Struggling to grow luxurious tresses or simply want to grow great hair?
Read on for a few foods to include in your diet and a few supplements to top up with. Most important to remember is like all of the body, one’s hair needs a balanced and complete diet. Variety is the key. Make sure to include lean proteins, the good fats, fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and pulses and organic dairy products.
Diet Guidelines for Hair Growth
Start by including salmon in your diet on a regular basis. Salmon contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids which are vital for scalp health. Salmon also has the added benefits of containing B12 and iron. For those who are vegetarians include flaxseed oil in your diet.
Popeye’s lovely squeeze had nice dark tresses and we are sure she regularly indulged in helpings of Popeye’s favourite dark green leafy vegetable. If you are not a fan of spinach then ensure that you regularly partake of other dark green leafy vegetables, like broccoli and Swiss chard. All these vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. Sebum is the natural oil, which your hair follicles secrete in order to condition your hair. Dark green leafy vegetables are also high in minerals like iron and calcium.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph include beans, pulses, seeds and legumes in your diet. These days we are spoilt for choice, enjoy three cupful’s (or more if you like) of a variety of these, for instance kidney beans, chickpeas, green beans, pumpkin seeds, and lentils. They are excellent sources of protein, but also are bursting with iron, zinc and biotin.
Going nuts about losing your hair, well stop right there. You are not nuts - your system knows what it needs. The most important of the nuts for hair is the brazil nut. They are one of the best sources of selenium, which has shown promise in studies for the health of your scalp. Don’t stop there walnuts are next on the list; they contain a particular omega 3 fatty acid which may help with the conditioning of the hair. As with pecans, almonds and cashews, all these nuts contain excellent levels of minerals, including zinc. Zinc deficiencies have been linked to hair loss. So go a little nuts and up your intake of nuts!
Lean protein is next up. Poultry like turkey and chicken are excellent sources of protein. Sufficient protein in the diet is vital for preventing weak and brittle hair. Besides the benefit of lean protein they are also good source of the mineral iron in a good bioavailable form.
Which came first – the chicken or the egg? Well in this case we might have listed the chicken first, but when it comes to including their eggs in your diet for hair care, eggs are a must. They are excellent protein sources, as well as good sources of biotin and vitamin B12.
Do not settle for less than the best; ask for wholegrain options, from bread, to cereals and more. Whole grains are some of the best sources of zinc, iron and B vitamins.
Top up on good quality dairy products like kefir, milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt all of which are excellent sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth, as well as important sources of bioavailable proteins including whey. If you are struggling to include the healthy oils in your diet, like flaxseed oil, stir in a couple of spoons of oil and then indulge in your dairy craving.
Supplements for Hair Growth
Now that we have covered what to add in to your balanced diet, let’s take a look at the supplements with which you can boost your hair growth and hopefully also improve the shine and reduce brittleness.
Simply one of the most vital is Biotin. I have seen some of the best results with just adding a biotin supplement. This is one of the most highly recommended for improving hair growth and speeding regrowth. Biotin is part of the vitamin B family, but as it is a water soluble vitamin it cannot be retained in the body and has to be taken in regularly. Consult your health care practitioner and follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
Besides biotin there are a few more supplements, which also come highly rated. Next on the list is vitamin C, yes it is king of the immune system supplements, but it plays a fairly major role as an antioxidant in the body and helps maintain cellular integrity. Consult your health care practitioner and follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
If you are at all stressed then top up on the B vitamins. Besides the stress factor, other signs of deficiency include feeling tired, bruising easily and slowed hair growth. Make sure which ever complex you are supplementing with contains B12 as it is one of the most vital. Consult your health care practitioner and follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
Another is vitamin E. Not only for skin health, but for hair health it is also necessary. Vitamin E combined with the other vitamins mentioned above encourages a healthy and thereby hair growth. Consult your health care practitioner and follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
Another b vitamin to include is Niacin. Niacin has been noted for nourishing the scalp and promoting good hair growth. Niacin has also been shown to reduce the risk of breakable, lifeless hair. Consult your health care practitioner and follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
Last but not least on the list is zinc. Especially for men, this is a vital supplement. Men lose zinc on a regular basis, (far more than women do) and therefore are more likely to suffer from lacklustre hair growth. Consult your health care practitioner and follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
Please remember that each of you reading this article is different and each of you has specific needs. Any supplementation is dependent on your age and gender. Consult with your health practitioner and/or nutritionist before commencing any supplementation.
About The Author:
After eight years in the retail side of the health industry, much accumulation of knowledge and information I changed industries completely and gone back to my graphic design roots. I still wish to help inform people on natural alternatives, as well as help people when they are choosing to use natural alternatives to treat disorders, diseases and distresses.
(Read more posts by Charlie)