Superfoods to consider for stronger hair
Sept, 05 2020 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
What we eat, how we eat it, when we eat it, and how much of it we eat, has a huge impact on our health and well being. Nutritionists recommend that including different food groups, each contributing various nutrients like vitamins, protein, and minerals, to our daily meals has long-term benefits for our health. It is also good for our skin and hair, apart from our general physical health
While all fresh foods have a certain nutritional value, there are certain foods which can be singled out as ‘superfoods’, as they offer higher nutritional value, or are “nutritionally dense”, and can power pack our meals. Here is a list of such superfoods which are great for hair growth and can even prevent hair loss:
Berries are loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, which help in iron absorption, and have antioxidants which protect the hair from damage by free radicals. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis, and protects your skin and hair from photodamage. It also promotes blood circulation, ensuring that essential nutrients reach your hair follicles and nourish them to make hair stronger and healthier. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also packed with other nutrients like vitamin B, which helps in carrying oxygen to the scalp, and can prevent hair loss.
Exotic berries like the South American Acai berries are a superfood for hair as well. These contain nutrients such as omega 3, 6, and 9, as well as vitamin A, B complex, C, and E. these nutrients are great for nourishing dull and weak hair, and protecting it from external damage.
2. Dark, leafy green vegetables
You may have heard this innumerable times but dark, leafy greens are your best friends when it comes to the health of your hair. These are packed with vitamins, A, B, and C, iron, fibre, and calcium. Dark leafy vegetables also contain phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants and are great for overall health.
Kale, for example, contains antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, and flavonoids which fight free radicals and can slow down the ageing process. In general, kale helps detoxify the body and is good for digestion, which in turn is good for both your skin and hair. It can also help keep the scalp and body moisturised, and help in preventing dandruff.
3. Olive Oil
We have all heard of the fantastic health qualities of olive oil, a staple in the mediterranean diet. What makes olive oil so healthy is the presence of polyphenols, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of healthy fat. Research has noted its benefits in reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and being an overall good addition to our diet. It also contains Vitamins E and K, which are known to protect the body from cellular damage, and in effect are good for both skin and hair.
Additionally, some experts consider olive oil massage as beneficial for hair growth and moisturisation.
Millennials criticised for spending oodles of cash on avocado toast can rejoice because they are going to get their money’s worth. Avocados, often referred to as a superfood, have amazing health benefits, and they are great for your hair as well as skin. Apart from being rich in folic acid, lutein, Omega 3, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, A, C, D, K vitamins and B Group vitamins, they also contain Vitamin E, which improves blood circulation, stimulates the follicles, and helps in hair growth.
This superfood is one of the most nutrient-dense carbs. It contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is also a rich source of zinc, which helps in keeping hair healthy and in its growth. Adding quinoa to your diet has numerous other health benefits as well. It contains phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper, which fight free radicals, as well as make us more energetic.
Just one fourth cup of salmon has 11 grams of protein, one of the most essential nutrients for hair. Salmon is an excellent source of lean protein and amino acids, apart from omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, potassium, iron, selenium, and vitamin D. Salmon has various benefits for hair; it can prevent hair fall, improve the quality and texture of hair as well as help it grow. If you don’t eat fish, you can also take it in the form of fish oil supplements.
Eggs are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B2, A, B5, selenium, zinc, manganese, folate, calcium, biotin, vitamin E, and iron. Biotin helps in the production of a hair protein called keratin; having biotin in your diet helps fight any deficiency and promotes hair growth.
The egg yolk has healthy fats which help in keeping the hair moisturised and shiny. Since hair is mostly made of protein, eggs are a great superfood to get enough protein from, and keep your hair healthy and well-nourished.
Nuts are often forgotten when people talk of superfoods, but they are a good source of healthy fats, which are beneficial for healthy hair and skin. Take Brazil nuts for example; these are rich in selenium and especially beneficial for hair prone to breakage. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews contain zinc, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E and B, which are good for hair. For those looking for a more affordable alternative, peanuts is an option. Peanuts have monounsaturated fatty acids, and are rich in vitamin E, biotin, which are excellent for hair.
Nuts are also a convenient way of getting the best nutrients for your hair, as they don’t require cooking or any preparation. Although nutritionists suggest soaking almonds before eating them, as it helps in releasing nutrients easily.