great source of healthy fats (including essential fatty acids) and vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
The obvious trendy and Instagram-worthy application is avocado toast of course. The possibilities are truly endless as far as bread types, toppings, and flavor combinations, but avocados are also great in smoothies, perfect for adding to a salad or bowl, or just on their own sliced up with some good olive oil, flaky salt, and red pepper flakes.
And don't forget GUAC - it is Labor Day Weekend, after all!
Another staple in the healthy fats category and great for snacking or tossing on basically anything, nuts are a yummy and convenient way to consume a variety of nutrients that promote hair growth: vitamin E, a wide variety of B vitamins, zinc, and essential fatty acids. They also reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease (an important concern for women, especially).
What can we say - we're nuts for nuts!
How about chopping some up and sprinkling on your avocado toast. Throw a jammy, poached, or hard boiled egg on there and serve with a spinach salad on the side and you've got yourself a recipe for healthy hair - literally.
Similar to nuts, seeds are so easy to incorporate into your diet in a myriad of ways. Best of all, they deliver a ton of happy hair nutrients (vitamin E, zinc, and selenium) with relatively few calories.
Seeds like flax and chia also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
Did you know that ONE yellow pepper provides nearly 5.5 times as much vitamin C as an orange? Vitamin C helps promote collagen production, which helps strengthen strands and is a powerful antioxidant. Sweet peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin A. 'Nuff said!
Yes they can get pricey, but oysters are one of the best food sources of zinc and shrimp are a great source of protein, B vitamins, zinc, iron, and vitamin D (all while being very low in fat).
Imagine a seafood fiesta with freshly shucked oysters and shrimp fajitas (incorporating those sweet peppers) served with a spinach/roasted sweet potato/avocado salad tossed with some nuts and seeds. Check, check, check!
On the much more affordable end, beans are super versatile and a great plant-based source of protein and zinc as well as iron, biotin, and folate.
Long overlooked, beans have been having a bit of a resurgence lately - especially during quarantine as they're so pantry friendly.
Consider us sold!
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