The Best Foods For Healthy Hair

There's more to healthy hair than treating it with care and using the right products; seeing as it's grown from inside the body, it makes sense that what you eat and the vitamins and minerals your body absorbs will have a huge impact too. Here are some of the best food sources for different vitamins and minerals that are useful for growing healthier hair.

Yellow/Orange Foods- High in Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A
Examples: apricots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots
If it's naturally an orange or yellow food it will be high in beta-carotene, which is important for growth development- including bones, skin and hair. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body which is essential for healthy hair, and encourages growth in thinning hair (a diet lacking in this vitamin can result in hair loss or thinning hair). On top of this it also fights damaging free radicals that can occur because of chemicals and pollution, and contains anti-oxidants that will improve the oils on the scalp. 

Lean Meats- High in Protein and Iron
Examples: poultry, lean red (unprocessed) meat 
Because the hair is made of protein, it seems obvious that a lack of protein in the body will result in hair growth problems including hair loss. An efficient amount of protein will result in stronger, healthier hair that grows sufficiently. Iron will help increase circulation in the scalp which then fuels hair growth, foods that are high in iron include liver, apricots and raisins. Try adding some mini dried fruit snack bags into your car or work bag- a healthy snack on the go and the raisins and dried apricots might to help improve your hair too!

Fish- High In Omega 3, 6 and 9
Examples: salmon, tuna, prawns
The different omega groups essentially do different things to the hair. Omega 3 increases hair elasticity meaning it's less likely to break, and nourishes hair follicles. Amazingly it can even help re-start hair growth, as well as increase hair strength, and prevent (or reverse) hair loss. Omega 3 is also great for improving scalp circulation; scalp health is important for the growth of healthy hair as good circulation of the scalp means better blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn leads to healthier hair. Finally, Omega 9 controls water loss in hair, as well as making it softer and more pliable leading to less breakage and susceptibility to damage. 

Nuts- High in Selenium
Examples: almonds, walnuts, coconut 
Another mineral that's good for the scalp (and therefore encourages healthy hair growth) is the trace mineral selenium. Not only can you get the benefits by eating foods containing selenium, it's also added to anti dandruff products and works topically too. The easiest way to apply selenium to the scalp, is by applying coconut oil a few hours before washing your hair.

Whole Grains- High in B Vitamins
Brown bread/pasta/rice
B vitamins are essential for the health of the nervous system, including maintaing red blood cells which carry oxygen. This is extremely important for the health of hair, as without oxygen hair is unable to sustain growth. Vitamin B deficiencies usually present themselves as hair that is brittle, weak and has stunted growth. Not good!

Dark Green Vegetables- High in Folate/Folic Acid
Examples: spinach, broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce
Finally, one of the more common vitamins associated with hair growth, folic acid (the synthetic version of folate) also known as pre-natal vitamins. Folic acid tablets are widely available (and should be taken by all women of child bearing age anyway) but folate can also be found in leafy green veggies. Folic acid/folate helps your body break down and use proteins and is beneficial for all of the structures and tissues in your body including the hair- it can actually stimulate hair growth.

Did you know any of these foods were good for healthy hair growth?