We all want fabulous looking hair. After all, healthy, shiny locks play an important part in looking and feeling good. But did you know that there’s more to great hair than simply washing and styling?
Like your skin, your hair is an indication of your inner health. Many women spend lots of time and money on their hair, but pay little heed to how their inner health contributes to the overall health of their crowning glory. However, paying attention to what you eat, plays a major role to achieving great looking hair.
While it’s important to wash and cut your hair regularly, the best thing you can do for thick, shiny hair is eat a varied diet. That’s because healthy hair relies on a number of different nutrients. And the more varied your diet, the more likely you are to fill your quota of hair-friendly nutrients.
Protein is the major structural component in our bodies. It promotes cell growth and repair throughout the body — including your hair! The best sources of protein include lean meat, poultry and fish, eggs, dairy products, seeds and nuts, beans and legumes and soy products.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that plays an important role in many functions of the body. When it comes to your hair, Omega-3 promotes hair growth as well as shine. Omega-3 occurs naturally in a number of foods, but the richest sources are found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines. Other sources include nuts, shellfish, eggs, flaxseed and flax oil.
A wide range of vitamins is essential for healthy hair. One of the most important for strong hair is biotin, a B-complex vitamin. Biotin increases the hair’s elasticity and protects against dryness, and is found in eggs, yeast, grains and nuts.
Vitamin A plays an important role by producing sebum, the oily substance secreted by the scalp. Sebum prevents hair from drying out and breaking. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, spinach, peaches, cod liver oil and krill oil.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that provides many benefits for healthy skin and hair. This vitamin increases blood circulation, which means more nutrients are being delivered to the hair’s follicles. Foods rich in Vitamin E include leafy greens, beans, soybeans, wheat germ and nuts.
Certain minerals such as zinc and iron play an important role in hair health. Iron and zinc deficiency have both been linked to hair loss, so it pays to get your fill. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, shellfish, meat and poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, dairy foods, and fortified cereals. The best sources of iron are lean red meat, pork and poultry, seafood, dark green leafy vegetables and fortified breads and cereals.
Hydration is a key element to our overall health, and that extends to healthy, shiny hair. Dehydration can cause brittle hair, dull hair and hair loss. So drink up and make water your choice of beverage.
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