Want shiny, strong, dream hair free of split ends? The answer may be in your next meal.
Dream hair in 6 steps
We know nutrition can influence our health, but sometimes we forget how much of an influence diet can have on our appearance, too. Our entire body is made up of cells, including our hair. When these cells receive proper nutrition, just like any other cells in our bodies, they’ll be vibrant and thriving and lead to beautiful, shiny hair. These are the top foods and nutrients that’ll help you achieve the hair you always dreamed of.
1. Wild-caught fatty fish
Certain types of wild-caught fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are very high in protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fats. Protein provides structure to hair follicles, keeping hair strong and reducing breakage. Vitamin-D deficiency has been shown to lead to hair loss. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, but for those in colder climates or who spend a lot of time inside, a supplement (like HUM’s Here Comes the Sun) might be necessary. Next, omega-3s are the secret to shine. Omegas provide healthy oils for the scalp so that it can produce beautiful, shiny strands. Try to eat at least three or four ounces of wild-caught fish two to three times a week. Can’t stomach fish? Try HUM’s OMG! Omega the Great supplement instead for a boost of fish oil. An alternative is HUM’s Red Carpet, which is high in GLA and ALA from black currant seeds, omegas that help maintain healthy hair follicles to help you achieve your dream hair.
Foods high in zinc such as oysters, pumpkin seeds, or whole grains help the body utilize protein better, leading to stronger hair. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss and a dry scalp, causing dull-looking hair. A good quality multivitamin, such as HUM’s Base Control, can help you get enough zinc if you feel you’re lacking. Don’t take zinc supplements alone, as high doses of zinc can be toxic over time.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli contain growth-promoting iron. Many reproductive-age women are deficient in iron, which can decrease the amount of oxygen carried to the hair by the blood, leading to reduced growth and breakage. Make sure your multivitamin contains the right amount of iron for you, as men and post-menopausal women have lower needs. Green leafy veggies are also high in beta carotene and vitamin C, both of which help fight free-radical damage that can dull hair.
All orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and mangos contain beta carotene. Beta carotene is the inactive form of vitamin A, which is activated after ingestion. Sufficient intakes of beta carotene help reduce an itchy scalp and dandruff. A multivitamin can provide beta carotene, but it’s always ideal to try to get it from food sources also.
Include some multicolored blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries in your diet for an antioxidant punch to reduce free radical damage caused by the sun and other harsh weather conditions. These superfoods are also full of vitamin C, which helps improve blood flow to the scalp, reducing hair breakage. Top some oatmeal with a handful of berries in the morning or eat them as a healthy afternoon snack.
6. Beans and Lentils
Legumes are chock full of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, all nutrients critical for healthy hair. Adequate protein and iron ensure that strands have enough collagen and oxygen to grow thicker and fuller. Zinc helps the body use the protein more efficiently, as discussed above. Biotin works together with zinc to prevent hair loss and may even stimulate hair growth. HUM’s Killer Nails supplement contains 5,000 micrograms of biotin to help with hair and nail growth. But as always, you can get all these nutrients in your diet also. Add some beans to a salad for some extra protein or make a lentil soup with lots of added veggies.
Adding these six superfoods for your dream hair can make a big difference in the appearance and texture of your hair. But remember, it takes a few months to see real changes in how our hair looks, so be patient!