Hair grows from the follicle, or root, underneath the skin. The hair is fed by blood vessels at the base of the follicle, which give it the nourishment it needs to grow. There are some major factors that influence your hair—genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and more.
Diet plays an important role in keeping the skin and hair healthy. The foods people eat have an impact on the growth, strength, and volume of their hair. The best vitamins and nutrients for hair growth include lean proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, B-complex vitamins, and iron.
Eat foods with antioxidant flavonoids to strengthen hair follicles, iron rich foods to boost red blood cells, and protein- and silica-rich foods to promote hair growth and healthy hair. Following is a list of foods that are very rich in nutrients which promotes hair growth.
Spinach contains a variety of nutrients and minerals that can benefit your hair, as well as your overall health. Spinach is rich in iron. Iron is an essential mineral that your hair cells require. In fact, a deficiency of iron in the body may cause hair loss. Other leafy greens like kale also offer nutrient-dense benefits for skin and hair. Plus, the vitamin C in these dark green leafy veggies helps to protect and maintain the cell membranes of hair follicles.
- Flax seed
Flax seeds are full of polyunsaturated fatty acids that can help nourish your scalp and prevent dryness. They also add elasticity to your hair and thus, prevent breakage. Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your yogurt, add some to your smoothie, or create your own flax egg to substitute a real egg in any baked goods recipes.
Carrots are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. When converted to vitamin A, beta-carotene protects against dry, dull hair and stimulates the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum. Drink carrot juice every day for quick hair growth. The hair contains the fastest growing tissues in the body and vitamin A is required for the growth of every cell.
- Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt contains vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid). B vitamins can help you maintain healthy skin and hair. It is very versatile and can be incorporated into a filling breakfast (think smoothies and parfaits) or savoury fare (like dips and condiments). The greatest attribute of yogurt is its probiotics, which are the good bacteria that help your body absorb nutrients.
Oats are rich in iron, fibre, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which stimulate hair growth, making it thick and healthy.
Your protein and iron bases are covered when you eat eggs. They’re rich in a B vitamin called biotin that helps hair grow. Protein is the building block of hair and eggs are one of the richest natural sources of protein. You’ll want to make sure you keep the yolk in your scramble to get the most Vitamin D. As per study, the sunshine vitamin can help create new hair follicles: little pores where new hair can grow. This, in turn, may improve the thickness of your hair or reduce the amount of hair you lose as you age.
Avocados also contain biotin and are a popular ingredient in many DIY hair masks. Avocado is great source of Vitamin E, which increases oxygen uptake, improving circulation to the scalp to promote healthy hair growth and it is also rich in the heart healthy monounsaturated fats. It also maintains the oil and PH levels balance which if exceeds can clog the hair follicles and stop hair growth.
Chicken is a staple in many people’s diet and is rich in nutrients that may aid hair growth. The protein in chicken aids growth and helps repair and strengthen hair follicles. Your hair is made up of protein and so eating a diet rich in high-quality, naturally occurring protein can really help.
Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But salmon has many health benefits beyond supporting hair, including reducing inflammation and benefiting your central nervous system. In a study, researchers found that fish oil extract containing docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, boosted hair growth by increasing the activity of certain proteins in the body.
Also, a small scale study found that taking omega-3 supplements along with marine proteins could reduce hair loss, though the researchers noted that it did not specifically promote hair growth. In other words, there’s evidence to suggest the nutrient may help prevent thinning hair and even bald spots.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are tasty, convenient and contain a variety of nutrients that may promote hair growth. Nuts have also been linked to a wide variety of other health benefits besides hair growth, including reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart diseases. They also provide a wide variety of B vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids. A deficiency in any of these nutrients has been linked to hair loss. Omega-3 fatty acids nourish the hair and support thickening. Since your body cannot produce these healthy fats, you need to derive them from your diet. Almonds and walnuts are really high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Seeds deliver a massive amount of nutrients with relatively few calories. Many of these nutrients may also promote hair growth. These include vitamin E, zinc and selenium. However, flaxseeds provide a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is not used by the body as efficiently as the omega-3s found in fatty fish. Nonetheless, it’s a great addition to the diet. In order to get the widest variety of nutrients, it’s best to consume a mixture of seeds. Seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.