5 Nutrients for Longer, Stronger, Healthier Hair

Healthy hair comes from the inside out. Sure, you can slather on products that make your hair look shiny (hello, silicones), but the recipe for a naturally strong, healthy and long mane is one part good hair routine and one part good nutrition.

A healthy diet and plenty of water are the keys to growing that lustrous hair you see in TV commercials.

These five nutrients improve the look and health of your hair.

1. Protein

Protein is the building block of hair, so you’ll need plenty of it to keep your strands looking healthy. Both your hair and your nails are made primarily of keratin, a type of protein.

To produce keratin, your body needs the right amino acids. You can only get these amino acids from protein.

Protein-starved hair is dry, weak and brittle. In severe cases, lack of this vital nutrient can actually cause hair loss.

Choose healthy sources of protein, like chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, dairy, legumes, whole grains or nuts.

Forget applying products with protein. They may help strengthen the hair, but the best results will come from increasing your dietary protein intake.

2. Biotin

Biotin is often hailed as the “holy grail” for hair growth and health. That’s not surprising considering this nutrient also goes by another name: vitamin H. The “H” stands for haar and haut, which is German for hair and nails.

Biotin plays a role in the development of keratin, which is why it can aid in hair growth. This vitamin works with cell enzymes to help build proteins.

Vitamin H can be found in a wide range of foods, including liver, egg yolk, fish and yeast, according to Nature Supplies. If you’re deficient in this important nutrient, biotin supplements can help.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Anti-inflammatory and nourishing, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to the health of both your body and your hair. This nutrient is found in the cells that make up the scalp, and also help provide oils to keep your scalp looking and feeling healthy.

Adding fatty fish to your diet, like salmon, herring, trout, mackerel and sardines, will help ensure that you get enough of this vital hair nutrient. If you’re not a fan of fish, supplements are available.

Plant sources of omega-3s include pumpkin seeds, avocados, flaxseed and walnuts.

4. Iron

Iron is an important hair nutrient that many people overlook. An iron deficiency can actually cause hair loss because hair follicles are fed by your blood supply.

When your iron levels fall below the recommended level, your follicles will not get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. A disruption in the nutrient supply can affect the growth cycle and cause shedding.

Meat and fish are the best sources of bioavailable iron. Vegetarians can get their iron from spinach, broccoli, lentils, kale and other leafy greens.

5. Vitamin C

A potent antioxidant, vitamin C is also an important nutrient in hair health. This vitamin actually aids in the absorption of iron, so it plays a key role in your hair’s growth rate and strength.

In addition, this antioxidant aids in the production of collagen, which strengthens the blood vessels that feed the hair.

Food sources of vitamin C include blueberries, guava, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, lemon, strawberries, papaya and sweet potatoes.

These five nutrients will help you grow longer, stronger and healthier hair. Other hair-supporting nutrients include: magnesium (to combat stress-related hair fall), calcium (an essential mineral), vitamin A (helps the body produce sebum), vitamin E (protects the hair) and zinc (to combat flakes and dry scalp). Most of these nutrients can be easily obtained through food, but you can also take supplements if you don’t like certain foods or are highly deficient.

 

Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Loading...