Food

The Best Guide For Diet For Healthy Hair- Dos And Donts For Eating

Discover the dos and don'ts of eating for healthy hair with our comprehensive guide.

Many dream of thick, luscious, and healthy hair. But like many other bodily functions, our hair can become thin and dull as we age. A number of variables, like age, genetics, and specific medical disorders, might make it more challenging for some people to get lush, growing locks.

Many believe over-the-counter treatments are the key to encouraging healthy hair development. However, nourishing conditioners and oiling can be beneficial. A more comprehensive approach would include healthy habits in one’s daily routine, such as consuming meals high in essential nutrients that promote strong and healthy hair growth.

So, let’s begin the journey of understanding the best foods for healthy hair.

Link Between Diet And Hair Health

Nutrients for Hair Growth

It is believed that eating specific nutrients will help revive your hair. But does it have any basis in reality?

Yes! Many things, including what you eat, might affect your hair’s regrowth or loss. Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between diet and hair, demonstrating that nutritional deficiencies affect hair structure and growth. So it means that to encourage healthy hair development, it is necessary to have a balanced diet that is rich in foods that are good for your hair.

So, lacking certain vitamins or minerals can lead to hair loss; however, replenishing those elements through food will prevent further hair loss.

  • Protein: All of our hair is made of a special protein called keratin. Consuming a protein-rich diet can help maintain healthy, thick hair by strengthening keratin. A lack of protein in the diet or inadequate protein in the body can cause hair to become brittle and break easily, creating the impression of thin, lifeless hair.
  • Iron: Iron is essential for blood flow. Blood flow greatly affects hair growth by carrying oxygen, nutrients, and energy to hair follicles. Because the body prioritizes where oxygen flows, a lack of iron in the blood can lead to anemia, which stops hair follicles from getting the nutrients they need for hair growth.
  • Biotin: Biotin is required for the production and repair of keratin. It’s a B-vitamin family member, essential for healthy hair and brain function. Because biotin is soluble in water, you must drink plenty of water to ensure maximum absorption by the body. Even though you probably won’t eat enough biotin to get the required daily allowance, plenty of supplements include it for things like hair, skin, and nail growth.
  • Vitamin C: As an antioxidant, vitamin C aids in the protection of body cells, including hair follicles. Apart from it, it is also important for making collagen, which is necessary for longer hair.
  • Vitamin D: It is important to produce sufficient amounts of this essential vitamin to promote hair development. Research has indicated a correlation between a lack of vitamin D and a decrease in hair density, so sitting in the sun or getting vitamin D nutrients is essential.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: An essential fatty acid type known as omega-3 may promote healthy hair, among many other potential health benefits. These fatty acids are not produced by the body; therefore, they must be obtained through diet or supplements.
  • Zinc: Besides its well-known immune-boosting properties, zinc is vital to healthy skin and hair. A deficiency in zinc was associated with alopecia, or hair loss, according to one review, one 2019 article in Dermatology and Therapy, and another 2017 review.
  • Silica: While it is not commonly recognized as a nutrient, it is abundant in nature and great for hair health. It has been well-associated with decreased hair loss, enhanced hair luminosity, and improved scalp health.

Is your hair ready to receive the care it needs?

The Best Foods For Healthy Hair

There is not a single food that provides all the beneficial nutrients required for healthy hair.

A well-balanced diet that includes all the macro- and micronutrients your body needs will be the solution. So, what foods are abundant in hair-friendly nutrients? Let’s read about them.

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish are abundant in nutrients that promote hair growth, such as omega-3 fatty acids. A study found that women supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients experienced decreased hair loss and increased hair diameter and density.

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12, all of which are known to improve hair health. The vitamin D in salmon is great for hair and helps it grow through each of its natural cycles. Other fatty fish, such as herring and mackerel, may also promote hair health.

So if you aren’t vegetarian, adding one serving of fish to your diet can do wonders for your hair.

2. Avocados

Avocados are great and regarded as a superfood for a healthy hair diet. The antioxidant vitamin E in avocados also helps nourish the hair. A study suggests that tocotrienols, found in vitamin E, can accelerate hair growth in individuals experiencing hair loss. Only one medium-sized avocado provides about 28% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin E. Additionally, it shields the scalp from oxidative stress and damage, which can lead to unhealthy hair.

The best part is that avocados are both good and versatile; you can use them in various ways, from salads to toast.

3. Eggs 

Who doesn’t like eggs? And the best part is that one can prevent hair loss by increasing their intake of eggs rich in vitamins and minerals.

