You are what you eat and if you want healthy, growing hair, you have to eat like it. We all know we should be drinking half our weight in water for overall health, but there's little general rules of thumb when it comes to an eating plan for healthy hair and skin. I'm personally vegan and I do want to encourage others to reduce or completely eliminate animal flesh and secretions from their diet, but that's for another time and article. Here, I'm going to show you what you should be eating that can specifically have a positive effect on your hair & skin:
I wouldn't be a true vegan if I didn't list this food first. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas and are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These good fats promote moisture and prevent hair damage, helping you retain your growing hair. When applied directly to the hair and scalp, they can stimulate collagen and elastin production.
Orange & Dark Green Vegetables
Carrots & Sweet Potatoes are the #1 orange veggies for strengthening and growing hair. They're rich in beta-carotene. The body transforms this phytonutrient into vitamin A which is essential for scalp health. They're also good complex carbohydrates. Drink carrot juice every day for quick hair growth. Orange veggies also help the scalp in producing natural sebum oil which keeps it and the roots healthy to boost hair growth.
Dark greens also supply plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin C. These two vitamins are important to scalp health and the production of sebum, the natural oily conditioner secreted by our hair follicles. Turnip greens, spinach (for brittle hair), and broccoli are a few of the best greens for these nutrients along with iron.
Bananas & Berries
Bananas are a great source of healthy carbohydrates to fuel hair growth and vitamin B6. A deficiency in this B vitamin results in thinning hair. B6 aids in the absorption of nutrients and the production of red blood cells needed to nurture hair follicles. Bananas often find themselves in external hair treatments too. Don't forget about Berries. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries & blackberries! They are rich in antioxidants that protect cells from damage that ages them. Berries have antioxidants that help keep hair healthy, keep gray at bay longer, and prevent premature thinning. Many berries are rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that the body uses to create collagen, an important connective tissue used in bones, skin, and hair. Also if you can get your hands on some guava, it's great for stopping excessing breakage.
Imagine how your hair & skin would flourish if you drink half your weight in cucumber water?! And blending cucumbers with coconut water - watch out now! Drinking cucumber water will promote beautiful hair, skin, and nails. It strengthens by improving collagen in the body, so cucumbers are a great way to prevent your hair from breakage and damage. Cucumbers are also naturally cooling to the body so enjoy plenty of them in the spring and summer when hair is especially prone to damage from longer days outside.
Almonds are a great source of protein and they have a large amount of Vitamin E. Protein helps improve collagen in the body, which is needed for proper hair growth and strength. Vitamin E helps improve elasticity and moisture so your hair will resist breakage and dryness. Have a handful of raw almonds for a snack or include them in any of your diet in a variety of other ways. These nuts will make your hair grow faster and thicker due to their high biotin content. One cup contains nearly one-third of your daily requirement. You should be able to see the results in a month or two of adding them to your diet.
Chia, Flax, & Sunflower Seeds
No smoothie would be complete without Chia seeds because they're rich in calcium, iron, and B vitamins, all which help promote strength and healthy growth. Not only do they make you feel full longer, but they're a great source of protein that your hair needs to stay strong and resist breakage. Flax seeds are a rich source of vitamin E. They provide nourishment to the hair roots, shaft, and the scalp. Flax seeds contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acid. These help nourish hair follicles. This in turn helps make hair strong and healthy. Omega-3 fatty acid also improves the elasticity of hair and makes it less prone to breakage. Did you know that Sunflower seeds can supply you with an abundance of vitamin E? This will enhance blood flow to the scalp and promote faster hair growth.
Beans, Legumes, & Lentils.
Proteins are the building block of healthy hair. Lean protein from beans and lentils will aid hair growth while also supplying a good amount of iron, zinc, and biotin. Iron deficiencies can result in balding and biotin is crucial to strong, thick hair and nails.
Here are other foods to incorporate for healthy hair:
Acai is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which some people aren’t aware of. It’s also a great source of protein and B vitamins, not to mention antioxidants. Omega 3 fatty acids help keep your hair and skin moist to prevent breakage and dryness, and the antioxidants in acai can help improve the overall look of your hair overtime. You can use acai in powder form or buy the frozen packs found in the freezer aisle at your supermarket. Acai is especially awesome in a smoothie or you can make an acai bowl as a more creative way to enjoy this beauty food.
Tahini, or sesame seed butter, is a fantastic source of iron, zinc, and calcium. All of these minerals promote strong, healthy hair along with beautiful skin and nails. Tahini is commonly used in vegan salad dressings but you can use it anywhere you’d use another nut butter.
Coconut. When it comes to hair, you can never go wrong with anything extracted from Coconuts. For example, coconut oil is a great source of healthy fats for shiny, healthy hair. Coconut oil also reduces inflammation and aids circulation. Coconut oil can be used directly on hair to condition, repair, rehydrate, and strengthen hair.
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.
Do you have a food tip for healthy hair & skin? Comment below! Check out our vegan, plant-based line of hair and skin care products by clicking here. Thanks for reading & be well!
One Green Planet