When people ask me my secret for healthy hair and skin, my answer is always food.
Its no myth that we are, literally, what we eat. The foods we consume contain the components that allow our bodies to create and repair cells, grow, move and think. When we are consuming the proper amounts of these components our bodies can flourish.
I have experienced my fair share of diet-related hair and skin challenges and their relationships to what I'm putting in my body. There was the time that my hair and skin suffered a dry-spell because I was't drinking enough water and the time my skin broke out because I spent a weekend eating lots of fried foods. How are your dietary choices showing up on the outside?
I recently asked Haircare Professional and Certified Hair Loss Practitioner, Keira White, about the connection between diet and hair. Her response: "There are so many (of my) clients that come in wondering why their hair isn't growing and many times its their diet or not drinking enough water."
Eating a balanced diet and paying attention to certain vitamins and minerals will encourage a boost in overall health, including hair, skin and nails. Whether you are a nutrition-expert or just getting started, the list below will guide you on your journey to healthy hair from the inside, out.
Vitamins & Minerals for Healthy Hair
Consuming protein helps the body create Keratin, a fibrous protein, of which hair is mostly composed. Eating protein-rich foods can boost keratin production, which is key for stronger, healthier hair, nails and skin. There are many protein-rich foods to choose from (and you'd be surprised how many of them are not meat).
Egg Whites (26g per cup)
Lentils (18 g per cup)
Beans (39 g per cup)
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt (17g per serving)
Almonds (20g per cup)
Chick Peas (39g per cup)
Salmon (39 g per half fillet) plus omegas and healthy fats = great for hair
Vitamin C supports the growth and health of skin, bones, muscle, and hair as it is necessary for the production and repair of collagen. How can you add Vitamin C to your diet?
Oranges (69mg per fruit)
Mango (122mg per fruit)
Grapefruit (72mg per cup)
Strawberries (97mg per cup, sliced)
Red Pepper (119mg per cup, chopped)
Broccoli (81 mg per cup, chopped)
Collagen is one of the main structural proteins in our bodies, it helps create and maintain hair, nails, skin, bones, muscles and more. Collagen gives hair its strength and elasticity, which is why many people take collagen supplements to decrease hair breakage and prevent hair loss. Currently, there is no official recommended dietary allowance of collagen (because your body can produce it on its own), but you can support your body's collagen production with the following foods.
Citrus (Vitamin C)
Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicle, regulates the cycle of hair follicles and promotes scalp circulation. You can find Vitamin D in...
Swordfish (566 IU per serving)
Salmon (815 IU per serving)
Whole Cow's Milk (214 IU per cup)
Note: there's little to no Vitamin D in low-fat and non-fat cow's milk...
Low-fat Cow's Milk (2 IU per cup)
Non-fat Cow's Milk (0 IU per cup)
Vitamin E repairs cell damage, including hair follicles and assists with scalp circulation. For these health benefits, Vitamin E can be used directly on the scalp, taken as a supplement or sourced via food. Vitamin E food sources...
Wheat Germ Oil (20mg per tablespoon, 100% daily value)
Safflower Oil (4.6mg per tablespoon)
Peanut Butter (2.9mg per 2 tablespoons)