Want a strong, shiny, healthy head of hair? A balanced diet that includes protein, iron and other nutrients is key. Online publication Style Bistro, consulted with ISHRS' Dr. Alan Bauman on what foods are best to eat to maintain Hair Health. Here are his recommendations:
"When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it's hard to beat salmon. Loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based Omega-3 fats."
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. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner."
"Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair."
"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 are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu."
"However they're served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find. They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients."
"Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins."
Low-Fat Dairy Products
"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 foods "to-go," try throwing a yogurt or cottage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morning to snack on later in the day. You can boost their hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc."
If you maintain a healthy diet rich in foods as recommended, your hair and scalp will thank you!