Few factors within your control affect quality of life more than diet. Eat well and you’ll reap the rewards, with good health, emotional stability and even for beauty. Yes, food affects your looks. Did that get your attention?
Food can affect scalp health and make hair grow. That’s not to say that a hair-friendly diet will produce dreadlocks if you’ve got thin hair or are genetically prone to hair loss. But it is to say that a healthy, balanced diet, rich in high-quality protein, iron and other nutrients will encourage the hair you’ve got to be vibrant and healthy. And shiny and sexy.
When reviewing this list you’ll notice some super-foods that do many things, and offer so many nutrients that they’re worth adding to your diet for what they’ll go for your health in general. But they’re also great for scalp health, and if any foods will make your hair grow, it’s these guys:
Salmon – One of the healthiest foods on the planet. Wild salmon bursts with protein, iron and vitamin B12, which all encourage hair growth. But it’s the omega-3 fatty acid content in salmon that makes it a true super-food. Your brain likes it, your skin loves it, and your scalp needs it. Eat salmon, end of story.
Dark green vegetables – Veggies are good, and dark green is great. Spinach, Swiss chard and broccoli are excellent sources of iron and calcium and vitamins A and C. The body uses these vitamins to make a natural hair conditioner called sebum, by the way.
Beans – Eat them beans! They’re high in protein, zinc, iron and biotin. Three cups or more of legumes every week encourage a healthy scalp.
Nuts – Go nuts for Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans and almonds. Brazil nuts in particular are a great source of selenium, which is important for scalp health. You’ll also find the alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acid in these nuts, and they’re high in zinc. Considering that zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, that’s a good thing.
Poultry – Chicken and turkey have protein and iron in abundance. What’s more, the iron they provide have high bioavailability, meaning it’s easily used by the body. The protein’s great too, because lack of it can make the scalp dry and give your hair a dull appearance.
Eggs – More protein. Lots and lots of it actually. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein you can find. They’re also high in biotin and vitamin B12, both beauty minerals.
Whole grains – Whole wheat breads and fortified whole grain cereals pack a hair-happy wallop of follicle goodness. That’s zinc, iron and B vitamins. Whole grains are also an excellent source of fiber and make a great mid-afternoon snack to cure pre-dinner hunger pangs.
Oysters – Are you horny baby? Austin Powers would love oysters for their aphrodisiac properties. That’s zinc in action, and it can also make your hair grow. Not into oysters? Try whole grains, nuts, beef or lamb – all high in zinc.
Low-fat dairy – Products like yogurt, milk and cottage cheese are great for calcium, and whey and casein. The former is an important mineral for hair growth. The latter two are high-quality proteins that make hair smile all over your scalp.
Carrots – No, you won’t be able to see in the dark if you overdose on carrots. But you’ll help your vision in the long-run, and the vitamin A in carrots also promotes good scalp health. That’s great for hair growth, but do you want to know what’s really cool? A January 2011 study found that the beta-carotene in carrots can produce an orange-ish hue, which participants said made people more attractive. In other words, eat carrots to be good-looking. Neat huh?
A parting thought to leave you with. Try to get your nutrients from diet instead of supplements. Avoid crash diets, as they rob your body of essential vitamins and minerals required for a variety of functions, including to make your hair grow. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, of the foods in this article, and you’re on your way to shiny, sexy hair.