We all know that what we eat has a major impact on the way our bodies look and feel. However, the food choices we make don’t only impact upon our skin and waistlines; they also play a significant part in the health of our hair. So, if your diet is lacking in key vitamins and minerals, no amount of expensive serums or hair treatments is going to be able to give you that sleek, conditioner commercial hair we all crave.
Great nutrition is at the core of gorgeous hair. If you want healthy hair this summer, the first step is to re-evaluate what you’re putting in your mouth. A high-fat, high-sugar or low protein diet is a sure fire way to wreak havoc on your poor hair, causing everything from dullness to premature thinning. The good news is that it’s easier than you think to incorporate some super foods into your diet that will give your luscious locks back their lustre.
Eat your way to stunning summer hair with these six super food groups for maintaining your mane.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A diet rich in omega-3 is vital for optimum well-being. Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 aren’t just responsible for regulating our metabolisms and ensuring bone health – they’re also used to build cell membranes in the scalp. These membranes then create the natural oils that stop our hair drying out and encourage healthy hair growth. So, if your diet lacks Omega-3 fatty acids, you may experience hair loss, hair breakage, dandruff and an itchy scalp. Yikes!
Fortunately, there are stacks of different foods you can slip into your meals to up your Omega-3 intake. Fish is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, so try to incorporate some delicious salmon or more budget-friendly sardines into your diet at least once a week. If you’re not a big fish eater, you can also source omega-3 from whole grains, walnuts or pumpkin seeds.
Our hair constantly requires nutrients for hair cell development. However, our bodies consider hair to be non-essential tissue. This means that women with iron-deficiencies or full blown anaemia often don’t have enough Iron left to nourish their hair once more vital tissues have been satisfied. This leads to thinning of the hair and hair loss, with pregnant women and vegans most at risk.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, get your doctor to check your iron levels and add some more super foods for healthy hair into your diet ASAP! Dark, leafy vegetables such as kale and bok choy are high in Iron. Spinach is another good choice as it contains folate and Vitamin C, both of which aid in the production of healthy scalp oils. Not a huge vegetable fan? You can still up your Iron intake by eating oysters, chicken liver and most cooked meats.
Zinc plays a huge role in regulating our cognitive and biological functions. It’s vital for fertility, a strong immune system and, of course, maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails. Zinc encourages and accelerates the renewal of cells, so failure to incorporate enough Zinc in your diet can lead to hair loss, thinning, hair dullness and even premature greying.
Zinc is available as an over-the-counter supplement, but it can also be found in a number of regular and super foods. Skip the supplement and get your daily fill of Zinc through easy and delicious sources such as red meat, seafood, nuts and eggs. For a lighter, on-the-go option, opt for your favourite yoghurt.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another key ingredient for optimal hair health, as it aids the body’s production of collagen and tyrosine. Collagen surrounds and protects our hair strands while tyrosine helps to maintain the structural integrity and cells of the hair follicles. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that encourages faster hair growth. A deficiency can create split ends, dullness and breakage.
Adding more Vitamin C into your diet won’t just improve your hair. Consuming around 250mg a day will also up your collagen production and help you fight off wrinkles! Win-win, right? Squeeze more Vitamin C into your day by tucking into fresh fruits like blueberries, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and kiwifruits. For a more savoury option, try tomato, spinach or green peppers.
The final ingredient on our list for achieving super silky hair this summer is biotin. Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, aids in the body’s processing of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Dubbed ‘hair food’ by industry experts, Biotin has proven extremely effective in increasing the rate of hair growth, making it ideal for ladies with thinning hair.
Unlike Iron, developing a biotin deficiency is relatively uncommon. However, in order for it to really make an impact on your hair, it’s important to ingest around 5000 mcg of Vitamin B7 a day. Start by adding some swiss chard into your diet. This leafy vegetable is a super food for healthy hair and full of the antioxidants all limp locks desperately crave. Eggs and milk are other simple ways to get more biotin into your meals, along with proteins such as nuts and halibut.
Between colouring, straightening and the occasional fast-food binge, we put our hair through a lot. Fortunately, undoing the damage and eating your way to hot hair this summer is usually as simple as introducing a few super foods for gorgeous hair into your diet. Add more Omega-3, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin C and Biotin into your life and you’ll have silky, strong, summer ready hair in no time!
We wanna know: How kind are you to your hair?
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