If you want your hair to look its best, it’s important to make sure your diet is providing the nutrients it needs. You might be surprised by how many nutrients are involved in healthy hair growth.
Here are five essential nutrients for healthy hair:
- Protein is the building block of your hair. A diet rich in protein can help keep hair strong and prevent breakage. Protein from foods like eggs, fish, chicken, beef and dairy products can be used by your body to build strong hair.
- Iron helps form red blood cells that carry oxygen to the cells of your body including those in your scalp. When there’s not enough iron in the body, it can lead to thinning of the hair or loss of color due to lack of oxygen. Iron deficiency is common among women because they lose blood during menstruation each month. Good sources of iron include red meat, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, beans and lentils.
- Zinc helps produce collagen which keeps skin and connective tissue strong — including hair follicles which anchor a strand of hair within the scalp while still allowing it to grow freely. Zinc also aids in wound healing so when you cut yourself shaving or get a scrape or burn it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough zinc in your diet every day! Good sources include oysters and other shellfish (yum!)
- Zinc is another critical mineral that helps restore damaged hair and prevents breakage. Zinc deficiency can lead to brittle, dull and thinning hair, so it’s important to include zinc-rich foods in your diet like seafood (clams, oysters), meats (meat), poultry (chicken breast) and whole grains (oatmeal). You can also take a zinc supplement if needed.
- Omega 3 fatty acids provide essential support for healthy scalp cell growth and may help reduce inflammation associated with dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis (a common scalp condition). Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon or tuna.