Most of us think that our health and beauty depend of what we put outside – moisturizers, nourishing treatments, oils, etc. While this is not totally wrong, and has its importance as an additional care, it is not the most important factor.
What really affects our beauty and health is the food we eat. Consider food as the building material for your body. Improving your diet is the only way to achieve strong and healthy hair.
But I have to warn you. If you want a beautiful hair, you should eat those healthy hair foods forever! All that matters is what you consume at the moment your hair grows, which is constantly. Once the hair becomes visible, it’s too late to repair, it has been built, period. As you know, hair grows about 1 to 3 cm per month and it may take longer to notice the positive effects of the healthy eating.
The best foods for healthy hair:
Without an adequate protein diet, your hair will grow weak because it is composed mainly of the protein keratin. There are different types of proteins. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs and dairy contain all those essential amino acids that the body can not produce it self. Fortunately, combining certain plant proteins found in the cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds can give all the essential amino acids in one meal.
The benefits for the entire body that omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids bring are numerous. Talking for the mane, these miraculous acids nourish dry and damaged hair, leaving it smooth and shiny, soothe itchy scalp prone to dandruff, psoriasis or eczema. The best source of omega-3 are cold water oily fish like herring, salmon, mackerel. Other good sources of omega-3 are the flax seed and some nuts. To deliver omega-3 you can use flax oil for the salad. One teaspoon contains 2.5 grams omega-3 – more than you will get from 150 g of herring. Walnuts and soybeans are also a good source of omega-3.
Iron plays a leading role in the delivery of oxygen to all cells of the body including hair as it is contained in the hemoglobin (the protein that forms red blood cells). The lack of this mineral can cause anemia, which leads to serious hair problems like lifeless hair and falling hair. Some of the iron-rich foods are chicken/beef liver, turkey, beef, chicken, sardines, tuna fish in oil, sesame halva, oat flakes, almonds, spinach, garbanzo beans, brown bread, green peas, dried apricots, dried peaches, prunes, raisins, beans. If you are vegetarian, combine vegetable products containing iron with foods rich in vitamin C, to help its absorption.
Not only helps the absorption of iron – vitamin C is very important for collagen production. This fibrous protein found in the connective tissue, as well as in skin and hair, gives structural integrity, strength and elasticity. Diet that includes fruits and vegetables will provide your body vitamin C.
B vitamins, especially folate, biotin (B7) and vitamins B6 and B12 are important for hair growth. Deficiency of B vitamins can lead to extraordinary hair loss, slow hair growth and weak locks.
Folate is found in food and Folic acid is its synthetic version which you can find for example in food supplements and vitamin complexes.
Good natural sources of B vitamins are:
Folate: avocado, asparagus, artichokes, beets, oranges, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, fresh pea, soybean, peas, lentils, turkey meat.
Biotin: cauliflower, carrots, bananas, liver, salmon.
Vitamin B6: green beans, bananas, lentils, veal, pork, chicken, salmon.
Vitamin B12: veal, lamb, beef, liver, mussels, oysters, fish, milk, egg yolks, cheese.
Both minerals zinc and copper are important for healthy hair.
Zinc is essential for the growth and recovery of tissues in the body including hair. Deficiency of zinc can lead to stunted growth, hair loss and dandruff.
Copper is a component of melanin, a pigment contained in the hair and in the skin. Deficiency of copper can lead to premature white hair.
Zinc and copper compete for absorption during digestion and should be taken together to maintain mineral balance in the body. Foods rich in zinc include animal proteins, shellfish, peanut, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, wheat germ. Copper is found primarily in the liver and oysters – foods that most people consume regularly. Other sources of copper are artichokes, avocados, bananas, garlic, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, potato, dried plums, tomatoes, whole grains.
Water is a fundamental necessity for every single cell of the body. Not only your mouth dries out – this happens with your hair too. Chronic dehydration can contribute to dry skin and scalp. The body hydrated inside out. So – drink water! Experts recommend eight glasses a day. However, if you drink much coffee, the need for water increases, since caffeine is a diuretic. Balance each cup of coffee with an additional glass of water.