Beauty is a relative term. Several factors come into play when your beauty is judged, and one of the most important factors is the health and quality of your hair. We all want healthy, fast-growing hair so that we could enjoy the freedom hairstyle selection to suit the personality. The quality and health of your hair depend mainly on your age, genetics, food habit, climatic condition, and lifestyle. Some of the factors, like age, genetics, and climate, are beyond your control, but you are in control of your food habit and definitely the life-style.
You might be genetically gifted with great hair, but to keep it healthy and strong you have to follow a good hair care regime. It has been noticed that in environmental factors like extreme heat, cold, dust, pollutants along with a change in lifestyle like less and irregular sleep could damage your hair. If you ignore it for long, this could result in permanent loss of hair. Regular oiling and conditioning can give you hair shine back temporary, but for long term results, you have to be very careful about what you take in your diet.
A healthy and well-nourished hair grows around 1.25 cm in a month. The overall growth of your hair will depend on your age, health, genetics and most importantly the diet. A good well-balanced diet gives you proper nutrition involving required natural vitamins, minerals for your healthy hair. If you want healthy, strong and shiny hair for a longer part of your life you have to include some food items in your regular diet. Before going into the list of food required for healthy hair, lets us understand the hair structure in brief.
Aside from the benefits it gives to your health, here’s some more reasons why healthy diet is important.
Technically speaking, your hair mainly composed of protein, mainly alpha-keratin. This protein fiber grows from follicle found in the skin.
- Your hair has three parts medulla, cortex, and cuticle
- The medulla is the innermost region. It is an open unstructured part.
- Cortex is the second part of the structure. It is structured and organized cortex.
- This gives the desired strength to your hair.
- The mighty melanin, the color of your hair, is found in
- The curly, wavy, straight look of your hair is determined by the shape of the follicle, which in turn is decided by the shape of the cortex.
- The outmost layer is the cuticle. The structure is relatively complex, which remains covered in water-resistant lipid.
- The fatty secretion produced at the opening of hair acts as hair lubricant.
- The hair follicle is the part where growth begins, which is the only living part of the hair.
- The visible part of the hair is called the hair shaft, which is considered ‘dead’.
Foods for Healthy Hair
The quality of your health depends on your health and your health depends on your diet. If you want to be in control of your hair and want to see it in good health for a longer part of your life then you have to make sure that your diet has balanced supply of all possible nutrients and minerals required for the healthy growth of your hair. Here is the list of the best foods you can use regularly to boost hair growth.
For healthy and growing hair you need optimum protein and biotin in your diet, which you can get directly from eggs. Protein in your diet helps maintain optimum supply for your hair follicle, the center of hair growth. It has been proven that lack of protein results in weakness and excessive hair loss.
Biotin, found in an egg, is essential for hair protein called keratin. A little extra dose of biotin can boost your hair growth. However, it has been proven that if you maintain a balanced diet you will get enough required biotin.
Additionally, eggs give you zinc, selenium and other nutrients needed for your healthy hair. Some experts recommend the external application of eggs also.
Berries, the rich sources of vitamin c and other minerals, in your diet will help you get the shiny and strong hair. Vitamin C with its antioxidant properties helps protect follicle from free radicals. These free radicals, found in our body and the environment, are known for its bad impact on your hair.
Interestingly, vitamin c is helpful in the production of collagen, a protein required for string hair. Optimum consumption of vitamin c will prevent your hair from breakage.
Additionally, it enhances your iron absorption. It has been found that people suffering from anemia, caused by iron deficiency, face excessive hair fall.
Nothing could be better than green food. Your spinach has everything you need for healthy hair. It has vitamin A & C along with ion and folate all in one to help you boost hair growth. Just a small cup of spinach is enough to meet 54% of your vitamin A need.
Vitamin A helps in sebum production in skin glands, which helps in moisturizing the scalp. The much needed plant-based iron boosts the oxygen flow via red-blood cells resulting in better repair and growth. Spinach in your regular diet will never make you anemic.
To know more health benefits of eating spinach, see this article from Health Line.
If you are a fish lover, then you must be getting all possible hair-growth nutrients naturally. Your herring, salmon, and mackerel help you get the omega-3 fatty acid, the scientifically proven source of nutrient required for healthy hair growth.
Additionally, you get much need natural protein, selenium, vitamin D3 & B for your hair.
Some studies suggest that omega-3 supplements and fish oil help in reducing hair loss and increasing hair density.
Sweet potatoes in your regular diet help you get the beta-carotene, which is required for vitamin A production in the body. Vitamin A is known for its role in the production of sebum, which is liked with the health of your hair.
A dose of 100-gram sweet potato has enough beta-carotene to help you get four-times of your vitamin A daily need. This helps you boost hair growth and thicken hair.
Your, delicious and nutritious, Avocado helps you get healthy fats and vitamin E. The antioxidant properties of avocado help in neutralizing free-radicals. One average size avocado is enough to provide 21% of your daily vitamin E requirement.
Vitamin E is known for its beneficial effect on the skin. It protects your scalp from oxidative stress and damage, which could result in poor hair-quality. Additionally, the rich source of fatty acid helps you control hair loss.
Nuts & Seeds
Optimum use of nuts and seeds can help you maintain the nutrient balance required for healthy hair growth. This helps you get vitamin E & B along with zinc, selenium and essential fatty acids. Interestingly, you get all beneficial nutrients and minerals with low-calorie intake.
Any imbalance in nutrients and minerals causes hair loss. So, it is good to consume a mixture of seeds and nuts. You can add sunflower, flax, and chia seeds in your diet for better health growth.
One yellow sweet pepper is five times more effective than orange in vitamin C supply. This helps your body produce enough collagen, which strengthens hair strands. Antioxidant properties help in protecting strands from oxidative stress. Excess oxidative stress has been linked to loss and graying of hair.
Additionally, you get the much-needed vitamin A that helps in sebum production.
Your body needs a perfect balance of zinc for hair growth and repair. Oysters are known for their rich source of zinc. The deficiency of zinc could promote telogen effluvium, a common but reversible form of hair loss.
Researchers have proven it that optimum supply of zinc could reverse the effects of hair loss caused by a zinc deficiency.
However, it is advisable not to overeat the zinc supplement as it could trigger hair loss. The best possible way to maintain optimum intake is via natural sources like Oyster.
Shrimp is known for its rich nutrients of vitamin B, protein, zinc, vitamin D and iron that help you boost hair growth. A 100-gram diet of your shellfish helps you meet 35% of daily vitamin D requirement.
It has been proven scientifically that deficiency in vitamin D could trigger hair loss.
Additionally, shrimp provide an optimum dose of omega-3 fatty acid that helps in hair growth.
The list is endless, as every geography and culture has its own local food resources that go well with the requirement of hair type and texture.
Your health decides the health of your hair. For good health, you have to bring an element of a balanced diet so that all possible nutrients and minerals are available for effective metabolism.
Deficiency of any of the nutrient or mineral may trigger hair loss and impact the capacity to strong growth. The best part of diet driven approach is that it helps you get healthy skin which in turn helps you get beautiful hair.
You may not like the taste of some of the food, so look for alternative source with similar nutrient compositions. The whole idea is to have seeds, beans, nuts, exotic fruits, animal protein along with green vegetable in perfect balance. Choose your food according to your taste and availability.