Fueling your body with a well-balanced diet of proteins, carbs, and fats as well as vitamins and minerals is important for so many reasons. A poor diet and nutrient deficiencies can cause hormone imbalances, weight fluctuations, decreased energy, irregular sleep, and so much more. On top of these harmful and undesirable symptoms, lack of proper nutrients can cause another extremely unwanted side effect: hair loss.
Healthy, beautiful hair is a source of self-confidence for men and women alike. The appearance of your hair can even affect the outcomes of business dealings, romantic relationships, and other personal endeavors. Therefore, hair loss can be truly devastating, especially if you feel that your hair is what makes you stand out from the rest.
Nutrition and Hair Loss: How the Two Overlap
If you weren’t even aware that a diet lacking the proper nutrition could lead to hair loss, you’re not alone. However, ignoring the quality of your daily food intake is a grave mistake if your goal is thicker, healthier hair. Not sure how to change your diet in order to boost hair growth? Here are the top nutrients to incorporate daily, and some foods to help you do so, that contain vital nutrients for thick, luscious hair.
- Vitamin C.
Oranges, tangerines, and berries aren’t only delicious snacks, they are packed full of vitamin C. This micronutrient improves energy levels and helps the body to absorb iron, an important mineral that supports healthy hair. Vitamin C also aids the body’s production of collagen, a vital nutrient for the maintenance of hair, skin, and nails.
In some cases, hair loss can be triggered by the presence of free radicals, or highly reactive molecules that cause direct damage to cellular structures, lipids, DNA, and proteins. Fruits and vegetables full of vitamin C contain powerful antioxidants that protect your body against free radicals, which cause harmful oxidative stress to the body.
If you’ve been testing hair growth tricks and treatments for a while, you’ve probably heard of biotin. Biotin, or vitamin H, is the vitamin that works closest with the production of healthy hair, skin, and nails. A great way to include more biotin in your diet is to eat more eggs. Some sources claim that a single egg is packed with a whopping 10 micrograms of biotin.
- Omega-3 fatty acids.
You may be wondering, what do fish and chia seeds possibly have in common? Despite containing healthy fats and fiber, both foods are extraordinary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient when it comes to positive hair health. Omega-3s aren’t just proven to reduce hair loss and boost hair density, they’re also known to lower inflammation in the scalp, reducing the stress on already malfunctioning hair follicles.
Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet through food intake is relatively easy, especially since vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike can find foods that contain the essential nutrient. However, omega-3 supplements are also very easily accessible either alone or included within a daily multivitamin.
- Vitamin A. It’s no secret that spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are powerhouse foods absolutely chock full of useful nutrients. However, they do much more than just spruce up a salad or add greens to your sandwich. These vegetables contain a host of vitamins and minerals that are essential to healthy hair growth including folate, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, B, and C, among others.
Vitamin A is the leafy green’s primary hair growth component. This vitamin aids in the production of sebum, or the oily substance found on your scalp that keeps hair looking shiny and feeling soft. Though vitamin A is important, don’t underestimate the power of minerals like magnesium and iron—for example, a cup of spinach a day can greatly contribute to positive hair appearance as well as continued healthy hair growth.
- Folic acid. Lentils and other legumes such as beans and peanuts are well-known as sources of protein and healthy fats, especially for those that abstain from eating meat. However, did you know that legumes have certain hair growth properties as well?
While some other foods contain nutrients that directly support the healthy production of hair in the follicles as well as sebum on the scalp, legumes are rich in a compound known as folic acid, a crucial component in the production of red blood cells. The more red blood cells are created, the more oxygen will be circulated throughout your body, including your scalp. Through this process, your scalp and follicles can become rejuvenated, leading to increased hair growth as well as improved appearance of hair.