Craving thick, beautiful, lustrous hair? It all starts in the kitchen! Although quality hair care products can do a lot to counteract the effects of the environment and styling tools, the best way to get the locks you’ve always wanted is to nourish your hair from the inside out. Nothing compares to eating a colorful diet filled with a variety of nutrients from quality fruit, vegetable, and protein sources. Unfortunately, a modern, fast-paced lifestyle often leads to less than ideal eating habits, disrupting the growth of delicate strands leaving them dry, thin, limp, or brittle. In addition, age, health conditions, and stress can impact the health of your hair, leading to flakes, breakage, and hair loss. Whether you just want to maintain the head of hair you have, or you're looking for a full mane overhaul, integrating the following nutrients into your diet can have significant cumulative effects over time.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Just as their name implies, essential fatty acids are essential for healthy hair and scalp. Omega-3s are fatty acid superstars, providing critical nutrients for growing hair, maintaining a healthy scalp, and keeping everything hydrated from root to tip. Our bodies cannot make essential fatty acids, so we must get them from food sources. Wild-caught salmon, trout, avocado, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are all good ways to get the omega-3s you need for silky, shiny hair. Supplements are also a great option, but make sure you consult your doctor first and choose top quality fish oils with good distillation practices to make sure they are free of toxins that can negatively impact your health.
Diets rich in iron can feed your scalp and help stimulate hair growth at the follicle. But unless you’re treating an iron deficiency under the guidance of your doctor, aim to get your iron from food sources such as spirulina, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and spinach instead of supplements. You can also consume lean meats, preferably grass-fed or wild game, as animals fed diets close to their native diets have lower saturated fat and higher nutritional content, including important vitamins such as B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Blackstrap molasses is another great source of iron as well as other minerals important for hair health. In fact, you just might find that this simple addition to your diet could reverse hair graying if taken daily. But don’t take our word for it! Search the web for success stories or go ahead and try it for yourself. Banish those pesky grays!
No matter what source of iron you choose, make sure to also eat foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C not only stimulates collagen, but it also aids the body’s ability to absorb iron. Citrus fruits, strawberries, papaya, guava, and kiwi are all great sources, as are yellow peppers and kale.
It’s important not to forget minerals such as zinc, which can be found in other hair-friendly foods such as beef and salmon. We also love pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, blackberries, soybeans, and avocados for their high zinc content. Oysters happen to also be an excellent source for this vital nutrient, and as far as we are concerned, what more could you want from a famous aphrodisiac than incredibly sexy hair?
Making these simple changes can lead to healthy, gorgeous hair. It’s never too late to get the head of hair you’ve always wanted! And stay tuned for part 2 of our hair nourishing tips.