Nutrients for your hair
Here are some of the essential nutrients that will help keep your hair healthy:
Protein is necessary for strong and healthy hair. Ensure that your diet includes sufficient protein. Sources may include chicken, fish, turkey, legumes, eggs, nuts and dairy products.
Vitamin E, zinc and selenium
The sun can not only damage our skin, but our scalp and hair too! Consume foods rich in vitamin E to help protect your hair. These foods include nuts which are great sources of zinc, selenium and vitamin E.
Having insufficient amounts of zinc in your diet can lead to a dry and flaky scalp together with hair loss. Consume fortified cereals and wholegrains, oysters, beef and eggs for more zinc.
A lack of iron can cause anaemia, which is a major cause of hair loss. Foods that contain iron include red meat, chicken, fish, lentils, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and salad greens.
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that can be found in liver, wholegrains, yeast, egg yolk and soy flour. A lack of biotin can cause brittle hair which may lead to hair loss.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in our scalp cells. ‘They provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated’. Eat oily fish, walnuts, avocados and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamins A and C
Our body requires vitamin A to produce sebum – ‘an oily substance created by our hairs sebaceous glands and provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp’. Vitamin A can be found in animal products and vegetables (orange- and yellow coloured) such as pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron so be sure to include foods that are high in this nutrient in your diet. In addition, it also ‘helps in the production of collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts’. Sources include broccoli, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, blueberries, guava, oranges, paw-paw, strawberries and sweet potatoes.
Always see your doctor if you are concerned about the condition of your hair.
Source: BBC Good Food
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