Healthy hair is well-nourished hair - that means supplying our bodies with the nutrients they need to repair and replenish it. Shiny, strong and healthy-looking hair starts with our diets so here are some top foods to naturally boost the condition of your hair.
Many whole grains - including brown rice and oats - are rich in B-vitamins, including biotin (B7), which is associated with helping to alleviate alopecia and brittle hair. Healthy whole grains such as raw oats are also a good source of silica, which can help reduce hair breakage, and zinc; an important hair mineral which, in its deficiency, can lead to hair loss. For healthy, strong hair, try to eat a variety of whole grains - opting for grains that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Eggs provide nourishment for lackluster or brittle hair - they are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for hair growth - hair is made up of 97 per cent protein. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin B12; a lack of which can lead to anemia and hair loss. Eggs also nourish the hair when applied externally - for a protein-rich treatment, apply a beaten egg to hair, leave for 10 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, fatty acids and Vitamin E, all of which can help promote nourished, supple and strong hair. This healthy fruit is also surprisingly high in protein and rich in B vitamins. To keep hair smooth and shiny, make avocados a part of your hair care routine as well as your regular diet by mashing one up and applying directly to your hair as a moisturizing, nourishing treatment.
Oily fish, such as salmon, trout and sardines, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for healthy skin and keeping your scalp in good condition. Not only that, oily fish is also loaded with protein, which is essential for hair growth and strength, and iron, which can alleviate hair loss. To boost your body's absorption of iron, try eating your oily fish sprinkled with vitamin C-rich lemon juice.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in protein and zinc, and are great for promoting strong and slinky hair. Good nuts to add to your diet include walnuts, which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and biotin, and Brazil nuts, which are high in selenium. Selenium is not only good for promoting a healthy skin and scalp, but the mineral can also help prevent hair loss. As with nuts, all seeds are good for our health, but each also has their individual properties for healthy hair. Sunflower seeds are a great source of biotin, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, and flax seeds are a great vegetarian source of omega-3 oils, which can help promote a healthy, nourished scalp and head of hair.
Although the amount of grey hair a person has, and the rate at which it turns gray is mainly determined by genes, a poor diet and stress can further accelerate the rate of graying.
Silica is a trace mineral found in hair, as well as in skin and nails. It has been associated with slowing the rate of graying. Silica is found in:
- Whole wheat
PABA (para amino benzoic acid) is a nutrient related to folic acid. It helps the body utilize protein and among other uses, can correct the loss of hair color. Liver is a particularly rich source of PABA, and it is also found in whole grains and raw wheatgerm.