What are the main nutrients you should eat daily for long hair? Eating healthy food is crucial for our overall health including the health of our skin and hair.
A hairstylist who specialized in natural and clean haircare, Lucy Vincent said:
“The health of growing hair depends wholly on what we eat and break down in the bloodstream and the circulation of blood to the scalp, which may be improved through massage.”
Hair is mostly created from keratin which is made from amino acids. Here is what we need to eat more to have healthy hair.
Collagen has hair and skin-supporting benefits. It is thought that collagen contributes to a healthy scalp and it helps with oxidative stress which is the primary cause of hair loss. This mineral can be found in bone broth, but it can also be found in hydrolyzed collagen supplements.
MSM is found in our bodies and plants such as broccoli, kale, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and asparagus. Vincent explained the main function of MSM for our hair:
“It supports collagen and keratin, fundamental building blocks for skin, hair, and nails. MSM is particularly high in the amino acid cysteine, a key element responsible for maintaining skin and hair tissue. It also supports wound healing and is generally great for healthy skin, hair, bones, and connective tissue.”
The mineral zinc is beneficial for your hair growth, oil production in the scalp and repair of your hair. According to Vincent:
“Supporting tissue growth and repair, zinc helps keep your scalp and hair healthy. It also regulates hormones in the body and helps maintain production of oil-secreting glands on the scalp that help your hair grow.”
Zinc can be found in oysters, veal liver and roast beef.
As you are already aware, protein is essential for many body functions such as muscle mass. It is vital for the health of our hair as well. One of the most common signs of protein deficiency is hair loss. Vincent explains that
“Because hair is mostly protein (keratin), a diet of too little protein can advance the loss of pigment, causing greyness. A diet rich in high-quality, naturally occurring protein will do wonders for your hair.”
To get your daily dose of protein reach for peanuts, eggs, peas, tofu, turkey, Greek yogurt, kale, beans, lentils and chicken.
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely nourishing inside and out. Specifically, for hair omega-3 can improve your hair growth and nourishing your scalp, preventing breakage and improving the elasticity of your hair. For additional Omega-3 eat plenty of walnuts, tuna, brussels sprouts, small fish such as anchovies, flaxseeds, salmon and tuna.
The most famous hair supplement is biotin which is one of the B vitamins that specifically supports thickens and shine of hair. Lack of biotin can also lead to hair loss as Vincent explains:
“Thinning hair and hair loss are very common symptoms, the addition of biotin helps. This is especially true if you have low levels of biotin—which has been shown to lead to hair loss.”
B-vitamin-rich foods are legumes, yeast, whole grains, avocados, eggs, and liver.
Selenium supports hair follicles and encourages hair growth. If you don’t have enough selenium in your body that can lead to reduced hair growth, hair-follicle abnormalities and hair loss. This mineral can be found in tuna, shrimps, Brazil nuts, halibut and sardines.
It’s very important to test the level of minerals in your body before you start working on increasing the level of any given proteins and minerals mentioned above. For example, when you have too much zinc in your body it can lead to headaches, rashes, cognitive confusion and lethargy. Also, too much selenium can lead to brittle and damaged hair. Always talk to your physician before you make major changes in your diet.