The key to healthy, long, shiny hair is not wholly dependent on conditioner and hair shampoos. Factors such as age, genetics, diet, and environment play a significant role. The only factor you have control over is your diet.
Here are foods that improve your hair growth patterns and general hair health.
15 Foods For Hair Growth
Fatty fish contain omega-three fatty acids, essential for hair growth. Fatty fish include; mackerel, salmon, sardines, and herring. Fatty acids are vital for antioxidation, increasing your hair’s density and reducing hair loss (1).
Salmon contains vitamins B, D3, selenium, and protein nutrients that strengthen your hair and facilitate hair growth. Oysters, rich in zinc, are helpful in the repair cycle and hair growth.
Deficiency of zinc in the body leads to hair loss. Sardines provide vitamin D that curbs chronic and stunted hair growth.
Nutrients such as vitamins A, D, B12, Iron, and chlorine are present in an egg and are very crucial for hair growth. Zeaxanthin and lutein are carotenoids in an egg that maintain eye, skin, and hair health (2). The yoke contains vitamin D and biotin that facilitate hair growth.
Note that biotin deficiency leads to hair loss. Malnourished people, pregnant women, and people with gastrointestinal disorders may encounter biotin deficiency.
Seeds contain zinc, selenium, and vitamin E, enhancing hair growth. 28 g of sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins B and E (3). With only two tablespoons of chia and flax seeds, you can access up to 4.7 g of omega-three fatty acids.
Fenugreek seeds contain 23 g of protein which supplies up to 46% of the daily requirement. In addition, Fenugreek seeds reduce inflammation, lower body sugar, improve testosterone levels and increase milk production for lactating women.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, fatty oils, omega-3, vitamins, and proteins, which facilitate hair growth. Pumpkin seeds also contain vitamin K, which fastens the wound’s healing process. The zinc in pumpkin seeds improves the body’s immunity and helps in fighting diseases.
Meat is highly rich in protein. This protein strengthens the hair strand and helps hair growth. 100 g of beef contains 23 g-protein (4). Meat provides iron to the body, essential for the red blood cells to transport oxygen to hair follicles and other cells.
It is worth noting that excessive consumption of red meat causes heart illnesses, cancer, and diabetes. Therefore, regulated eating of steak is vital for general body health. Low levels of protein and iron in the body may result in hair loss (5).
Nuts are rich in nutrient biotin, protein, fiber, fatty acids, vitamin E, B, and zinc (6) that facilitate hair development. Examples include cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts.
Cashew nuts are rich in potassium which helps prevent hair loss by preventing the scalp from unnecessary hair shedding.
For vegetarians, nuts are the best replacement for meat as a source of protein. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium minerals that are fundamental for thyroid hormone production and hair growth.
Avocados are sweet and nutrient-full. They are a great source of vitamins K, B6, E, C, folate, magnesium, niacin, and riboflavin (7). With 200g of this fruit, you can have access to both antioxidant and hair growth benefits.
Vitamin E in avocados is essential for skin care which inescapably takes care of its hair follicles.
Avocados also contain healthy fats and biotin that are vital in nourishing and facilitating hair growth. Half an avocado will get you these benefits and keep you feeling fuller between meals.
Avocados are versatile and can be used in sandwiches or salads and other healthy recipes.
Spinach is among the healthiest vegetables. It has a vital vitamin A, C, folate, iron, and zinc dose. These nutrients contribute to strong and healthy hair. 30 g of spinach supplies the body with 20% of the daily value of Vitamin A. This vitamin reduces hair loss (8).
The iron present in spinach is crucial for hair growth. Iron also enables red blood cells to transport oxygen, repair worn-out body cells, and improve the rate of metabolism to constantly supply your body with sufficient energy for daily physical activities (9, 10).
8. Whole Grains
Refined carbohydrates are not the best sources of zinc, vitamin E, and iron, considering the many related health issues. Whole grains are the way to go, any day. In addition to these nutrients, whole grains provide silica, a beautiful mineral. This mineral supplies required nutrients to scalps and hair follicles to ensure growth and strength (11).
