For healthy looking hair the first-place people usually turn to is buying a new shampoo or conditioner. Often these products promise to thicken hair, prevent breakage and accelerate hair growth, where in fact your diet plays a key important role in maintaining the health of your hair and should be the first place to turn to when looking to improve the health of your hair. One of the most noticeable impacts of nutrient deficiencies is hair loss, breakage or thinning and as our body continues to create more hair from the nutrients in your food, it’s important to eat a diet containing different vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats that help support healthy hair growth. Here are some foods that contribute to the health of your hair:
Your hair is mostly made up of a protein called Keratin. This protein also makes up your nails and skin and is sourced from the foods we eat. This is why a key aspect to growing hair is having protein rich sources in the diet.
Excellent sources of protein include chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products and eggs as along with vegetarian sources such as legumes and nuts.
These are very important fats that our body cannot make itself, therefor they must be obtained through diet. Omega 3’s form the cells that protect the scalp and help keep hair hydrated.
Rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, nuts and seeds, kidney beans, edamame, fish oil, flaxseed oil, avocado and tofu.
Biotin is a mineral that helps support healthy hair, skin and nails. A Biotin deficiency can often lead to loss of hair and thinning so taking Biotin supplements or eating a diet rich in foods containing Biotin is vital for strengthening hair.
Excellent sources of Biotin include eggs, whole-grains, red meat, organ meats, nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of Biotin are found in vegetables than animal-based products, but some great sources include spinach, sweet potato, mushrooms and broccoli.
The roots of your hair are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply. Low iron levels and severe anaemia can disrupt this and cause hair loss due to a low nutrient supply to the hair follicles. A high bioavailability of iron is required for bodily functions including the supply of nutrients to your scalp and hair.
Foods containing high amounts of Iron include red meat, chicken, fish, nuts and seeds, lentils, beans and leafy greens including spinach, broccoli, kale and chard.
Vitamin C is not only a powerhouse vitamin used to support our immune system and protect us from infections and diseases. Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron and production of Collagen which strengthens hair cells and prevents damage.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include berries, oranges, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, tomatoes, sprouts and peppers.
Sebum is a natural substance created and secreted through our sebaceous glands of the scalp which acts as a natural conditioner to keep the scalp hydrated. Vitamin A provides nutrients to make Sebum and without it our scalp can become itchy and flaky.
Food sources rich in Vitamin A include eggs, fortified cereals and milks, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, kale, liver and fish.
Many factors can contribute to the health of your hair and your diet is one of them. A change in growth, thickness and appearance can be the first indication of a nutrient deficiency so if you are concerned about hair loss or any other issues It’s really important to talk to your GP to determine why and get treatment for this immediately.