They are also an excellent source of biotin and protein, two elements vital for healthy hair. Apart from this, eggs also contain sufficient choline, iron, vitamins A, D, zinc, B12, and other vital elements that support healthy hair. Eggs also include lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds essential for healthy cells, particularly those in the hair, skin, and eyes, especially in its yolks.

So, eggs should be your first course of action while researching the most incredible foods for hair development.

4. Greek yoghurt

It might surprise you, but yoghurt is one food that can help your hair grow longer and thicker. And greek yogurt is found to be more beneficial and rich source of protein than regular yogurt and great for healthy hair. A typical 7-ounce serving of Greek yogurt has 20 grams of protein.

Another nutrient it contains is prebiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that aid in nutrient absorption, which supports healthy development and a regular hair cycle. According to new research, probiotics have also been studied to promote hair growth.

Along with proteins and prebiotics, Greek yogurt is a great source of vitamin B5, which has been studied to work great for hair growth and thinning. And a good amount of riboflavin, and selenium an important vitamin for cell growth, and zinc, a mineral that has been associated with hair growth.

5. Oysters

While oysters aren’t for everyone, they should definitely be part of your seafood rotation if you find them delicious. They are a great way to increase your zinc consumption because they contain a whopping 28 to 32 milligrams of zinc per serving. A common form of hair loss known as telogen effluvium is associated with zinc deficiency; therefore, oysters are an excellent option for those wishing to maintain healthy hair.

In addition to zinc, oysters are rich in protein, iron, and vitamin D, which have several positive effects on hair health. However, too much zinc can be harmful. That’s why foods like oysters may be a better way to get zinc than pills, as they contain good amounts of it.

6. Beans and Lentils

Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, an essential nutrient for hair growth. Just like oysters, beans are a great source of zinc for hair health.  Up to 14% of a woman’s and 10% of a man’s daily zinc requirements can be met by consuming just three and a half ounces (100 grams) of black beans.

Iron, biotin, and folate are just a few of the other nutrients beans and lentils provide. For proper body functioning and great hair health, adults should take 400 micrograms of folate, and one cup of chickpeas contains 72 micrograms of folate.

Along with all this, they are super easy to find and cook. Here is a table showing the best beans which are essential for hair growth and strength.

Beans/Legumes Key Nutrients for Hair Health Potential Benefits
Black Beans Protein, Iron, Zinc Promotes hair growth and scalp health
Lentils Protein, Iron, Biotin, Zinc Strengthens hair and supports keratin production
Chickpeas Protein, Zinc, Biotin Enhances hair growth and repairs hair follicles
Soybeans Protein, Iron, and omega-3 fatty acids Reduces hair loss and improves hair texture
Kidney Beans Protein, Iron, Zinc It aids in hair growth and prevents hair thinning
Peas Protein, Zinc, Vitamin C Promotes collagen production and hair strength

7. Green Leafy Veggies

Is your hair dry and brittle? Dark green leafy veggies are your solution. Studies have shown that a diet abundant in fresh vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, may promote hair growth in individuals experiencing hair loss.

These include spinach, broccoli, kale, and watercress. These vegetables contain folate, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which help maintain a healthy scalp and supple hair. Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant compounds, including quercetin and kaempferol, are abundant in dark leafy greens. These compounds may protect the hair follicle from injury, which could otherwise result in hair loss and unhealthy hair.

8. Orange Fruits and Vegetables 2148173290

If you want shiny hair, orange veggies are your lifesaver. A diet rich in these veggies can help promote healthy hair development and luster. All these veggies contain beta carotene, which the body transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A is associated with healthy hair. Scientific studies have demonstrated that vitamin A can influence sebum production, contributing to healthy hair.

Incorporating all orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots, into your diet will produce more hydrated, moisturized hair. Plus, they taste great!

9. Nuts & Seeds

They are not only a great snacking option but also a great addition to the list of healthy hair nutrients. You can get very good amounts of the nutrients we’ve just covered in a variety of seeds and nuts, and there are a lot of varieties to pick from. Such as

  • Sunflower seeds are rich in iron and vitamin E, providing 50% of daily vitamin E needs with just one ounce of seeds and nearly 5 grams of protein. These nutrients are essential for hair growth and follicle function. These seeds are also rich in selenium and zinc.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain 156 mg of magnesium, or 37% of the daily value. They also provide zinc, copper, iron, and protein, all of which are essential for hair health. Pumpkin seed oil has been well-studied to help promote healthy hair growth.
  • Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, can strengthen hair, prevent breakage, and soothe scalp inflammation, promoting hair growth.
  • Because of their high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content, chia seeds are great for reducing inflammation on the scalp, preventing hair loss, and encouraging new hair growth.

