Beautiful and healthy hair is a result or a combination of a few things, genetics, a hair care routine, great weather and water, or an amazing diet.
Some people are born with great hair and some cultivate a good hair care regime over time, which also leads to great hair. Due to environmental factors or lifestyle changes, hair tends to lose its health. In such cases, even the gifted require some help. Although, regular oiling or deep conditioning can improve the texture of your hair, but what you put into your body will make a greater difference.
A good diet which will provide the essential vitamins and minerals to your hair will ensure they look happy and healthy! When you eat different nutrients, your body doesn’t immediately target it for a specific body part.
Instead, it pools its available nutrients together and based on its needs at that time appropriate nutrients where they’re most needed. So if your diet is lacking in general, the iron, zinc, and biotin that it needs for hair growth will be used for more vital bodily functions, whether you want it to or not. So eating for healthy hair and just plain “eating healthy” are practically one and the same. The biggest difference is that a “healthy hair” will place an emphasis on certain nutrients more so than a regular meal plan.
Various Food items Biotin
Biotin is responsible for hair growth and increasing the volume of hair. The nutrient is water soluble B vitamin also known as Vitamin B7 or H. Biotin deficiency can lead to discoloration or thinning of hair. Biotin is often an ingredient in oral hair growth supplement or even shampoos to nourish hair and prevent them from looking brittle or dull.
What to eat: Whole grains, soya bean, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, brown rice, sunflower seeds, potatoes, oats.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The oil that boosts the hydration for your hair and scalp is provided by Omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient is also present in the cells that line the scalp so it’s important to add this fat to your diet.
What to eat: avocados, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds.
The most important component for strong healthy hair is protein. Hair is majorly made up of protein so consuming an adequate amount of protein daily becomes all the more essential. If your diet consist of lower proteins, you’re likely to have hair loss or dry and brittle hair. Eat the right proteins and keep your hair strong.
What to eat: All dals, pulses, soybean, chickpea, milk and milk products, nuts are excellent source of protein.
Another important mineral for your hair, iron ensures your hair remain healthy by providing it with oxygen. Lower levels of iron can result in anemia which is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and root is fed by a nutrient rich blood supply with the help of iron. So, make iron rich foods a staple in your diet to achieve those luscious locks.
Iron is the mineral your body uses to convert testosterone to estrogen, which is an important hormonal regulator of hair growth. As I mentioned before, estrogen stimulates hair growth, while testosterone impedes it. Iron deficiency is a common reason people start to get flaky hair that starts to shed.
What to eat:  Lotus stems, spinach, broccoli, rice flakes, puffed rice, beetroot, soybeans, raisins, apricots, dates etc are good sources of iron.
Vitamin C
Iron and Vitamin C are two nutrients which are best when taken in combination with each other. Eating food rich in Vitamin C will allow better absorption of iron into the body. Not only that, Vitamin C is a prime food when it comes to production of collagen. It also strengthens the capillaries that supply blood to the hair shaft.
What to eat: Amla, lemon, strawberries, oranges, sweet potatoes, blackcurrants, blueberries, papaya, tomatoes, bell peppers, guava.
Vitamin E antioxidant
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, it is a quite essential nutrient when it comes to skin and hair care. A base ingredient included in a range of hair and skin care products, it’s a crucial nutrient for healthy hair. It helps in building and repairing hair tissue and also in protecting hair from sun damage.
What to eat: Nuts are the best source of vitamin E so include almonds, walnuts or any other nuts in your diet. Olive oil, Avocado, sunflower oil and spinach are also good options for Vitamin E. It’s also available in the form of a capsule which can be purchased from your local chemist shop.
Vitamin A
The natural conditioner produced by our body, known as Sebum, requires Vitamin A for its production. The oily substance is a vital substance which conditions our scalp naturally. Sebum becomes indispensable for a healthy scalp. It’s best to include Vitamin A to ensure adequate sebum production.
What to eat: Orange/yellow colored vegetables are high beta-carotene content. Beta- carotene is the substance that makes Vitamin A. Options include- carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy green vegetables, apricots, pumpkins and lettuce
There exist target hair problems as well which require special food and attention to be solved, the following foods will help you with such issues.
Problem: Hair growth
Solution:  Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is packed with protein ideal for increasing the length of your hair, ensuring hair growth and adequate blood flow to your scalp. These food items also prevent thinning and hair loss.
Problem: Excessive breakage
Solution: Guava
Vitamin C is the answer to unwanted breakage of hair. It protects the hair from breaking and ensures it stays strong. Guava is rich in Vitamin C that is 377 milligrams in one cup! This would be a perfect solution for your hair problem.
Problem: Dull locks
Solution: Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are brimming with beta- carotene (responsible for production of vitamin A). Food rich in Vitamin A helps in production of the oily substance called sebum which leads to shiny locks that don’t dry out and are full of life.
Problem: Brittle hair
Solution: Lotus stems and Spinach
Lotus stems and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale are full of nutrients like iron, vitamin A or folate which are essential to keep your hair moisturized. A daily dose of these vegetables would be enough to transform your hair from brittle to get nourished within no time.
Problem: Increase shine in hair and prevent hairloss
Solution: flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds
Proper nutrition is the key for healthy hair, and fatty acids help to promote hair growth, as well as add sheen and luster to hair. Proper amount of omega-3 in your diet prevents dry, itchy, flaky scalp and is beneficial in reversing hair loss.
Problem: Increasing blood circulation
Solution: Cinnamon
Cinnamon helps in increasing the blood circulation in your body which in turn would provide your hair follicles with ample of oxygen and nutrients. So add some cinnamon to your food be it on oatmeal/ porridge or your coffee. The options are endless.

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