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Good hair just doesn’t happen you have to put in some work. But here is the good news, according to scientists you can actually eat your way to healthy, long hair. Should your body be low on minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids and vitamins, it will show in your hair. This deficiency will lead to weak fibre structure leading to hair loss because the hair follicles are not getting enough nutrients from the body.
Before we jump into the good stuff, here are some facts about hair you may find interesting:
- The average person’s hair grows around 1.25 cm per month.
- Your hair is at its peak from age 15-30 before it begins to slow down or change once you clock 40.
- While a good diet may boost your hair health, how fast it grows depends on genetics.
But that should not deter you from eating your way to beautiful and healthy hair. And besides, it has been scientifically proven that these foods will influence and trigger positive effects in your hair.
So before you go splurging on hair growth serums, pills and supplements, these foods are all you need:
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Two key nutrients required for hair growth are biotin and proteins. Proteins is the building block of hair and eggs are a great source. New hair follicles and growth have been confirmed according to a study published on Stem Cells Translational Medicine after consuming eggs from a chicken rich in vitamin D from receiving lots of sunshine. Biotin on the other hand is essential in the production of keratin and keeps enzymes on toes when it comes to metabolizing nutrients that are crucial to hair follicles.
Studies have shown that linoleic acid (omega-3) and alpha-linoleic (omega-6) fatty acids can improve hair growth amongst other benefits. Nuts rich in selenium boost hair growth according to Scientific Review which highlighted that it is involved in creating hair. Since your body does not produce these fats, you must derive it from almonds, walnuts etc. Coconut oil is also a good emollient that moisturizes the hair shaft and leaves it shiny.
Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables provide the nutrients required in production of hair cells. Spinach is also rich in iron, folate and magnesium that help your hair produce sebum and aid in growth and repair.
Besides being delicious, avocadoes are highly nutritious. A great source of vitamin E, this helps in blood circulation and assists the follicles to work as required leading to hair growth. A rich antioxidant, it helps fight stress by combating free radicals.
Did you know that one yellow pepper provides almost 5 times as much vitamins as oranges? Peppers are rich in vitamins A and C. Daily consumption of red or yellow peppers will promote collagen production, stimulate healthy sebum production and speed up the rate at which hair grows.
The right fish will promote hair growth. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, mackerel and sardines aid in healthy hair making it thick and shiny. Fish oil on the other hand has been shown to significantly reduce hair loss and increase hair density in balding women.
7. Sweet potatoes
Whether you like your sweet potato boiled, roasted or baked, this sweet treat is jam packed with vitamins providing more than enough of your daily vitamins A requirement. Not only does it protect your hair from being dry and dull, but it keeps your hair healthy and aids in hair growth.
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and proanthocyanidins, this helps reduce cellular damage and protects the hair follicle against free radicals thus helping the hair to become stronger.
Tomatoes have enzymes that help in formation and maintenance of collagen, a structural protein in your skin. The reason why tomatoes are good for your hair is because they are a rich source of vitamin C.