Salon and market shelves are literally flooded with all types of shampoos and conditioning treatments promising you a lustrous, beautiful mane with their use. While the products you use are important, creating and maintaining healthy locks is truly an inside job.
That’s right, the foods you eat play an important role in not only the condition of your hair but also in the rate of hair loss (or hair regrowth). To begin improving your tresses, consider incorporating the following foods into your “healthy locks” diet.
Boost Your Protein Intake
Protein is, indeed, the building block of hair. In fact, the hair is about 90 percent protein; therefore, having too little protein intake can often lead to significant hair loss. Fish, poultry, beans, lean red meat and nuts are great sources of protein. While boosting your protein intake can help keep your hair follicles strong, too much of a good thing is likely to backfire on you and can cause other health-related challenges.
Vitamin C Is Not Only Good For Colds, But For The Hair, Too!
We have long known that foods rich in Vitamin C can help ward off the effects of the stubborn cold and flu, but we have not always maintained a good grasp on its benefits for the hair and scalp. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of collagen which, in turn, keeps blood vessels in the scalp healthy.
Taken with Vitamin E simultaneously, these two wonder vitamins can boost circulation to the scalp, thereby reducing hair loss. Another important factor in the consumption of Vitamin C? It’s ability to boost absorption of iron, yet another arsenal in the battle against hair loss.
Speaking of the importance of iron, anemia (or a deficiency in iron levels in the body) is among the most common reasons that pre-menopausal women lose their hair. Iron deficiency has been linked to baldness.
Women most affected by this common form of nutritional deficiency include pregnant women (or those who have recently given birth), vegans, distance runners and menstruating women (especially those who have heavy menstrual cycles). Foods known to boost iron levels include eggs, lean meat, turkey, tuna, salmon, liver, oysters, dried fruits, whole grains and beans.
Boost Your Intake of Sulfur-Rich Foods
Because sulfur has been linked to increased circulation, hair regrowth and reduced inflammation of the skin, it has been commonly referred to as “nature’s beauty mineral.” The mineral sulfur is found in every cell of the human body; not surprisingly, the first sign of deficiency of this mineral is dry skin, brittle nails and hair and yes, hair loss.
While consuming protein-rich foods (lean meat, legumes, milk, fish and eggs) can elevate sulfur levels in the body, such vegetables as brussel sprouts, kale, kelp, seaweed, cabbage, onions and lettuce also contain this hair-healthy mineral.
Zinc, zinc and more zinc
The mineral zinc helps in the production of androgens, a hormone whose deficiency has been widely linked to hair loss. People with low levels of androgen also suffer from unusually slow hair regrowth and dandruff. Zinc-boosting foods include such shellfish as clams, crabs and oysters. Liver, lean meat, black sesame seeds and wheat germ can also help as well.
Those colorful veggies and fruits in your grocer’s produce section can help your hairline as much as it helps your waistline! Once inside, the body converts the beta-carotene found in such nutrient- and anti-oxidant rich foods as carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and mango into Vitamin A.
Research has shown that Vitamin A deficiency leads to thinning hair as well as complete hair loss. Boosting Vitamin A supports health at the cellular level, which directly correlates with a healthier scalp. Other foods rich in beta-carotene include winter squash, melons, asparagus and pumpkin.
Who Says Beer Isn’t Good For You?
Professor Adolf Butenandt, a Nobel Prize recipient, once proved that human life is dependent upon silica. Linked to skeletal development, silica is also linked to stimulating hair growth and preventing baldness.
Silica (which is also known as silicon dioxide) is present in lots of our favorite foods, including potatoes, strawberries, rice, asparagus, cucumbers, oats, wheat, barley, bean sprouts, raisins, bananas and beer. Of course in moderation, you can now drink to your health. Cheers!
A Little Fat Never Hurt Anybody
Ever wonder how some women have such shine and strength in their locks? Healthy oils, in small doses, have the ability to restore shine to dull hair. Stick with such oils as peanut, safflower, olive and sunflower oils. Throw in some Omega-3 Fatty Acids to eliminate dry scalp. You’ll find Omega-3′s in walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, herring and mackerel.