Let’s be real. We all want luscious, long healthy-looking hair. After all, it is a sign of health and beauty. However, just like any other part of your body, your hair needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy and grow. In fact, numerous studies have found that while factors such as age, genetics, and hormones affect hair growth, nutritional deficiencies also play a key factor in hair loss (1).
Eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients can help promote hair growth, especially if you’re experiencing hair loss due to poor nutrition.
Below are 6 nutrient-rich foods that may aid the promotion of hair growth.
Beans are an excellent source of protein, isoflavone and amino acids which is essential for hair growth (2). They provide nutrition to the roots of the hair by improving blood circulation in the scalp, thus preventing hair loss (3). They also contain zinc, which is essential for the hair growth repair cycle, and biotin which helps improve the keratin infrastructure of hair (4).
Sweet peppers are a rich source of vitamin C. Your body needs vitamin C to produce collagen (a protein which is an important part of hair structure) and helps strengthen hair strands. Furthermore, the antioxidant properties of vitamin C can also protect hair against oxidative stress, and reduce hair fall (5).
Spinach is loaded with nutrients like;
- Iron – essential for the production of haemoglobin in your blood, and the growth and repair of cells, including cells that stimulate hair growth
- Vitamin A – which helps the skin produce sebum. Sebum helps keeps the hair moisturised
- Vitamin C – helps the body absorb iron. Low iron levels may cause anaemia, which has been linked to hair loss.
Spinach is a nutrition powerhouse when it comes to hair.
Fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. They are also a rich source of protein, selenium, vitamin D3, and B vitamins that aid in strong healthy hair growth (6). Selenium kills dandruff-causing fungus and is essential for the production of the thyroid hormones that help to regulate hair growth, and research has also shown that vitamin D may help create new follicles on the scalp (7)
Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E protects areas of the skin, including the scalp, from oxidative stress. Skin damage on the scalp can result in poor hair quality and fewer hair follicles (8)
Moreover, avocados are a great source of essential fatty acids. These fats are essential building blocks of your cells, but cannot be produced by the body. It has been found that a deficiency in essential fatty acids has been linked to hair loss.
Eggs are an excellent source of zinc, selenium, as well as protein and biotin – two key nutrients that promote hair growth. Egg yolk is packed protein and nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, folate, and biotin. Biotin is important for the production of a hair protein called keratin, and numerous research has shown that consuming biotin can improve hair growth (9).
Hair follicles are mostly made up of protein, and so eating an adequate amount of protein such as eggs can have a beneficial effect on the health of your hair.
So there you have it! It is a known fact that what you eat can have a huge effect on the health of your hair. A lack of the right nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein, and essential fatty acids may slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss (10).
Fortunately, consuming any of these nutrients can correct a deficiency and promote healthy hair growth. Try adding some of the foods above to your diet if you are suffering from hair loss, or you believe that you are lacking in any nutrients.