When it comes to real and long-lasting beauty, we all know what an important role our diet has to play in achieving a healthy and naturally beautiful look. The better nourished and the less stressed our bodies are, the more that health will translate into a beautiful glow for all of the tissues which reflect our beauty: skin, hair, nails and so on. This is why our list of super foods for beautiful hair is one of the most useful things you’ll find around the internet. When it comes to hair in particular, achieving and maintaining a beautiful and healthy state is particularly tricky if not downright difficult, since this tissue cannot benefit as much as skin from direct hydration and it is also the most exposed to harmful weather and environmental factors. This is why most women (or the men who let their hair grow) experience difficulties achieving long hair that still looks blooming, resigning themselves to keeping it short.
But there’s no need to give up or to invest in a lot of expensive and artificial beauty products available in high-end stores in order to make your hair thicker and shinier. After all, according to their reviews, this kind of solution doesn’t even work, anyway, on the long term, since the treatment only targets the effects of malnourishment and dehydration on the hair itself, but does not solve the cause for which your hair got into a bad shape in the first place. Anyway, even if you would like a hydrating mask to soften your hair instantly and give it a nice shimmer, the best thing to do is to apply some natural hair masks instead made of less invasive ingredients. But the real secret of all those beauties with gorgeous hair is a balanced and healthy diet which feeds their hair as well. Since none of us can support a super-healthy diet at all times, what remains to be done is to make sure the diet we have is at least smart. In this case, this means including the super foods for beautiful hair in your meals and snacks as often as possible.
- Quinoa – This highly praised grain is not only chock-full of protein, which is essential for beautiful hair (consider that your strands are made up of at least 20% protein), but it’s also full of B vitamins, folic acid and biotin, which are again essential to the health of your hair. When these substances are lacking from your diet, your body reacts by losing hair in order to maintain the balance, which is why B supplements are the most effective hair fall remedy. Eat a serving of quinoa 3 times a week and the state of your hair and overall health will improve significantly.
- Red bell peppers – These are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin C as far as veggies are concerned, and also one of the easiest to add to almost any dish you plan on eating. The high vitamin C content makes the peppers especially valuable to both your skin and your hair, since it triggers the body’s production of collagen, an essential substance for beautiful skin and hair. Also, vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron from the foods you eat, and with a low iron level, hair fall occurs, which means this vitamin is gold for your hair in two ways rather than just one.
- Oranges and grapefruit – For the same reasons as bell peppers, citrus fruits (and especially these two) are a chock-load of vitamin C, therefore essential for beautiful hair and skin. Moreover, oranges also contain vitamin A, which makes your hair better nourished and less sensitive to the harmful effects of the weather.
- Almonds – In the nut department, almonds are the best thing which will ever happen to your hair and your nails, along with the sensitive areas of your skin, such as lips or elbows and knees. The almond oil contained in just one handful of almonds contains enough vitamin E and A to nourish your hair and nails from the inside for a whole week! Which, of course, does not mean you should stop having almonds after you reach this quota of one handful per week: the more almonds you include in your meals, the better will your hair and skin look.
- Mushrooms – The proteins contained in mushrooms are light and easy to absorb by your digestive system, but essential to the beauty of your hair. If you also take into account the high levels of B vitamins, selenium, potassium and iron which mushrooms contain, it will become clearer why they are considered one of the best super foods for beautiful hair. Try eating a generous serving of mushrooms as often as three times per week for best results.
- Kale – This is probably a super food for basically any part of your body, not just the hair, and it has been so intensely praised by health food mediums lately that you may roll your eyes as soon as you see its name. Yes, we won’t deny that the kale mania is one of the ongoing fads of the moment, but that doesn’t mean this green leaf isn’t as miraculously healthy as it promises to be, and your hair could especially benefit from all the Vitamin C and Vitamin A in it. In addition to these two essential vitamins, kale also contains copper, which is an essential mineral for collagen production.
- Olive oil – One of the best vegetable fats you could possibly eat, olive oil is not only directly involved in making your hair softer and shinier (like any good quality fat you ingest), but it’s also full of vitamin E and antioxidants, which prevent the damage your hair risks daily from heat styling, environmental factors and so on. In addition to all that, olive oil has been linked to a decrease in DTH hormones, which cause the thinning of your hair, so a good dose of olive oil in your meals works on all fronts to keep your hair beautiful.
- Greek yogurt – One of nature’s best sources of protein (as high as 20 grams in an 6 ounce container, if you can imagine) and healthy fats (yes, butter is a very healthy fat, in spite of the bad rap it got a couple of decades ago), Greek yogurt is the only snack you should have from now on between meals, if you want a healthy digestive system and a naturally beautiful hair. Besides the precious proteins and fat, this yogurt also contains lactic acid, which your hair, skin and nails then use for exfoliating, moisturizing and promoting cell growth and regeneration.
- Coconut – Coconut pulp, coconut milk and coconut oil are all very good sources of vitamins A and E for your hair, as well as healthy proteins and minerals which your hair needs in order to grow. The high content of healthy fats in coconut oil also deeply nourish your hair, making it stronger and shinier. Curly hair can benefit from coconut oil particularly well, since it’s a type of hair more difficultly maintained.
