"Good Hair" Diet
by Ebony Clark-Bomani
Is what you're consuming contributing to the health or demise of your hair? Maybe you shampoo gently with a low/no sulfate shampoo. Perhaps you're gentle when handling, or disciplined when it comes to the protection of your tresses. Better yet when it comes to products, you use the cream of the crop. That's all just peachy, but what are you eating? It's just as important, if not more, to nourish your hair from the inside. Some of the top foods include:
This high quality source of protein is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and B-12. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support the health of your scalp. Lack of it can cause dry scalp.
* Vegetarian/vegan???? Add one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.
2. DARK GREEN VEGETABLES
Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum (oil). The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner. Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.
Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide lots of protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. Although it's rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair. For best results add 3 cups of lentils or beans to your diet every week.
Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They also provide a bountiful source of zinc, as do cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu (unless you're allergic).
5. *POULTRY (and its eggs)
Without sufficient protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair. Furthermore, a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color. Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits. Eggs, no matter how they're prepared are among the greatest sources of protein as well. *Whenever possible be sure to consume organic and cage free products.
6. WHOLE GRAINS
Choose hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
Yes! Oysters may be better known for their reputation as an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair because they contain a powerful dose of ZINC! Who'd have thought?!?!?
8. LOW-FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS
Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources. For some healthy hair snacks, try yogurt or cottage cheese cup. You can even boost hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision. Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, you'd be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.
An overall balance of nutrients keep your body and hair in tip top shape...Avoid crash diets or diets where you don't consume enough calories. You could be eliminating some much needed vitamins and minerals which could lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and even hair loss. Be good to yourself. ♥