Why eat regular food, when you can eat superfoods? Last week I was invited to Seattle to…
Sometimes we wish we could undo a visit to the hair salon or wish that our hair can finally grow out to try a new hairstyle. Choosing foods that promote healthy hair is the best thing you can do to give hair growth a boost.
Keep in mind though, you won’t wake up with Rapunzel-length hair overnight, as the hair growth process is unavoidably drawn-out; but, by incorporating these foods and nutrients into your diet, you’re setting the optimum foundation for long, strong, healthy hair growth.
Foods that Promote Hair Growth
Foods Rich in B Vitamins
Vitamin B might as well stand for Vitamin Beautiful, because that is how makes your hair, skin, and nails look. Folate, B6, B12, and biotin are involved in the creation of new red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to your cells, including those in your hair and scalp. Deficiency in any of these can lead to weak hair prone to breaking, shedding, and slower growth.
Foods Sources of Folate: Lentils, black-eyed peas, beans, dark leafy greens, broccoli, sunflower seeds, berries, artichokes
Foods Sources of B6: Chickpeas, wild salmon, oats, bananas, pistachios, lentils, tomatoes, brown or wild rice, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, avocados, eggs, dark leafy greens
Foods Sources of B12: Most animal-based foods contain B12. Some of the best picks include wild salmon or other wild fish and eggs. If you don’t eat meat, check out some of these vegan sources of B12.
Foods Sources of Biotin: Almonds, walnuts, dark leafy greens, wild salmon, cauliflower, avocadoes, raspberries
Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene
Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body, which is needed for hair cell growth. If you’re lacking in Vitamin A, you may develop dry, brittle hair and a flaky scalp, which will most definitely slow down the growth of your luscious locks.
Food sources of beta-carotene: Any orange or red produce, like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and watermelon, as well as dark leafy greens
Foods Rich in Omega-3:
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that we must take in through our diet, as we can’t make it on our own. This healthy fat is highly anti-inflammatory, keeps our hair and skin supple, and, like other fats, helps our body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients, like Vitamin A, that it needs for healthy hair.
Food sources of Omega 3: hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, wild salmon and other seafood
Foods Rich in Iron:
Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen, which is needed for proper hair growth and strong hair. Lack of iron can lead to slower growth and even hair loss. Note that iron is absorbed differently when it comes from an animal source than when it comes from a plant source. Plant-based sources of iron should be eaten with food that contains Vitamin C, for better absorption.
Foods sources of iron: eggs, meat, lentils, beans, black-eyed peas, tempeh, soy, dark leafy greens, seaweed
Foods Rich in Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is the building block for collagen, a structural protein that gives us strong hair and youthful skin. It also helps us use the iron found in plant foods. Lack of vitamin C can lead to dry, brittle hair that breaks easily.
Food sources of Vitamin C: Pineapple, oranges, tangerine, papaya, bell peppers, lemon, grapefruit, dark leafy greens,
Foods Rich in Zinc:
Zinc plays a role inkeeping your hair follicles functioning properly and your hair growing quickly. Low zinc can mean dandruff, slow growth, and even hair loss.
Food sources of zinc: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, beans, lentils
Incorporating these vitamins into your diet through healthy, whole foods is an important step toward optimizing hair growth, as well as overall health. You’ll be feeling great and loving your locks again before you know it!
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a 28-day healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. Her most popular program is EatSLIM, a 10-week online group glass that guides participants to develop healthy eating habits that stick – and lose weight, boost their metabolism, improve their digestion, and quit sugar.
She writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.