- Blueberries – One of the best known super foods, rumored to help every last bit of your body, blueberries are obviously very good for your hair as well. Not only do these tiny fruit contain a lot of vitamins and energize you for the whole day, but the high amount of antioxidants they contain protect all of your tissues from aging, making them the ideal food for your hair, skin and nails.
- Salmon – One of the best sources of protein as far as meat is concerned, salmon helps your hair maintain its health not only though these high levels of good protein, but also through its high levels of good fats and fatty acids.
- Walnuts – The second best nut source of vitamin E for your hair, right after almonds, walnuts also contain omega 3 fatty acids (just like salmon), making them as valuable as gold for your hair. If you eat a serving of walnuts 2 to 3 times a week, your hair will become visibly shinier and softer, as well as less prone to falling out.
- Sweet potatoes – One of the best vegetables you could eat, sweet potatoes should permanently replace regular potatoes in your diet. They are chock-full of vitamin A and C (even more so than oranges, for example), and they also contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. All this means it’s one of the best foods to fight the aging of your tissues, which makes them the ideal dinner for beautiful hair and skin.
- Spinach – Another great leafy green in addition to kale, spinach should definitely be a regular part of your diet if you want to see your hair blooming with beauty from the inside out. The high levels of iron contained by spinach aren’t the only thing that will make your hair grow stronger and more beautiful: in addition to that, the delicious leaves also contain lutein, vitamins B, C and E, as well as essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium and even omega 3 fatty acids (the kind usually contained by fatty fish such as salmon). To reap the full benefits of spinach, try to eat it raw, in the form of baby spinach salad, as often as 3 times per week.
- Kiwis – Another super combo of high levels of vitamin C and high levels of antioxidants, the tart green fruit can do wonders for your hair if you eat a serving at least once a week. Your nails and your skin will benefit from the magical cocktail as well, so don’t be shy and get yourself a second helping if you feel like it.
- Fatty Fish – Fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel have high numbers of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, vitamin D3, and vitamin B, linked to hair growth. There have been studies which found that taking a daily supplement of omega-3 and omega-6 significantly reduced hair loss in women with thinning hair and increased hair density over time. It is important to remember that eating the skin of oily fish will help your body digest it comfortably.
- Eggs – Eggs are renowned for being a great source of protein and biotin, two nutrients that promote hair growth and volume. Eating the recommended amount of protein is crucial for healthy hair, hair follicles made up of protein needs a certain amount of protein to grow. A lack of protein in one's diet may cause hair loss. Biotin is essential for the production of protein in one's hair, which is called Keratin. Research suggests that people with a biotin deficiency are more likely to encounter hair loss, which is why biotin supplements primarily advertise hair growth. Eggs are also a great source of selenium, zinc, and many other healthy nutrients, making them one of the most effective foods to consume for healthy hair.
- Avocados – Avocados are incredibly nutritious, healthy, and a great source of healthy fats. They have high numbers of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that not only promotes hair growth but also combats oxidative stress, neutralizing fatty acids. Two hundred grams or half a medium-sized avocado provides 25% of your daily Vitamin E needs. Vitamin C, on the other hand, protects areas of your skin, like the scalp, from damage and stress. A damaged scalp can result in poor hair quality and hair loss. Avocados contain a great source of fatty acids, which cannot be produced by the body, making them essential for the restructure for your cells. Fatty acid deficiency widely linked to hair loss, avocados contain these vital nutrients to support, repair, and counter hair loss.
- Seeds – Seeds are rich in vitamin E, like nuts they contain many other nutrients that support hair growth. They contain omega-3, linked to hair growth, with many types of seeds contain vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. One ounce of sunflower seeds provides the body with over 50% of the daily vitamin E it needs, and an extraordinary dose of healthy B vitamins. One ounce of flax seeds, on the other hand, will enrich the body with over 6,300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, more than a fillet of salmon. Overall, it's still vital to maintain a healthy diet, but seeds are a great addition to help keep a healthy head of hair.
- Beans – Beans are a plant-based protein, essential for hair growth. Like other superfoods, seeds contain a great source of zinc, which repairs hair and aids hair growth cycle. One hundred grams of black beans provide 7% of your daily zinc, providing other healthy nutrients, including iron, folate, and biotin. Beans are a very versatile and comfortable addition to regular dieting. They are a great source of protein, and some legumes such as soybeans contain spermidine, which prolonge the phase of active hair growth, called the anagen phase. If the hair remains in the anagen phase, the longer it will grow. Beans are essential for hair growth, a combined intake of spermidine, iron, and zinc will allow your hair to flourish and prolong the active phase of hair growth.
In addition to eating these super foods for beautiful hair as often as possible, try to avoid going to the salon to color or perm up your hair, and opt for natural colors instead (such as red henna for a natural red, or dark henna for black-haired women), as they are less stressful and invasive than artificial dye. (You can find henna at any pharmacy or natural product store, where it tends to be available in a generous supply.) Give your hair a break and it will thank you by growing stronger and healthier than ever. Once you start supplementing your diet with the super foods for beautiful hair presented above, you will begin noticing the results as soon as within two or three months. If you’ve always dreamed about having long and gorgeous hair but extensions seemed too over the top, now the length you wanted will be easier to achieve than ever.