For the past year and a half I have been somewhat obsessed with eating healthier. Now, I will admit that I have my spells when I fall off a little. However, for the most part, I am very conscious of what I put into my body and exercising regularly.
Below are some healthy foods I’ve been in love with recently that *surprise* also aid in hair growth and health.
1. Salmon: Salmon is rich in protein and vitamin D (which are both important for strong hair). The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon cannot be naturally produced by our bodies but are essential to growing hair since 3% of the hair shaft is made up of these fatty acid.
Alternatives: Herring, sardines, trout, mackerel, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
2. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, an antioxidant our bodies turn into vitamin A – which is vital to the function of EVERY cell in our bodies. It also aids in protecting and producing oils that sustain our scalp. If our bodies are low on vitamin A the result may be itchy, dry scalp and dandruff.
Alternatives: Carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots.
3. Eggs: A great source of protein which have four essential minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is most important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles. If you don’t have enough (anemia) you might suffer from major hair loss, particularly women.
Alternatives: Chicken, fish, pork, and beef.
4. Spinach: The iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C contained in spinach keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
Alternative: Broccoli, kale, and Swiss chard.
5. Lentils: Lentils are packed with protein, iron, zinc, and biotin which make them a great diet choice for vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters who are on a healthy hair journey.
Alternatives: soybeans, edamame and kidney beans.
6. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein (like poultry), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid – often found in hair care products!), and vitamin D – which may aid in hair follicle health.
Alternatives: Cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, and skim milk.
7. Blueberries: Blueberries have vitamin C – a vitamin critical to scalp circulation and supporting the tiny blood vessels that feed hair follicles. You might experience hair breakage if your diet does not include a sufficient amount of vitamin C.
Alternatives: Kiwis, oranges, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries.
8. Poultry: Everyone knows poultry is a good source of protein AND that hair is comprised mostly of protein. It also includes hair-healthy zinc, iron, and B vitamins which keep strands strong and thick. Your hair is protein so consuming it usually ensures that your body has the key element to produce healthy hair.
Alternatives: Lean cuts of beef are another good source of lean protein.
9. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant which helps maintain collagen levels. Tomatoes are even more effective when cooked!
10. Raw Honey: Honey is a humectant which holds on to water molecules – retaining moisture is especially important to naturals. Consuming raw honey will give you the most benefits and the shiniest hair.
For more info on fruits and veggies, check out this in-depth chart >> Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Chart.
Also check out my “Black Girls Workout, Too” Series:
Do you have any special “hair foods” that you eat? Please share below, if you do! Is there anything on this list that you eat regularly?