If your hair is limp, dry or dull your diet may be part of the problem. Healthy hair grows about half an inch each month. As new cells grow and push out of the scalp the dead cells form a protective layer that becomes the hair you see. The healthier the cells are, the better hair looks and the better it protects new growth. Hair health can be affected by many factors such as age, genetics and medications, but one of the few factors that can be controlled is diet. A healthy diet including foods which provide a variety of vitamins and amino acids is essential for strong, thick, shiny hair.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, and to a lesser extent tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy hair growth. Although not as good as fish sources, other animal sources of omega-3’s include meat, eggs, and dairy products, . There are also good plant-based sources of omega-3’s which include ground flax seed, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, and black raspberries.
Protein and Iron
Consumption of protein and iron is also essential to healthy hair growth. Most of the same foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are also excellent sources of protein and iron. Other sources of protein include beans, peanuts, and peas. Other sources of iron include whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C in addition to being an essential nutrient itself, is also essential to help the body absorb iron. Some of the best source for vitamin C are are red peppers, broccoli, kiwifruit, strawberries, parsley, citrus fruit, cantaloupe, garlic, raspberries, and cauliflower.
A vitamin A deficiency can cause an unhealthy scalp and dry dull hair. Some great source of vitamin A include leafy green vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, pumpkin, and cantaloupe.
Water and Vitamin Supplements
A variety of the foods listed above along with several glasses of water a day should produce strong healthy shiny hair. If you do not eat a diet containing many of these foods, the addition of a daily multivitamin can provide some of the essentials missing in your diet.
Many foods provide several of the components needed to grow healthy hair. A well balanced varied diet along with a healthy amount of water and a multivitamin when necessary, should provide all the nutrients you need to grow healthy shiny hair.