What To Eat For Healthy Hair Growth
Supple, glowing skin; strong nails; bright, clear eyes and lustrous shiny hair are all signs of what is going on inside us. The last of these is what preoccupies me these days: hair.
After being a “girl with short hair” for over six years I’m finally growing it out and it’s maddening. So along with a little patience, i'm relying on key nutrients to give my body the best chance of growing a silky smooth and shiny mane.
The mineral iodine plays a key role in the rejuvenation of skin and in protecting against psoriasis and flaky scalps. This is where we should all start, because healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp.
Natural salts are a good source of iodine, as are sea vegetables such as kelp, wakame or sea vegetable flakes; raw, organic dairy products; prunes, cranberries, strawberries; navy and lima beans.
Zinc is necessary for the production of collagen, the main protein that builds and repairs skin cells – essential not only for our faces but for our scalps, too. Zinc works with vitamin A to counteract dandruff and is essential for keratin: the main structural component of hair. Zinc can also be used to initiate hair growth and it can be found in nuts and seeds such as pine nuts, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds; pulses like lentils and quinoa; as well as oats and asparagus.
Ensuring that your blood is rich in iron is important as the hair follicle and root needs to be fed by nutrient rich blood. When iron levels are low we often see hair listlessness and loss. Dark, leafy greens are the best source of iron in the plant kingdom, especially when taken with vitamin C to enhance bio-availability (the rate in which it's absorbed into your system). A really great natural iron supplement is Blackstrap molasses. Just a tablespoon of this every day is a non-meat way to boost your iron levels.
Vitamins A and E work alongside minerals to promote scalp and hair health. Vitamin A helps our bodies make the scalp conditioner sebum and is best obtained through brightly coloured vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, spinach, kale and winter squash alongside a bit of healthy fat to aid bio-availability.
Vitamin E, a very powerful anti-ageing antioxidant, is found in seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds and green vegetables.
Lastly, the B vitamins riboflavin (vitamin B2) and biotin (vitamin B7) are vital for healthy hair growth, shine and hair loss treatment as well as skin cell regeneration. Conveniently, as with many already mentioned nutrients, these vitamins are found in seaweeds, dark greens (B2), nuts and seeds (B7).
So for the ultimate route to healthy hair growth, get filling your cupboards with these foods!
Written by: Lisa Aanes
Photography: Pexels, Chelsea Parsons