Can you eat your way to healthy hair? Well, you can certainly eat your way to healthier hair that’s for sure. I recently spoke (briefly!) on BBC one’s Food Truth or Scare about hair health and here is what I had to say..
The foods I discussed were:
- Chicken, Meat, Fish & Eggs – These foods are high in protein as well as providing vitamin 7 (known more commonly as biotin). Protein acts as the building blocks to all of our cells, including the cells in our hair, and poor protein intake has been linked to hair loss. Protein is therefore essential for healthy hair and hair growth. Meat and fish also contain iron and low iron levels have also been linked to hair loss. (iron is also found in fortified cereals).
- Salmon and other oily fish – These are our main dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. A small number of studies linked omega 3 to hair growth and density and the general advice is to consume two portions of fish a week, one of which is oily (such as salmon).
- Pumpkin seeds – These powerful little seeds contain zinc which helps with maintenance and growth of hair. Deficiencies of this mineral have also been linked to brittle hair.
- Brazil nuts: These delicious nuts are a good dietary source of selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep our body and cells healthy, including maintaining a healthy scalp.
- Avocado – Avocados are packed with healthy fats as well as Vitamin E (another antioxidant and fat soluble vitamin) which protects cells against damage and has been linked to the prevention of hair loss and scalp dryness.
- Fruit & Vegetables such as Strawberries, Peppers & Broccoli – These are a great source of Vitamin C; an antioxidant that helps to protect hair follicles against damage and helps our body to absorb iron. The body also uses vitamin C to produce collagen; a protein that helps strengthen hair to prevent it from becoming brittle and breaking.
- Vitamin D may also help to keep hair follicles healthy. It is very difficult to get sufficient Vitamin D from the foods we eat on a daily basis, therefore a 10mcg Vitamin D supplement is advisable to ensure you get sufficient Vitamin D to protect you and your hair; especially in the autumn and winter.
As well as a healthy diet, limiting the number of times a week that you heat styling tools will also help the health of your hair; in addition to using a heat protection spray when you do!