5 Essential Nutrients for Healthy Hair Growth - And Where to Get Them
Healthy hair starts with healthy ingredients. To keep your body supplied with the fuel it needs for healthy hair growth, look to incorporate these five essential nutrients in your diet.
Your hair’s main ingredient is protein. Without enough protein in your diet, your body doesn’t have the building blocks to create healthy hair - so it can become brittle, weak, or cause premature graying. Some studies have shown that a low protein diet might also contribute to an abnormal amount of hair shedding. So pack in that protein to keep your hair healthy and intact!
Fortunately, there are protein-rich foods no matter what kind of diet you have. Eggs, beans, meats, poultry, and fish are great options to incorporate into your diet.
2. Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve hair thickness and hair density in addition to improving overall scalp health. One study even showed a significant difference in women’s hair loss with an Omega-3 supplement. We know how much essential fatty acids can do for our skin health, so it comes to no surprise that it benefits our hair as well.
The best sources for Omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish, flaxseed, and walnuts. You can also add a fish oil supplement like Alaya Fish Oil (EPA) to your routine to maintain your body’s store of these essential fatty acids.
When your body needs to process (metabolize) carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, biotin helps break down those foods into usable fuel. Without enough biotin, the nutrients you are digesting might not be converted into any nutritional value in your body. Among other health effects, a deficiency in biotin can cause brittle and thinning hair.
Luckily, biotin is found in a variety of foods like legumes (lentils, peanuts, peas, beans), nuts and seeds, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas. For hair health, or perhaps for its other possible health benefits, you might consider a Biotin supplement to keep your body’s metabolism operating properly.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a significant role in stimulating your hair follicles for new hair growth. When you have a vitamin D deficiency, your hair growth can be stunted. Needless to say, a constant and healthy amount of Vitamin D can play a big part in your hair health.
The best sources for Vitamin D in the diet include fish (salmon, tuna, herring), egg yolks, and mushrooms. And don't forget some sunshine!
5. Folic Acid
Folic Acid is a B vitamin that helps the body create healthy new cells by aiding in the cell division process and helping to make nucleic acid (the DNA and RNA molecules that carry each cell’s genetic information). All that to say - it’s a pretty big deal. A deficiency in folic acid has been related to premature graying and thinning hair.
For healthy cell growth overall - including your hair - beans, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and animal proteins (meat and poultry) can help you maintain a healthy supply of folic acid in your body.
A Well-Rounded Diet
Like all things in your body, a well-rounded and balanced diet keeps your body operating at an optimal level, constantly creating healthy new cells all around your body. Your hair cells are no different. For luscious locks, fuel your body with the nutrients it needs and feel the benefits in your overall health.
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