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Eating a variety of foods gives our body what it needs to be as healthy as possible. This post outlines the foods and nutrients we need to have Nutrition for Healthy Hair.

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Nutrition for Hair

One of the most common questions I am asked is “How do you style your hair?”

I’ve been styling my hair relatively the same way since high school with small tweaks to the size of curling iron, how long I hold the hair on the curling iron, styling products, and my length of hair. Thankfully, my sister is a hair stylist and does a fantastic job of helping my hair look its best.

Another thing I do to keep my hair looking healthy? I eat a nutritious diet!

There are many factors that impact hair growth, shine, and the overall health of your hair such as genetics and diet. While we have little to no control over our genes, we DO have control over the food we eat.

Here, I share nutrients and food so you can have the best Nutrition for Healthy Hair!

Nutrition for Hair

Nutrition for Healthy Hair

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for cell growth, and hair growth is included in that category. A side effect of a diet low in vitamin A is hair loss, and another thing to note about vitamin A is that it helps our head and scalp stay moisturized by encouraging the production of sebum in the hair follicles.

Foods high in vitamin A (or beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body):

  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Recipes using vitamin A foods:

Source 

B Vitamins

If you ask your hair stylist what you can do to help promote hair growth, this individual will most likely recommend taking a supplement of the B vitamin Biotin (at least this is my experience!).

Biotin deficiency has been linked with hair loss, but biotin is available in many foods so deficiency is very rare.

Overall, B vitamins as a hole play an important role in metabolism and creating red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen and necessary nutrients throughout the body and to the scalp giving your head what it needs to produce healthy hair.

Foods high in B vitamins:

  • Whole grains
  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Almonds

Recipes using foods high in B vitamins:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect our body from free radical damage. Free radical damage to our hair can cause it to age quicker and may inhibit hair growth. Vitamin C is also necessary for collagen production, and collagen is used to help build your hair’s structure.

Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron, which is another important part of nutrition for healthy hair.

Foods high in Vitamin C:

  • Strawberries
  • Bell pepper
  • Citrus

Recipes using foods high in Vitamin C:

Vitamin E

Very similar to vitamin C, vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in our bodies. This study showcases an increase in hair growth in individuals with hair loss by 34.5% after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months while the placebo group only saw hair growth by .1%.

Foods high in vitamin E:

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Avocado

Recipes using foods high in vitamin E:

Iron

Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, making it essential for many functions. Iron deficiency results in anemia, and one symptom of anemia is hair loss.

Foods high in Iron:

  • Clams
  • Oysters
  • Eggs
  • Red meat
  • Spinach
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu, Edamame (soy)
  • Pumpkin, Sesame, Flax, and Hemp seeds

Recipes using foods high in iron:

Zinc

Hair loss is a symptom associated with zinc deficiency, and studies show that zinc supplementation helps with hair growth after hair loss caused by zinc deficiency.

Foods high in zinc:

  • Oysters
  • Spinach
  • Beef
  • Wheat Germ
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Lentils

Recipes using foods high in zinc:

Protein

Hair is made almost entirely of protein.

Some animal studies (another study to check out) show that a diet low in protein may lead to less hair growth or hair loss, but true protein deficiency is very rare in Western cultures.

Check out my post discussing plant protein sources!

The Bottom Line for Nutrition for Healthy Hair?

Eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and protein foods and you will be giving your body the nutrients it needs to have healthy hair.

Nutrition for Hair

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