Summer has arrived. And not only are the days longer, but the sun shines into the evening, the weather is warm and pleasant, and you’re already dreaming of your island vacation. You feel great and you look great — and you want your hair to look great, too. Posing for photos on the beach, you want your hair to shine brightly under the sun!
Even if you typically have dry hair that’s prone to split ends, that’s not too much to ask. Your diet can actually make a difference in the sheen and length of your hair. In general, the more nutrients you eat, the healthier your hair, skin, nails, and really entire body will be.
But there are a few key vitamins and minerals that nourish your hair from the source. While supplements can provide some of them, you really need food and nourishment to get everything you need.
Vitamin A is key for hair growth and the promotion of natural oil secretion on your scalp. B-vitamins — especially biotin — are crucial components of a diet that enables a healthy head of hair. Vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and zinc all play integral roles in the health of your scalp and follicles. And, not surprisingly, protein is necessary to keep your hair growing at its usual clip with the desired amount of strength. Preventing split ends and dull locks of hair is as simple as getting proper nutrition — these foods can help you get there.
In order to absorb certain nutrients, called fat-soluble vitamins, you need a good amount of healthy fats in your diet. Almond butter is a great way to get them — as are avocados, olive oil, and chia seeds. So when you consume foods with vitamins that help your hair, the healthy fats ensure that your body absorbs them. However, almonds also contain vitamin E, which could contribute to keeping hair thick and lustrous.
Without healthy fats, your hair is going to struggle to keep its sheen. Chia seeds contain lots of the healthy fats you need. Not sure how to use that expensive and giant bag of chia seeds? Make chia pudding, stir some in your smoothie, or sprinkle them on your fruit. You can also cook with them — here are some recipes to get you started.
Chickpeas are having a moment — they’re being repurposed into all kinds of snack foods, including puffs that look like Cheetos, roasted snack bites, and even nut butter. No matter how you consume them, your hair is going to be happy. They have some of the highest concentrations of vitamin B9 of any food — just one cup of the legumes contains nearly three times your daily recommended value.
Have you ever heard of collagen? The innovative protein powder is increasingly popular in the wellness world due to its many health benefits. It’s a powerful protein that works to strengthen your hair, nails, and skin. You can put the powder in a smoothie, pour it in your latte, or even bake with it. It’s tasteless, so the sky’s the limit with this health elixir.
The nutritional value of eggs really can’t be beat — plus, they’re so versatile, you could really eat them for every meal of the day. Got leftovers you want to repurpose? Turn them into a whole new meal by just putting an egg on them. Your hair will thank you. Eggs are filled with nutrients your hair craves, including biotin, which strengthens hair and fingernails. No more split ends!
If you’re choosing between regular and Greek yogurt for breakfast, you might want to opt for Greek. It has way more protein, which can help support hair growth. Plus, it has a significant amount of vitamin B5 to boost blood flow and increase the likelihood your hair will grow faster as a result.
Thanks to the matcha trend, you can drink green tea even if you don’t like tea when it’s plainly brewed. Whether it’s in a matcha latte or steeped in a steaming cup of water, green tea contains vitamin A, which helps to stimulate your scalp’s production of natural oils. This can really help if you experience dry scalp or even dandruff.
If you needed another reason to eat more salad, here it is. Greens are great for your luscious locks. They have iron, which stimulates blood flow to the scalp, alongside vitamins A, C, E, and K. The more vitamins you consume, the healthier your hair will be. Just make sure it’s dark, leafy greens — romaine (which might give you food poisoning anyway) is mostly just water.
Contrary to popular opinion, there are many delicious ways to cook lentils. If you hate the consistency of lentil soup, make a lentil salad or use them in another dish! They have so many nutrients for promoting hair health, including protein, iron, folic acid, zinc, and biotin. Zinc can be hard to get enough of and many Americans don’t realize they are actually deficient in the mineral.
Oysters have bountiful stores of zinc; just make sure you know the right way to pick them. They’re also one of the foods most likely to give you food poisoning. But a lack of zinc can result in major hair loss.
They’re known for being the “healthier” potato — but regular potatoes are actually pretty healthy, too! However, there is one thing white potatoes are missing. They lack in beta-carotene, a vitamin that stimulates the scalp to produce oils that keep hair bright and shiny. The more sweet potatoes you eat, the less dry, brittle hair you’re likely to have.
Tangerines contain two important vitamins for beautifying your natural hair: vitamin C and vitamin B12. The vitamin C works to improve your absorption of iron, which boosts blood flow and therefore hair growth, while the vitamin B12 guards against hair loss and helps your hair grow faster. As an added bonus, these fruits are also great for your immune system.
When you eat walnuts, you’re killing two birds with one stone — not only are you getting healthy fats, you’re also getting protein. Your hair thrives best when you’re stocked up on both. Make your own trail mixes infused with walnuts or bake them into a dessert. Doesn’t matter how you eat them, you’ll still get the benefits!
If you’re dehydrated, your hair is going to be dehydrated, too. Shampoo could never give your hair as much moisture as actual hydration, no matter how convincing the TV ad. If you think you might be dehydrated, try these simple tips to hydrate fast.
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