The hair is an extension of the body, how healthy, strong, and shiny your hair and looks are directly correlated to the overall health of your body.
What’s the best way to be healthy and keep your body in great shape? The answer is diet and nutrition. A healthy diet will not only keep you healthy and strong, but wellness will also extend to your mane and keep your hair strong and healthy.
The real question then is, “What are the vital nutrients you need to add to your diet for strong and shiny hair?”
In this article, we’ll look at the vital nutrients you can add to your diet to promote hair growth and prevent breakage and dryness. If you’re working towards improving the health and appearance of your hair, then you should evaluate your eating habits and make sure to add these vital nutrients to your diet.
The hair’s structure is made of hardened proteins known as keratin. Without a steady and adequate supply of protein, the body can’t produce these building blocks, which in turn slows down hair growth and makes hair weak.
Good sources of protein for hair growth include chicken, turkey, and fish like tilapia, halibut, and tuna. Other options to consider include tofu, quinoa, low-fat mozzarella, and cottage cheeses.
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital nutrients that the body needs for a number of functions. They are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seafood such as fatty fish and shellfish. They form a very important part of cell membranes throughout the body, including the scalp.
This means a healthy supply of omega-3 fatty acids will keep your scalp in great condition, making it function effectively at producing the natural oils your scalp and your hair need to stay hydrated.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be gotten from plant sources like walnuts, soybeans, canola oil, and flax seeds.
The state of your red blood cells greatly affects the health of your hair because it is through them that oxygen and nutrients are transported throughout the body, including to the scalp and hair follicles.
Vitamins B6, B12, and folate are very vital in the formation of red blood cells. A deficiency in these vitamins means your hair might not be getting all the resources it needs, leading to shedding, breakage, and slower growth. You can get B vitamins from beans, chicken, oatmeal, and pork tenderloin (if you eat pork).
We mentioned the importance of protein in hair formation earlier - biotin is very important in the production of amino acids, one of the compounds that form protein.
Making sure you get enough biotin in your body is a great way to give your hair all the protein it needs for healthy growth. Carrots, walnuts, cauliflower, and almonds are great sources of biotin.
Iron is another nutrient that plays an important role in the proper functioning of red blood cells. Inadequate levels of iron in the blood can lead to anemia, which can lead to hair loss.
Without iron, the red blood cells won’t act right, and if they don’t act right the hair follicles won’t get much-need oxygen. To prevent this, eat iron-rich foods like eggs, oysters, tuna, and spinach.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that prevents hair damage caused by free radicals in the body. Adding rich sources of vitamin C to your diet will protect your hair from damage and also facilitate the production of collagen, a protein that is important to the structure of the hair.
Oranges, bell pepper, strawberries, parsley, and kale are all viable sources of vitamin C.
Hydration is very important to avoid dryness and hair breakage. Moisturizing from the inside is a great way to keep your hair and skin healthy. Drinking enough water makes sure the body isn’t dehydrated.
A great way to make sure you drink enough water is to make water your main beverage. You can also eat water-rich fruits and vegetables to keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
Zinc is vital because it works to strengthen hair follicles and prevent hair loss by binding to proteins. The oil glands also function better with a rich supply of zinc, they stave off dryness and dandruff.
Too much zinc has been linked to hair loss, so be careful with supplements. Opt for natural sources like oysters, shellfish, sunflower seeds, peanuts, beef, lamb, and cereals made with whole grains and bran.
We listed eight vital nutrients for healthy hair growth in this article, there are other nutrients that are beneficial but the ones mentioned are the essential ones.
While these might seem like a lot, the trick to getting enough of all the nutrients your hair needs for healthy growth is to follow a healthy diet, consistently. Pay close attention to what you eat and make sure to reduce or eliminate processed foods from your diet.
You can take supplements to get these vital nutrients, but the best way to go is to eat right, consistently. You will be healthy and your hair will be a beautiful manifestation of your good health.
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