The part of our hair that we see in the mirror isn’t alive. It’s the follicle at the base of the strand of hair that governs how healthy your hair is. Hair care products are designed to increase the fullness or body of the hair that you have on your head, but unless you keep you hair follicles healthy, your hair will thin out, and the hair you do have will be more brittle and prone to damage.
The good news is that there is a lot you can do to keep your hair looking thick and lustrous just by changing your diet. Like any other part of your body, your hair needs certain vitamins, and minerals in order to grow properly. The science of hair health is well understood, so foods that support the production of hair can be determined. Use our handy list of foods that prevent hair loss to make your hair look better and last longer.
Let’s start our list of foods that prevent hair loss with the Number One hair food you can find. The ultimate building block of hair is protein, and it’s hard to beat eggs for supplying pure protein to the body. Eggs are also an important source of various B vitamins that are useful for controlling hair loss. Many hair care products advertise B vitamins as ingredients in their formulas, but topical applications can’t compare with eating foods like eggs that introduce needed nutritional elements to the hair follicles through the bloodstream.
Another great thing about eggs is how easy it is to include them in your diet. Eggs can be eaten alone or as in ingredient in any number of dishes. When people diet, the health of their hair can suffer due to protein and vitamin deficiency. If you’re dieting but want to get the benefits of eggs, you can get lots of protein from just the egg whites.
Nuts are full of protein, minerals, and vitamins. They contain trace amounts of important chemicals that make your hair more lustrous and full. The great thing about nuts is that almost any type of nut will offer you the same benefits, and you only need a small amount added to your diet to get the full effect. Almost any kind of nut will give you better hair health, so you can add nuts to your diet without ever getting bored.
Spinach is a healthy food in many ways, but it’s especially good for supporting good hair growth. Spinach has plenty of nutrients, and it’s especially useful for supplying potassium and iron to your diet. It has lots of calcium and magnesium as well, important secondary minerals for hair health. Spinach is related to many other leafy vegetables that are good for preventing hair loss, like broccoli and cabbage, but it’s easier to add spinach to your everyday meal plan. Spinach also contains anti-oxidants and small amounts of omega-3 acids that will improve your health overall.
Oats are another important source of fiber in the diet, and they’re great at supporting hair health. Oats have plenty of B vitamins, along with trace elements likes copper, zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Oats are a traditional breakfast food, so it’s easy to add them to your daily diet. Oats are also an ingredient in many healthy snacks that you can eat throughout the day, like energy bars.
Sweet potatoes contain lots of beta-carotene. Your body processes foods rich in beta-carotene into a natural supply of Vitamin A, which helps your body repair cells, including your hair follicles. There’s a lot of protein in sweet potatoes, and there are measurable amounts of Vitamin C, plus copper and iron. The best foods that prevent hair loss don’t lose their potency depending on how they’re prepared, and you can use sweet potatoes baked, boiled, or mashed and put into other dishes while still enjoying their health benefits.
No food supplies beta-carotene as efficiently as carrots. The Vitamin A produced in the body by eating foods rich in beta-carotene is important for hair follicle health, and carrots are also good at supporting the scalp itself. It is possible to make carrot juice by yourself at home if you own a juicer. If you’re having trouble with dandruff, or thin and brittle hair, you should add more foods that support scalp health instead of relying on topical solutions like shampoo or conditioner.
Your hair is hungry for protein. Beef does supply you with important B vitamins and trace minerals, but its real value is to supply your growing hair with lots of protein. You don’t need the fat in beef for hair health. For optimal hair growth, eat lean beef two or three times a week. And to get the best results, try to find fresh beef instead of the canned version. If you’re watching your weight, you can choose lean cuts to stick to your diet while you improve the quality of your hair. You can substitute lamb or pork if you don’t care for beef.
Sunflower seeds are difficult to eat in large quantities, but they should be added to any diet that is designed to support hair growth. You can get protein from sunflower seeds, but eating a lot of them isn’t recommended because they have a lot of calories and a lot of fat stored in them. A handful of sunflower seeds sprinkled on salads or prepared vegetables is all you need to get the benefits of their selenium, potassium, copper, calcium, and magnesium.
Salmon is healthy food, and not just for your hair. It is especially linked to healthy blood vessels, an important factor in keeping your hair follicles active. Salmon is loaded with important B vitamins, omega-3 acids, and other vitamins and minerals. Salmon is related to other oily fishes like mackerel, sardines, and trout, so these can be substituted for salmon if it’s too expensive. To prevent hair loss, it is essential to eat salmon at least once or twice a week in order to reap the benefits and encourage hair growth.
Beans are great for your hair, and good for your overall health. Like eggs, beans are an important source of protein and B vitamins, but they also contain other minerals that support healthy hair growth, like zinc. Beans are high in iron, another important mineral that prevents hair loss. The health benefits of beans aren’t reserved just for hair health. They’re a great source of fiber in the diet, one of the few forms of fiber that’s rich in protein. You can add any kind of beans you prefer to your diet to improve your hair health. They can be added to things like salads and casseroles, or ground or pureed for dips.
Try a selection of our list of foods that prevent hair loss, and see if you don’t notice positive results almost immediately. These nutritious foods will probably improve your overall health at the same time. If you’ve noticed a positive benefit from eating any of these foods, or want to suggest others, tell us about it in the comments.