When it comes to hair, it’s all about maintenance, and unless you want to go bold someday, it is essential to adjust your lifestyle to keep your hair in an optimal condition. For that very reason are people using different products such as shampoos, conditioners, creams, etc.
But it’s not only about what you put on your hair, you also need to adjust what you’re getting in your body. Food isn’t to be taken lightly when thinking about your hair, and you’re better off picking it up carefully than ending up with unhealthy hair.
To optimally grow your hair, there are some minerals and vitamins that you just can’t ignore. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and prepared a list of all the nutrients you need and the recommended foods containing them. As Lucretius says, “Man is what he eats”, so get to your kitchen, chef!
Basic Nutrients that Your Hair Can’t Live Without (Vitamins that you need for Hair Growth)
Vitamin A is essential to the hair and the body in general. Our organism produces free radicals around the hour, which can cause great harm if they start to accumulate. In simple words, free radicals are unstable atoms that react quickly with other atoms.
No need to dive into details, it’s obvious that they’re not good. They damage normal cells and affect hair growth. To fight those radicals, you need to consume Vitamin A as it proved effective against them according to science, which reduces the negative effects and helps in restoring your hair to its natural shine and texture.
Not only that, but vitamin A also increases blood production and circulation, enhances the production of teeth and bones, facilitates the production of sebum oil for optimal health regeneration.
Recommended daily intake: 600 µg
Foods that are rich in Vitamin A: Carrots, Sweet potatoes, fish oils, milk, eggs, etc.
Recommended: Best Hair Growth Products for Men.
Vitamin B or Biotin
You must be wondering, “How is biotin related to hair growth?” Well, it’s relatively simple, but it requires a basic understanding of your hair structure. Your hair is made of straps of protein, which is made of amino acids., which are the result of reactions that happen between cells and biotin. Sweet biochemistry. If you want long, shiny, and strong hair, make sure you’re consuming enough biotin to cover your body’s needs.
Recommended daily intake:1,4 mg
Foods that are rich in biotin: Eggs, Almonds, Wheat bran, Avocados, Low-Fat Cheese, etc.
Vitamin C, especially in citrus fruit, can make your hair shiner and moisturized as it removes minerals that build up on your hair’s surface, therefore reducing breakage. On the other hand, vitamin C is crucial in the hair building process as it participates in the production of collagen, which, as you know, is an important component of hair.
Recommended daily intake: 75 mg
Foods that are rich in Vitamin C: Limes, Sweet Peppers, Oranges, Broccoli, Spinach, etc.
Vitamin D is crucial for bones, teeth and hair as it facilitates calcium absorption in the body. Some studies linked hair loss to Vitamin D3 deficiency, which just shows how important this nutrient is, which can be found in different foods, especially dairy products. Vitamin D’s direct role in promoting hair growth is yet to be seen, but its indirect effects are not to neglect.
Recommended daily intake: 5 micrograms
Foods that are rich in vitamin D: Fatty Fish, Cheese, Milk, Shrimp, Egg Yolks, Beef Liver, etc.
Vitamin E is the definition of a multi-functional nutrient. It’s involved in many reactions in the body, including those related to hair. This vitamin reduces dryness and repairs damaged hair, and it’s the perfect potion for those seeking to look younger, that’s why it’s widely used in shampoos, conditioner and other hair products.
Avocados are Vitamin E-rich so you should consider getting products that contain avocado oil.
Recommended daily intake: 10 mg
Foods that are rich in Vitamin E: Avocado, Almonds, Broccoli, Sunflower Seeds, etc.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Although our body isn’t capable of producing them, Omega-3 Fatty Acids are unsaturated fatty acids that have many benefits that are worth seeking.
Omega-3 Fatty acids nourish hair follicles, thus preventing inflammation and breakthrough and encouraging hair growth, and enhancing its health. They have both protective and curative features that are bound to make your hair shine again.
Recommended daily intake: 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA
Foods that are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, Sardines, Almonds, Walnuts, Mackerel, etc.
Just like any other part of your body, your hair needs oxygen to grow and flourish. Oxygen is delivered through blood, which needs hemoglobin to be produced, and hemoglobin cannot be produced without iron. Logical, right? For optimal hair growth, you need to supply your body with the necessary iron it needs. Also, make sure you’re consuming enough vitamin C as it increases iron absorption, so they’re the perfect combination to get thick, healthy hair.
Recommended daily intake: 15 mg
Foods that are rich in iron: Spinach, Legumes, Pumpkin Seeds, Red Meat, etc.
Zinc is yet another mineral that your hair needs, as it promotes both growth and repair. A deficiency in this mineral can deteriorate the structure of the protein that forms follicles, thus making hair weaker and increasing its shedding.
Zinc is one of those nutrients that you need just amount for the best results. Both a deficiency or an excess of zinc can cause hair loss.
Recommended daily intake:11 milligrams for men and 8 milligrams for women.
Foods that are rich in zinc: Meat, Shellfish, Nuts, Dairy, Eggs, etc.
Protein fibers form the skeleton of your hair strands, so consuming enough of this nutrient is essential for your hair growth. If your body isn’t getting a sufficient supply of protein, you’re most likely to experience breakage as your hair follicles will experience a severe lack of fibers that are essential for a healthy structure.
Protein is also crucial for muscle growth and different body functions as it’s the building block of enzymes, so you need to pay special care to your daily portions of it. Don’t worry though, as protein depression is very rare in western countries, so that shouldn’t pose a problem.
Recommended daily intake: 0.8 grams per kg or 0.36 grams per pound
Foods that are rich in protein: Seafood, White Meat, Milk, Cheese, Eggs, Beans, etc.
Conclusion: can you have optimal hair growth through food?
Food awareness is spreading like wildfire these days, which is good as people are more awake when it comes to nutrition and how it affects our lives. A good beautiful hair is a sign of good health, and this sign can be greatly enhanced through food, notably the ones mentioned above.
Problems arise when you cannot fit all the necessary nutrients in your diet, and that’s when you need to get some supplements. On the other hand, you mustn’t consume an excessive quantity of vitamins and minerals as that would only backfire, while an excess of protein would only go in vain as it cannot be consumed by the body.
If you have any questions regarding the best foods for your hair growth, we’re here to help, as always, so go ahead and ask them in the comments.