Just like every other part of your body, the cells and processes that support strong, vibrant hair depend on a balanced diet. To see changes you have to be patient, it can take a few months for a nutritional deficiency or the effects of a crash diet to show up.
Besides being rich in protein and vitamin D (both are key to strong hair) the omega-3 fatty acids found in this tasty cold-water fish are a true superstar. Your body can’t make those fatty acids, which your body needs to grow hair. About 3% of the hair shaft is made up of these fatty acids. Omega-3’s are also found in cell membranes in the skin of your scalp and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.
Beans are a great source of vitamin B6, folic acid, and the minerals magnesium, sulfur and zinc. Add black beans to your favorite Tex-Mex recipe or workday lunch for a vitamin and protein boost that will keep you and your hair shining throughout the day.
This low-profile berry was ranked number one in antioxidant activity by the U.S. Department of Agriculture compared to 40 common fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries protect you from premature aging.
These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Since your hair rarely gets much shielding from the sun, this is especially helpful. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous.
This leafy green vegetable is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Spinach is loaded with lutein, which keeps your eyes healthy and sparkling. Spinach is also a good source of vitamins B, C, and E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Oysters are rich in zinc, a lack of which can lead to hair loss (even in your eyelashes) as well as a dry, flaky scalp. Three ounces has a whopping 493% of your daily value. You can get some zinc through fortified cereals and whole grain breads, but oysters can boast a good level of protein too. Without enough protein, your body can’t replace the hairs that you naturally shed every day and what you do make can be dry, brittle, or weak.
Not only does dairy build strong bones, but it also keeps your hair strong with calcium and Vitamins D and B12. Fill up on low-fat milk and cottage cheese to keep your gorgeous hair growing strong.
Great sources of protein, eggs are loaded with four key minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women.
Tomatoes are the best source of the anti-aging antioxidant lycopene. Surprisingly, lycopene in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by your body when it is cooked or processed.
Peas provide an excellent way to get the carbohydrates and potassium that your hair needs to stay vibrant and strong. Although they contain more calories than other green vegetables, these nutrient-filled calories will keep you full and your hair at its healthiest.