Top 10 foods for healthy, radiant hair

By Nutrition Consultant, Jess Robinson

Do you have weak, brittle or dull looking hair? Believe it or not, our diet can hugely affect the appearance and quality of our hair. Reducing your intake of fried foods and processed foods and eating more healthier foods is an excellent first step to improving those locks. Our hair requires specific nutrients to avoid breakage and grow long and strong. Here are some foods to add to your diet to incite healthy and shiny hair:

1. Salmon

Like other oily fish, salmon is extremely high in omega 3 fatty acids to support healthy, shiny hair. Omega-3 fats are essential for keeping the scalp hydrated and allowing for the growth and shine of healthy hair. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, and protein is a building block of hair. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel should be consumed regularly to support healthy hair and skin.

2. Egg yolks

Egg yolks are high in biotin, protein and omega-3 fats. Biotin improves hair growth and promotes stronger hair and nails, and omega-3 fats promote hair shine. Protein is a building block of hair, and this powerful nutrient gives your hair the strength it needs to continue growing without breakage.

3. Avocados

Considered a superfood for the hair, avocados are bursting with antioxidants, fibre, potassium and magnesium, key contributors to healthy hair. Avocado can also be used topically to allow adequate moisturising benefits for the hair and scalp, and promotes hair growth. Avocados are a great source of good fats and are delicious added to proteins, made into guacamole, or added to pastas and smoothies.

4. Berries

Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are high in vitamin C which helps to produce collagen. Collagen is essential for strengthening your hair shafts, leading to healthier and shinier hair. If you are lacking in vitamin C, your hair will be more prone to breakage. Add some berries to your morning muesli or smoothie to reap the benefits.

5. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are rich in beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A and encourages sebum production. Sebum acts as a natural conditioner, promoting a healthy scalp and vibrant hair. Pumpkins also contain potassium, copper and zinc to promote healthy hair and regrowth.

6. Seaweed

Why seaweed may not look very appealing, it is highly nutritious and contains iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins for hair growth, hair production and shiny hair. Seaweed encompasses sea vegetables such as kelp, nori and wakame, nori is what’s used to wrap around sushi rolls.

7. Green leafy vegetables

Spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage and Bok choy contain high-quality amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are good for your body and hair. These vegetables are high in vitamins A, C, E and K and also calcium, which encourages the growth of stronger hair.  A convenient way to get more of these essential vegetables into your diet is by juicing them. There are great recipes in Dr Cabot’s book ‘Raw Juices Can Save Your Life’.

8. Sunflower seeds

These little seeds are nutritional powerhouses that contain magnesium, protein, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, iron, potassium, copper, biotin, B vitamins and calcium. These key nutrients promote hair growth, improve scalp circulation and moisturise hair.

9. Beef

Beef is high in protein and iron as well as other hair-happy nutrients such as zinc. Consuming beef can improve hair thickness, minimise hair shedding, keep up a steady blood supply to the scalp and support adequate zinc intake, as zinc deficiency has been linked to hair loss.

10. Sweet potatoes

Contain beta-carotene which aids in the healthy growth of cells. Once ingested, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A which produces sebum, a healthy oil that keeps your scalp hydrated and protects it from the elements. The vitamin A content and added antioxidants can combat hair shaft brittleness and encourage glowing, youthful skin.

Eating these foods is a sure way to promote shinier, and more vibrant looking locks. Another great way to support healthy hair is by taking collagen food. Collagen food contains MSM, vitamin C, silica and biotin to support strong, healthy skin and hair.

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