While there is a tonne of products, tricks and quick-hacks that promise to be the secret to healthy, shimmering hair, it seems the real secret has been under our noses — ahem, mouths — this whole time. It turns out you don’t need to look any further than your kitchen, for the best way to get healthy hair is to nourish it from the inside out. With that in mind, here are the top ten foods you should be adding to your diet.
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Whether boiled or fried, eggs contain a deluge of healthy nutrients including zinc, selenium, protein and biotin, the latter two of which are especially beneficial to great hair growth, producing keratin and nourishing from within. The weather may be inclement at the moment but we can see the future, and it’s sunny… side up.
It’s probably not surprising that spinach is on this list as, alongside its curly counterpart kale, it serves up a shed load of health benefits. (There’s a reason your parents prayed for Popeye to be your cartoon hero when you were younger.) Spinach is loaded with nutrients including iron, which aids hair growth and repair, zinc, which keeps hair follicles strong and Vitamin A, which moisturises the scalp.
Oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel not only contains anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent hair loss, but they are also excellent sources of omega-3, fatty acids which have been proven to increase hair density and growth.
Another source of delicious, healthy fats, avocados also contain a barrage of Vitamin E — an antioxidant which helps protect the scalp. (Note: Salmon and avocado together not only make a downright delicious pairing but also serve as a clean, product-free, mid-morning hair treatment… multitasking at brunch just got a whole lot easier.)
Sweet potatoes are rife with beta-carotene, a compound which our body converts into Vitamin A (the scalp moisturising Vitamin) upon digesting. Fun fact: A medium sweet potato (roughly around 114 grams) contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs. As if you needed an excuse to order in sweet potato fries by the bucket load.
Nuts, especially the almond varietal, contain essential fatty acids, zinc, B-vitamins and a shocking amount of Vitamin E — an ounce of nuts, for example, provides a surprising 37% of your daily vitamin E needs. The ideal snack on the go,
Meat and poultry
Sorry vegetarians, but we all know that red meat serves as the optimum source of iron. All meats and poultry are also packed with protein, which helps strengthen the hair follicles and aid growth and repair.
While you’re probably aware that tangerines are rife with Vitamin C, what you may not know is that they also contain vitamin A — the one which helps the hair stay hydrated and the scalp remain moisturised. But that’s not the best part. The citrus fruit is also known to slow down the ageing, greying process due to its abundance of Vitamin B12.
There’s one thing that comes to everybody’s mind upon the utterance of the word oysters…and healthy hair it sure isn’t. But look further than their aphrodisiacal qualities and it turns out oysters are in fact one of the best food sources for zinc — a mineral which not only keeps the hair follicles nice and robust, but it can also stimulate growth. Tiny forks at the ready.
Incredibly versatile, pretty darn cheap and — as it turns out — containing a medley of hair-healthy nutrients, beans are seriously underrated in our books. Not only are they a great source of zinc, protein, iron and biotin, but they also contain folate, a B vitamin which contains folic acid — something which is often used within hair-growth treatments.