All these seeds are also great, as they are rich in nutrients and have few calories. Oils from all these seeds can be equally beneficial fat in seed oil can improve your body’s absorption of these nutrients.

Indeed, nuts are the most portable food items. Nuts like walnuts and almonds are the finest sources of all the vital elements needed for hair health.

In addition to being tasty and easy to carry, nuts provide several minerals that might promote hair growth. They are also rich in zinc, vital fatty acids, and B vitamins.  All these nuts and seeds also have high protein content and promote hair growth. If you don’t like snacking on nuts, another great option is to have nut butter.

10. Organ meats

While not known to many, organ meats provide a good source of iron, zinc, and selenium, which are regarded as great for hair health. Beef is a nutritious source of iron, protein, copper, zinc, B12, and selenium, contributing to healthy hair development, making it an excellent choice for those needing more iron intake. At the same time, it is essential to exercise caution regarding red meat consumption as it elevates the likelihood of developing cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular conditions.

For those looking to deep dive into specific nutrients, please see the table below

Nutrient Effect on Hair Sources
Protein The building block of hair Lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, legumes
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Nourishes and hydrates the scalp Fatty fish such as salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds
Iron Supports the hair growth cycle Spinach, lentils, red meat
Vitamin A Moisturises the scalp Sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens
Biotin (Vitamin B7) Supports keratin production, a key protein for hair Eggs, almonds, cauliflower, cheese
Vitamin C Enhances iron absorption and is vital for collagen production Citrus fruits, kale, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes
Vitamin E Protects hair from oxidative stress Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados
Zinc Essential for hair tissue growth Oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds
Silica Strengthens hair and increases thickness Bananas, leafy greens, rice, oats

A Mediterranean-style diet rich in fiber-filled vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is the best way to receive all these nutrients every day without even trying. This way of eating also includes items that support your gut bacteria, and having a healthy gut flora is vital for nutrient absorption, which benefits your hair.

What Are Some Other Ways to Maintain Healthy Hair With Aging?

Adding specific foods and nutrients that promote hair growth will only be beneficial if you already have a deficiency in those areas. If not, it is unlikely that you will notice a significant difference.

Certain cases, such as androgenetic alopecia and scalp infections, are examples of conditions that necessitate professional assessment and management. If this is the case, alternative methods may prove to be more efficacious in stimulating hair growth. Such as

  • Taking care of your hair
  • Medications for hair loss
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • PRPs for hair
  • Transplant of hair.

Please read the article here for more about hair loss prevention tips and treatment options available.

Foods That Contribute to Damaged HairPastel Simple 5 Tips for Healthy Diet Instagram Post 1

While we have discussed the best foods for hair, some foods that have been linked to hair thinning include these.

  • Greasy Foods: Excessive fatty foods can obstruct the follicles and capillaries, impeding hair growth. Although the occasional burger or pizza won’t harm, oily foods should not comprise a significant portion of your diet.
  • Alcohol: Because of its dehydrating properties, alcohol can cause hair to become dry and brittle. Zinc is essential for healthy hair, and drinking alcohol might also reduce your body’s zinc levels.
  • Sugar and Sugary Meals: Like other body parts, high sugar intake can’t limit blood circulation to hair follicles, and hair won’t get enough oxygen. Research also found that people who consume more sugar have a higher chance of hair loss. To avoid this, be careful to read the sugar content of packaged goods before eating them.

Should I take supplements for healthy hair?

If you want to know what’s best for your hair regarding nutrition, experts recommend eating good food instead of supplements. Food is also easier for the body to absorb nutrients than a supplement.

However, a few nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, might be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain via food alone. So it is always best to consult a doctor, discuss your needs beforehand, and choose what to use.Your doctor or nutritionist can provide personalized help to ensure that any extra nutrients you take in are good

In conclusion, a well-rounded diet is the key to long-lasting, healthy hair. By changing your food, you feed your hair from the inside out, giving it a solid base for growth and health.

Before adding any supplements to your routine, you should talk to a doctor or nurse to make sure you get the right mix of nutrients and don’t take too many supplements.

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Dr Aimen

Being a Doctor by profession, Aimen is passionate about helping people get better health in their lives. Aimen enjoys her research on Prime With Time subjects and strives to create better awareness of the problems and changes related to women's health.
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