It’s critical to eat a well-balanced diet to maintain healthy and luscious hair. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great way to load up on the essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body and hair healthy.
Just as the residue from drugs and medications and all the other negative things that we put in our bodies show up in our hair, the positive results of nutritional care are evidenced there also. There are no pills we can take or miracle foods we can eat to have healthy hair, but we can feed our hair and scalp by eating the foods that promote physical health and wellbeing.
Without going into any medical or chemical explanations, I want you to take a candid look at your daily diet. Do you eat a lot of red meat? Fried foods? White breads and processed sugars? Butter? Do you drink a lot of coffee, tea or caffeine laden colas? Alcohol? Candy? If you do, you are selling your body and your hair short.
Start by rethinking your approach to food. One of the most helpful bits of advice I can give you is to reverse your eating habits. Make breakfast the main meal of your day. As the old saying goes: In the morning, eat like a queen, at lunchtime, eat like a princess, and at night, eat like a pauper. Have most of your daily food intake in the morning, when you will have longer to digest it before going to bed. Your body will work much more efficiently this way!
Just as balance is the key to the success of the treatments I put on the hair and scalp, balance is essential to nutrition, which is essential to the body’s health, which in turn is essential to a healthy head of hair. See how everything is related?
We need to eat a variety of foods in each of these groups for maximum health. Only one-fifth of our daily protein intake should come from meats, including fish and fowl. Everything I have read or been told points to the elimination of red meats from our diet. It would be unrealistic for me to tell you to stop eating beef or your hair won’t grow, so I will resist that temptation. Instead, I will caution you to limit your red meat intake to once a week.
Foods rich in the B vitamins (leafy green vegetables, whole grains, liver, peas and beans, fish, cheese and eggs), vitamin A (spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beets, chicory, watercress, collard greens, tomatoes, parsnips, watercress, butternut squash, cantaloupes and papayas) and vitamin C (citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, as well as potatoes, tomatoes, melons, strawberries, cauliflower, sweet peppers and green vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage) are vital to the health and well-being of your hair and scalp, as are calcium-rich foods such as canned fish (bones and all), fortified milk, cheese, tofu, yogurt, oysters and kidney beans.
Calf and beef liver, dried beans, peas, shrimp, oysters and other seafoods, prunes, whole wheat, most nuts and fruits and many other unprocessed foods will provide the copper that is helpful in creating healthy hair, while these mineral- rich foods plus asparagus, egg yolks, poultry, molasses, soybean flower, oatmeal, leafy green vegetables, dried peaches, raisins and red meat provide the iron needed by the body.
Other minerals that contribute to full, rich hair are zinc (in poultry, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, whole grains, dry milk, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast and ground mustard), iodine (in seafood, iodized and sea salts, kelp and other seaweeds, onions and vegetables grown in iron-rich soil) and sulfur (in eggs, fish, garlic, onions, dried beans, cabbage and asparagus).
Please keep reading for the top four nutritional benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to promote healthy hair.
1. Promote Hair Growth
Hair grows at a rate of approximately one-half inch per month from two to six years, then rests for about three months before being pushed out by a new hair that has been slowly growing its way up through the skin. On the average, if both the hair and its root as well as the scalp, with its intricate network of nerves and sebaceous (oil) glands, are in working order, this “life” lasts about four years.
When the cycle is normal, we lose eighty to one hundred hairs per day. If, when you run your fingers through your hair, it comes out easily, the hair was most probably ready to be released by the papilla so that a new hair could begin to grow. If your loss is light within that range of eighty to one hundred hairs per day your hair and scalp are normal and you should have nothing to worry about.
If, when you pull your fingers through your hair, you come out with a handful, you have a hair-loss problem, just as you would if you were to see a lot of hair in the basin or tub after washing your hair. Such massive hair loss is not natural, even if your father is bald.
If you are not shedding, your roots are not producing new hair. The formation of new growth depends entirely upon how much nourishment each papilla and root get from the bloodstream, and how clean the scalp is, so that new hair can push its way through to the surface.
The scalp, by the way, is the hardest place on our bodies for blood to reach. Like our fingertips and toes, it is an extremity. The treatments you will learn from me in this book are designed to stimulate blood flow to the scalp to encourage hair growth.
Eating a well-rounded diet full of fruits and vegetables can help promote healthy hair growth. To keep your hair growing regularly, include these essential vitamins in your diet:
Vitamin A: All cells need vitamin A to promote growth. Hair is the fastest growing tissue in your body and requires plenty of vitamin A to prevent hair loss.
Carrots, Spinach, Kale, Pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are excellent vegetable sources of beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A) to enjoy daily.
Biotin: Make sure to include biotin in your daily diet to promote healthy hair growth. Biotin deficiency is a serious matter that has been linked to hair loss in adults.
Eat plenty of sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bananas, broccoli, and avocado for your daily dose of biotin. If you struggle to get enough, there are hair growth gummies to try, which may supplement what you need.
2. Battle Brittle Hair
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and swiss chard, are full of many critical nutrients for keeping hair healthy and moisturized. They contain a ton of vitamin A, iron, folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene that all work to keep your hair from becoming damaged and brittle.
3. Prevent Hair Breakage
Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and zinc to prevent breakage and to keep your hair follicles strong. Zinc is an essential mineral that aids in hair tissue growth and repair and keeps the oil glands around your hair follicles working properly. Eat plenty of potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and kale to add zinc to your daily diet. Vitamin C helps to build collagen and absorb iron which promotes strong hair and prevents breakage. Citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, black currants, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are excellent sources to be consumed regularly.
4. Fight Dull Locks
Beta-carotene is an essential nutrient that protects against dull, dry hair. It promotes the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid, called sebum, that keeps your hair moisturized. Besides beta-carotene, consuming enough healthy fatty acids promotes hair growth, adds shine, and helps relieve a dry scalp. To promote moisturized and shiny hair, include plenty of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, pumpkins, carrots, mangoes, cantaloupes, coconut oil, and avocados into your diet.
The Nutritional Benefits of a Healthy Diet
The nutritional benefits of maintaining a healthy diet will affect your body, mood, energy levels, and even your hair. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to receive the vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that keep your hair strong, thick, shiny, soft, and healthy. If you enjoyed reading this article, check out more of our recent posts for some healthy recipes and helpful nutrition tips.
Avoid foods that are high in oils and fats red meats, fried foods, most nuts and nut products and limit your intake of shellfish and iodized salt because they contain too much iodine. Iodine does help hair growth, but too much can cause acne. Chocolate and cocoa products, cheese, sugars, caffeine-laden soft drinks, coffee and tea, as well as alcohol, should be eliminated or at least restricted, because they can trigger systemic problems that upset the delicate balance between your hair and its environment, the scalp.
The chemical content of the hair is so drastically altered by pollutants that the real nutritional effects of the diet can be lost unless we can reach and maintain that wonderful, delicate balance.