8 Foods to Eat for Healthier Hair

Kiwi is rich in vitamins C and E — two nutrients that are most effective when consumed together
The importance of hair health becomes apparent to everyone at different points in their lives: Some people are blessed with genetics that keep their follicles actively growing well into their 50s, while others see their hair thinning as early as their 20s. But it’s important to know that there are proactive measures you can take to increase your chances of having a full head of shiny, elastic, and healthy hair.The follicles that hair grows from are very much alive, and, like the rest of your body, they require a healthy diet in order to function properly. Hair needs a constant source of blood and protein in order for the strands to grow longer, and the scalp benefits from fatty acids that lubricate the hair, giving it a shiny appearance and smooth feel. A diet for healthy hair includes foods that increase circulation to the scalp, feed the follicles with protein, and provide the proper vitamins and minerals required to keep hair shiny and vibrant.

Here are eight foods to eat for healthy hair.

Brazil Nuts
Selenium is a crucial mineral for scalp health and dandruff prevention, and Brazil nuts contain more selenium per gram than any other food. Selenium is also a natural antioxidant that negates the damage done to hair from too much sun exposure.

Eggs (particularly egg whites) are high in sulfur, which is sometimes called the “beauty mineral” because of its ability to promote blood circulation and stimulate hair growth.

Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid), which may help against hair thinning and loss. Pantothenic acid is a common ingredient in haircare products, and a lack of this vitamin can cause damage to the follicles.

Kiwi is rich in vitamins C and E — two nutrients that are most effective when consumed together. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption, which is necessary for hair follicle growth, and it also improves circulation to the scalp. Vitamin E promotes scalp health and hair elasticity.

Lentils are rich in protein and iron, which are both critical to healthy hair growth. Protein helps fortify the root of the follicle (which comprises protein cells) and allows for longer strands of hair, while iron carries oxygen to the hair and stimulates hair follicle growth. Iron deficiency was found to be one of the most common reasons for hair loss in pre-menopausal women. One cup of cooked lentils offers 36 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron.

Mackerel is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and unlike other fatty fish *for instance, tuna), it contains very little mercury. Omega-3 fatty acids support the oil glands around hair follicles, giving hair an added level of shine. (A vegan-friendly alternative , that’s also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, is walnuts.)

Mushrooms are naturally high in biotin, one of the B-complex vitamins that is a popular remedy for hair loss. Although the effects of biotin on hair health are yet to be substantiated by scientific research, hair loss often accompanies biotin deficiencies.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a healthy hair superfood because of the high amounts of zinc and copper they contain. Zinc is crucial for promoting cell growth and supporting the oil secreting glands in the scalp, while copper improves hair’s thickness. Too much zinc can hinder the body’s ability to absorb copper, but pumpkin seeds provide a well-balanced ratio.

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