What we eat in a day has a lot to do with our hair health. Poor eating habits easily lead to hair loss while healthier habits lead to stronger hair. But are there certain kinds of food we can eat that will help us bring back our hair’s lost strength, shine, and luster? ABSOLUTELY! While nothing happens overnight, including nutrient-rich food in our regular diet will definitely help stop hair loss. Let’s look at 10 foods that you should include in your diet now to stop hair loss.
Who doesn’t remember watching Popeye the Sailor Man chugging a can of spinach to instantly gain a boost in unreal strength? Now, you won’t immediately develop bulging biceps like Popeye, but including spinach in your diet will definitely improve overall health, including the health of your hair. Spinach is a superfood that is rich in all the essential nutrients like iron, various kinds of vitamins, and even antioxidants that our hair and scalp need in order to grow.
The antioxidant content found in spinach helps to reduce hair damage while the anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe a troubled scalp. Spinach is filled with vitamins B and C that promote healthy hair growth by increasing hair’s collagen and keratin levels. Above all, spinach, as we all know, is super rich in iron and this mineral helps increase the supply of oxygen to our hair follicles, ensuring hair maintains its optimum health. As menstruating women, we tend to lose a great deal of iron each month and so having a diet rich in spinach easily fixes this deficiency.
Make various kinds of meals that contain spinach (boiled, baked, steamed/blanched), throw them in your favorite salads, add them in your smoothies with your favorite fruits & berries & nuts, or even turn them into oils that you can use in your hair masks.
2. Beans & Lentils
Beans and lentils improve the digestive system, increase your energy levels, and help to regulate blood sugar levels. Moreover, they are not just great for your heart but for your hair as well. Both beans and lentils are a great source of biotin, vitamin B6, protein, folic acid, sulfur, zinc, and magnesium. These nutrients promote shiny, strong, and nourished hair that continues to grow.
Biotin is well-known to speed up the hair growth process, while folic acid restores the health of red blood cells that supply hair-healthy oxygen to the scalp. Proteins from lentils and beans are essential for cell building as well. The Best aspect of including both these food items in your diet is that they are easy to make into meals, easy on the wallet, and great for those who follow dietary restrictions (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free diets, etc).
Eating oatmeal for breakfast is one of my most favorite ways to start off the day. If you are anything like me, you are going to love having a diet rich in oats to stop hair loss. Oats are another superfood, highly rich in essential nutrients like zinc, vitamin B6 and copper, all of which are imperative in promoting hair growth. Not only that, they are low in calories so you can eat all you want, high in fiber so you can maintain a healthy heart and bowels, and they taste amazing on its own or with some berries or nuts thrown in! They are great for vegetarians looking for protein alternatives and are a sufficient pre or post workout meal as well.
4. Greek Yogurt
Another hair-boosting, protein-rich food that you should include in your diet is greek yogurt. They are loaded with Vitamin D and B5, both of which provide the much-needed nourishment to your hair strands. Since protein and vitamin deficiencies are commonly linked to hair loss, it is essential to consume greek yogurt to increase the levels of these two nutrients. However, eat these fatty yogurts at your own discretion as some brands contain the same levels of fats and sugars as found in puddings! Make sure you read the labels carefully and choose low-fat unsweetened greek yogurts only.
If, for some reason, you do not like to eat greek yogurt, you can use it in hair masks and still reap the benefits for your overall hair health. The probiotics found in greek yogurt help in adjusting the bacteria balance on the scalp, making it healthier by reducing both itchiness and dandruff, and it also strengthens the hair follicles with the nourishment it needs; so less hair fall and more hair that stays on your head.
5. Red Bell Pepper
When you think of Vitamin C, oranges are the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind. But there is something else that has a much higher Vitamin C content than oranges and those are red bell peppers. Surprising, isn’t it? Let’s read on to find out how eating more red bell peppers regularly can stop hair loss.
Red bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, which prevents hair from becoming dry and brittle. Hair loss is also reduced because Vitamin C is essential in the formation of collagen. Hair follicles require collagen to maintain its strength and growth. Blood flow to the scalp is improved and so is oxygen absorption to the hair follicles, making the hair and scalp stronger and healthier. Vitamin C and other nutrients like vitamin A, some iron, zinc, selenium, and folate found in red bell peppers also aid in protecting the hair follicles from the harmful effects of DHT (dehydrotestosterone), a sex hormone linked to hair loss.