Buckwheat is an example of whole grain that is rich in necessary minerals to enhance hair growth. Other whole grains include barley, corn, wheat, and rice. Whole grains reduce constipation due to their fiber content.
They also lower the risk of cardiovascular ailments, stroke, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and chronic inflammation, and enhance healthy digestion.
The excellent news to vegetarians is that legumes are the safest plant protein source. Examples include lentils, chicken peas, and beans. Legumes are readily available and easy to prepare.
They are not only rich in protein which is crucial for hair health, but also copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, carbohydrates, vitamins, and folate, which increase hair density and darken it (12). Enjoy your legumes in various home made recipes.
10. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is more beneficial when unsweetened. Take your Greek yogurt in the mornings as smoothies or savory fare. Probiotics are the primary nutrient in Greek yogurt and are essential for healthy hair growth and repair processes (13).
Greek yogurt also contains selenium, vitamin B12, and calcium nutrients for hair growth and strength. Preparing Greek yogurt is also beneficial to your pocket. A liter of low-fat milk and a glass of plain yogurt saves you money and balances your diet.
11. Sweet Pepper
Sweet pepper finds its way into this list due to its vitamin C nutrient content which is an antioxidant mineral. This mineral is essential for hair growth. Yellow pepper supplies up to 456% of vitamin C of the daily value (14).
Collagen produced by vitamin C is what you require to strengthen your hair. For healthy hair, consider sweet pepper, which has vitamin A that grants healthy hair by producing sebum. Daily consumption of pepper boosts the rate of metabolism and reduces constipation and nausea.
Berries are greatly rich in vitamins such as vitamin C, which enhances hair growth. The presence of vitamin C provides antioxidants that fight against free radicals. 144 g of strawberries grants 113%-vitamin C of the daily value.
Vitamin C promotes collagen production for strong and brittle hair (15). It also helps produce iron which reduces both hair loss and anemia. Enjoy high fiber, low cholesterol, and good skin care by including berries in your diet.
13. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which converts vitamin A into the body for hair growth. A medium-sized sweet potato provides 160% of the required vitamin A levels (16).
Science shows that high amounts of vitamin A in the body increase sebum production, which promotes hair health (17). Sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamins. These minerals are useful in the promotion of vision, brain, and gut health.
14. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are the best sources of vitamin C. Citrus fruits include sweet oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and mandarins. They are a great source of fiber and calories, reduce the risk of kidney stones, and help fight cancer (18).
A lemon a day is enough to supply the daily value of vitamin C. If lemons and limes are not your favorites, opt for sweet oranges. Vitamin C produces collagen, which strengthens your hair and makes it healthier.
Since vitamin A is essential in hair growth and general hair health, automatically, carrots find their way to the list of foods you should consider for hair growth. Enjoy carrots raw, cooked, or blended to make carrot juice or other carrots recipes.
A cup of carrot juice supplies the body with 7.6% of the required vitamin A levels.
Vitamin A produces sebum oil which feeds hair growth follicles (19). The growth of hair follicles in turn causes hair growth.
Carrots also reduce the risks of cancer, gastrointestinal illnesses, heart diseases, blood pressure, and osteoporosis, and boost one’s vision and immune system.
What Should I Drink to Treat Hair Loss?
Some of these fruits may have a tangy or sour taste, but they contain vitamin E, which is essential for hair growth (21).
- Kiwi fruit juice
- Lettuce juice
- Dried parsley leaves
- Beetroot juice
- Ginger juice
- Cucumber juice
- Apple juice
Are Commercial Hair Foods Effective?
There is no scientifically proven commercial hair food that aids in hair growth. Hair loss shows a deficiency in biotin, vitamins A, C, B, iron, and riboflavin (22).
Therefore, no chemical can be applied to the skin to cure that. Add the above-discussed foods to your meals daily.
Strong, long, and healthy hair depends greatly on your diet. Foods rich in vitamins A, B, and C, proteins, iron, biotin, and fatty acids are what you should incorporate into your menu for general hair health. Thanks to this article, you know 15 types of foods from where to source these nutrients.