Healthy Food, Happy Hair
"Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a Chicago-based dietitian. "If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body --inside and out."
Without good nutrition hair may not grow strong. Weak hair may not be able to handle color, styling or may even break at the sight of a comb. Stronger hair allows you to do so much more with it and hair styling is about expressing yourself.
Here are Vasuda's top 10 foods for healthy hair:
No 1: Salmon
Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron."Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health," says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look."
Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.
No. 2: Dark Green
Spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner. Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.
No. 3: Beans
Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.
No. 4: Nuts
Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. Zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding.
No. 5: Poultry
High quality proteins promote strong hair and rich natural color. Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.
No. 6: Eggs
Eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find. They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.
No. 7: Whole Grains
Hearty whole grains for a dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
No. 8: Oysters
High in zinc, a powerful antioxidant. You can also get zinc from beef and lamb.
No. 9:Low-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources.
No. 10: Carrots
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp.