It is human tendency to associate our sense of identity to the way we look, the clothes we wear and by extension, the way we style our hair. Our hair therefore acts like a tool with which we communicate the message as to who we are as individuals. Also, a healthy looking mane is widely perceived to be an indicator of good health. Many of us therefore invest our time and money towards hair maintenance. But did you know that eating certain foods can help you in your pursuit for healthy hair maintenance? Here are a list of eight important nutrients that could help your hair.
Hair is made up of a protein called as keratin. If you have hair that tends to break easily or if you have a lot of split ends, it could be an indication that your hair needs protein. Protein can help make your hair stronger and grow longer which will in turn make it look healthier. There are many easily available protein rich foods that you can consume like eggs, almonds, fish, Greek yogurt, chicken breast or soybean products.
Iron deficiency causes the body to produce lower amounts of hemoglobin in our blood. Hemoglobin is vital as it acts as a carrier of oxygen to aid growth and repair of our cells. This includes the cells that are present at our hair follicles. Therefore a deficiency of iron in the blood could result in hair loss. Including foods rich in iron in our diet like green leafy vegetables like spinach, dried fruits, beans, peas, and seafood.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids reduces inflammation at the hair follicles which in turn promotes healthy hair growth. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in both animal and plant foods. Some of the foods that contain a good source of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, flax seeds, most fish varieties, soybean, walnuts, mayonnaise, edamame, kidney beans, baked beans, whole wheat bread, eggs and milk.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron which in turn helps check hair fall. Vitamin C is known to have antioxidant properties which ensures better blood circulation. This implies more oxygen for cell growth including hair cell growth. Vitamin C also helps in the production of collagen which is essential for healthy hair. Citrus fruits, black pepper, red pepper, and berries are great food sources of vitamin C.
Zinc helps prevent hair loss and can aid in division of hair follicle cells. Spinach, beef, flax seeds, kidney beans, shrimp and oysters are some sources of zinc that you can try.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is also known for its antioxidant properties. It can even be applied directly onto the scalp to help reduce inflammation and promote growth. Some vitamin E rich foods include almonds, avocado, sweet potato, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and palm oil.
Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin and is often added in several hair products and is meant to help in hair growth and bring back some moisture and life to brittle and dull hair. Biotin also helps in the production of amino acids which is essential for hair growth. Biotin deficiency can cause the hair to loose its thickness. Some biotin rich foods include eggs, almonds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.
8. Vitamin A
Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, it helps prevent dryness of scalp and is known to be good for hair growth. But there have been several reports that indicate that excess vitamin A can lead to hair loss. Essentially, too much of a good thing can be bad. Ensure you don’t eat unusually large portions of vitamin A. Some vitamin A rich foods include tropical fruits, fish, sweet potatoes, lettuce and carrots.