Besides all these benefits when consumed, you can also stimulate hair growth if you apply boiled red bell peppers on your scalp and leave on for 30 minutes. Just make sure you allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature before applying and wash off with a mild shampoo. Do this regularly and you will be amazed at the results! Please do NOT do this if you have allergies to any kind of bell peppers!!
If salmon is your favorite kind of fish, I have good news for you! Fatty fish like salmon or tuna contain high amounts of proteins, Vitamin D, Omega-3 fats and other hair-boosting essential fatty acids like linoleum acid, that all work together to nourish the scalp as well as to thicken the fat layer around the hair follicle. This results in healthier hair growth.
But the problem is that our body can’t make these healthy fats and so your best bet is to consume foods high in these essential fats or find supplements. The Omega-3 found in fish oil supplements boost hair growth by providing the hair with essential proteins and nutrients. They also improve blood flow to the scalp and prevent scalp inflammation, ensuring your hair stays where it should be (on your head).
7. Nuts & Seeds
Aside from being a tasty and a low-calorie snack to munch on, nuts and seeds are loaded with vital nutrients like vitamin E, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids that all promote hair health. Walnuts are high in potassium and Omega-3 fatty acids that keep the hair supple and nourished from root to tip. Brazil nuts speed up hair growth because of its high content of selenium. However, brazil nuts must be consumed in moderation due to the harmful effects it has on health from excess intake.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of biotin (the infamous “hair vitamin”), chia and flaxseed offer a vegetarian source of omega-3 oils, and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc content. It is best to eat a wide variety of nuts and seeds on a regular basis to promote a well-nourished scalp and a healthy head of hair for years. Plus, they are easy additions to your diet as well.
Eggs are another great source of protein and biotin, which are both important to help hair stay nourished, grow and maintain its strength. Egg yolks, in particular, are full of vitamin D, which help create new hair follicles on your scalp that adds volume and thickening to your hair. Like Omega 3 fatty acids, the body can not produce vitamin D naturally so eating foods high in this vitamin can easily prevent deficiencies that lead to hair loss.
Hair masks made out of egg yolks or egg whites are both beneficial in hair health as the protein helps strengthen your hair, while the fats help condition it, improving its texture and giving hair its shine. If you have an oily scalp, make sure to use egg whites for your mask and for those of you who have a dry scalp, use egg yolks on your hair. Personally, the smell from slathering raw eggs on the hair is quite off-putting so I always mix it with bananas, yogurt, or avocados, and add a few drops of essential oils.
Bring back your hair’s shine and thickness by eating beetroots! This ruby red root is packed full with potassium and iron, among other nutrients. Potassium is essential for hair growth, production, and also helps to revive damaged hair fast. The rich iron content found in beets provides strength to your roots as it improves not only the quality of blood in your body but also the quantity of it as well. Eating beets frequently, increases blood flow to the head, making the scalp healthy and preventing hair loss. If you have anemia, beets should be your top choice of food to eat! However, eating too much beetroot can lead to kidney problems and low calcium uptake. So, eat beets in moderation to avoid health issues but still gain your hair benefits.
10. Sweet Potatoes
The body converts beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes into Vitamin A, which is responsible for generating new cells and tissues in your body, including hair and scalp. Vitamin A also helps sebum production, keeping the scalp from getting dry and itchy. Aside from this crucial vitamin, sweet potatoes are also loaded with vitamin C, copper, iron, and protein that all improve hair-health.
They taste absolutely great and there are numerous ways in which you can eat them. You can bake them into a healthier snack, toss them into salads with your favorite fat-free dressing, and even turn them into yummy desserts. Whatever you choose, including them in your regular diet, will lead you on the road to stopping hair loss.
Healthy Foods Lead to Healthy Hair
These 10 foods are power-packed with hair-healthy goodness that you can eat your way to stronger, thicker, and shinier hair. You no longer have to rely on styling your hair to make it ‘look’ healthy; you can stop hair loss by fixing yourself from within. Developing healthy eating habits not only promotes healthy hair and scalp now but for years to come. These foods will help curb the deficiencies in your body that lead to hair loss. If proper nutrition does not solve your hair loss problem, it is time you consult your doctor to see if you have underlying medical conditions.