Your diet defines the health and growth of your hair. Although your genes play an important role in determining the color, texture and lifecycle of your hair, nutrition also plays some part. If you think your hairs are rough, flaky and fragile, you can improve their quality and growth through better nutrition. When we call better nutrition, it means your daily diet should contain a fair proportion of all the nutritional elements necessary for hair growth.
Listed below are six essential nutrients that your body needs for growing and nourishing your hair. Incorporate them in your daily diet and strengthen your locks within a couple of months.
Protein: Your hairs are mainly composed of protein, covered by a thin layer of fatty acids. Thus consuming enough protein is essential for maintaining good health of hair. Amino acid lysine, typically found in keratin is particularly important for healthy hair.
Food Sources: Protein is not only the basic component of hairs but also building block of all cells. Meat particularly is a rich source of protein. Incorporate fish, lean meat, soy and legumes in your diet and give your hair a protein boost.
Biotin: Biotin or B7 is a nutrient used for the production of Keratin, a naturally occurring protein that constitutes the fibrous part of the hairs on mammals’ skin.
Food Sources: Foods that are rich in Biotin include peanuts, eggs, beans, beef, leafy green vegetables and Swiss chard.
Vitamins A and C: These two vitamins are also very important when it comes to hair growth. Both Vitamin A and C are the building blocks of sebum – the natural hair oil produced by the sebaceous glands that coats the hair follicles and prevents them from damage.
Food Sources: Most fresh fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamin A and C. All citrus fruits particularly provide an abundant supply of vitamin C. If you don’t have access to fresh fruits straight from the tree, any you get at the grocery store will also work.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids: Sebaceous glands in your skin use a variety of fatty acids for the production of sebum – the natural hair oil that coats the outer part of the hairs to keep them shiny and smooth. Just like vitamin A and C, omega 3 and omega 6 are also considered as the building blocks of sebum.
Food Sources: Natural sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids include salmon, hemp, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, edible seeds, olive oil, clary sage seed oil, fish oils and flaxseeds.
Iron: Iron is also very important when it comes to hair growth. Iron deficiency – also known as anemia – is one of the most common causes of hair fall. Your body uses this essential mineral to convert testosterone into estrogen, an important hormone that your body utilizes for hair regrowth and regeneration. The former hampers hair growth while the latter stimulates it.
Food Sources: Beef is the richest source of iron. Poultry products, nuts and legumes are also some very good natural sources of iron. If you feel you are not getting enough iron from natural sources, you can always opt for iron supplements.
Zinc: It is an important nutrient that does not play a direct role in hair growth, but your body utilizes it for regulating a number of other growth hormones essential for the growth and nourishment of hair.
Food Sources: Beef, chicken, seafood – oysters and shellfish in particular – are very good natural sources of zinc. If you are not a meat lover, you can always get your zinc share from leafy green vegetables, legumes and nuts.
Incorporate all these essential elements in your daily diet and strengthen your hair within a couple of months.
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