Top 10 Nutrient-Rich Foods: Your Guide to Healthy Foods to Eat Every Day In today's…
Your hair is an outward sign of your inner health, just like your skin. And since healthy hair starts from the inside, here are my top recommendations for 6 foods to eat for healthier hair!
Before we start, I think that it’s important to clarify a few things before I get into the weeds with all of the nutrients that can play a role in achieving and maintaining shiny locks.
First of all, let’s talk about supplementation. There isn’t strong evidence to support individual nutrient supplementation in the absence of a deficiency: which is something that should be ruled out of course! It’s not to say that supplements don’t help, but we just don’t have a heap of solid research to prove anything specifically related to hair growth beyond supplementing to treat a deficiency at this point.
There are also many underlying potential reasons for hair loss or poor hair health that should be ruled out that includes:
This article provides a more in-depth summary surrounding hair loss and potential issues.
Diets that are very restrictive may leave you in a state of deficiency, depending on the diet and how long you are following it for. The good news is that most nutrient-related hair loss can be corrected with a balanced eating pattern. If you are experiencing hair loss, speak with your doctor to uncover the root cause first and to establish a plan for addressing the underlying issue(s). In case you’re wondering, you can still get everything you need on a vegan diet (I’m not vegan but eat mostly plant-based) but there are certain supplements you will want to add to your diet, including some of the above (this is a whole other post!).
Rich in healthy fats, fibre and plant-based protein, nuts and seeds are nutrition powerhouses that are a big part of my diet. A diet containing too little fat or protein can contribute to hair loss and nuts and seeds are rich in both. Nuts (especially Brazil nuts) are also rich in selenium which helps maintain a healthy thyroid. Try Brazil nuts, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds or macadamia nuts. Throw them on a salad, on top of your oatmeal or pack your favourite nuts in a small container as an easy filling snack on the fly.
Fish like mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna and wild salmon are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (along with ground flax and walnuts listed above) and are also a great source of protein. In case you are wondering, the daily recommendation for adults for protein is .86g/kg/day. While this is a baseline requirement, you’ll be happy to know that getting enough protein really isn’t that difficult if you are eating a variety of healthy foods and enough calories to meet your needs (even if you are eating a vegan diet). I recommend including a source of protein in every meal; I aim for around 20 grams per meal but it will vary depending on your needs. A serving of fish, chicken or meat is the size of a deck of cards in case you’re wondering. If you are vegan or vegetarian, fear not, protein is abundant in plant based foods and you can absolutely meet your needs eating a variety of grains (ie: quinoa, freekeh etc.), nuts, seeds, tofu etc..
Berries are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients, a big plus in my books! Berries are high in fibre, vitamin C (to support collagen formation and may help strengthen hair), antioxidants and also helps with the absorption of iron which may be important, especially if you have lower iron levels which may contribute to hair loss. Toss berries into salads, on top of hot or cold cereal, blend into smoothies or pile them on top of a yogurt parfait.
Also a great source of protein, eggs yolks also contain biotin (also known as vitamin B7, needed for protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism). Although rare, biotin deficiency can cause hair loss (note that there is insufficient evidence to show that supplementing with biotin will prevent hair loss in individuals who are not suffering a biotin deficiency).
High in ‘good fats’, avocados are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E which helps support cell membranes and also is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the effect of free radicals on hair. Getting enough fat in your diet (the right kinds) is essential to maintaining good health, and your hair is no exception. Try dicing avocados on your salad, slicing on toast, adding to smoothies or layering them on your favourite veggie loaded sandwich!
Spinach is at the top of my list here but honestly, any greens are SOOOO good! Dark leafy greens are a source of folate and are also a source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. Lightly sauté a big pile of fresh spinach with olive oil and a clove of crushed garlic for a healthy side dish
A salad FULL of my top recommendations for foods that help give you healthy happy hair! Enjoy salmon, avocado, walnuts, berries, eggs on a bed of vibrant spinach.
Layer the salad ingredients together in a platter.
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together. Drizzle on the salad and toss together before serving.
Tags: HEALTHIER HAIR