What people eat and drink is often directly apparent in their skin and hair. Acting as a mirror, these two canvases are the effects of lifestyle wellness and well-not. When people drop pounds fast with the latest fad diet, for instance, it could leave them with less-than-healthy-dry and thinning hair -- along with a growling stomach. Low-calorie diets are often low in some of the most important nutrients for healthy hair, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin A. In addition to stunting hair growth and leading to dullness, super-low calorie plans may even cause hair loss.
There are certain key vitamins and minerals that help hair grow with sheen and luster. Always remember, just like weight loss, nutrition is key to having optimum wellness, and that includes healthy locks and a manageable mane. Certainly, deep conditioning, washing the hair every two days, and misting it with serum may help your head of hair look like a superstar, but when it comes to foods for healthy hair and beauty, stick to the basics down below for a guaranteed “just stepped out of the salon” look, from the inside out.
May prevent the graying of hair.
Eggs, whole grain breads and cereals, cooked dried beans and peas, nuts, dates, potatoes, avocados, and cauliflower
Prevents brittle hair.
walnuts, salmon, tuna, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds
May help to lengthen hair by promoting hair growth.
lean meats, eggs, low-fat dairy products, beans/legumes
Helps the body to produce sebum, which keeps hair shiny and helps to prevent dandruff.
Kale, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe
Prevents hair loss.
Lean beef, poultry, lamb, whole grain cereal, oysters, beans, and crab/lobster
May help to thicken hair by promoting healthy hair growth.
low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, canned salmon, blackstrap molasses, turnip greens
May help hair to grow stronger.
egg (yolks), wheat germ, oatmeal, wholegrain bread, mushrooms, cauliflower, peanuts, and cheese
There are many supplements on the market for healthy hair, and though it is best to get these nutrients from fresh foods, supplements are very popular and often easier to take for many people. If taking supplements, know that they may contain mega-doses, in which you may be getting too much of a certain nutrient. This can actually have the reverse effect on the body and lead to hair loss.
You should have complex carbohydrates, which feed you energy over a longer period of time than refined carbohydrates, with your protein source at meals. Brown short-grain rice is an ideal form. It's also a good source of B vitamins and some fiber.
Eggs are a clean and healthy source of protein. They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.
Oysters are not only an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair. They have zinc which is a powerful antioxidant and hair boosting potential. In addition to getting zinc from whole grains and nuts, you can also get it from beef and lamb.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision.
Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, you'd be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.
Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp.
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds.
A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.
Chickens and turkeys may have feathers, but the high-quality protein they provide will help give you the healthy hair you crave.
Inadequate protein or with low-quality protein can lead to weak and brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color.
Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.
Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.
Spinach, like broccoli, mustard greens, kale and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner.
When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it's hard to beat salmon. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.
Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support the head, specifically the scalp and brain. A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull and drab look.
If you are a vegetarian, try fish oils, or include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.
Resources: WebMD, Self.com, MensHealth.com, NetDoctor.Co.UK, zeeNews.India.com, Oprah.com