5 Foods for Healthy Hair

grain salad
Summer break is flying by! The outdoor pools are open, and you’ve had plenty of time to spend outside tanning or swimming. Many people only worry about keeping their skin safe while outside, however, the sun and pool water can also damage your hair, so don’t forget to take steps to protect it throughout the summer. Eating a healthy diet is an essential step to maintaining beautiful, healthy hair all summer. It is not difficult to incorporate hair-friendly foods into your diet. Simply substitute some salmon for ground beef or add some nuts to your salad. Summer is the perfect time to try new foods to improve your hair health!

Measuring hair health can be difficult. Most people cannot tell when their hair is damaged. In fact, it may take up to a month for you to see signs of a nutritional deficiency in your hair. Some of the most important nutrients for hair health include B vitamins, such as biotin, niacin and cobalamin. These B vitamins help keep hair shiny and thick, and they can be found in many foods, such as
whole grains, eggs and avocados. Two other important nutrients for healthy hair are iron and vitamin D. Iron carries oxygen to the hair and helps it grow, while vitamin D plays a role in hair follicle cycling. Iron can be found in foods like red meats, spinach and lentils, while Vitamin D can be found in foods like salmon, mushrooms and grains. Of course, the main source of vitamin D is the sun. If you live in the northern states, you should talk to your health care provider about taking a vitamin D supplement. This is because there is less daily sunlight up north, and it is not possible to get enough vitamin D from foods alone. Regardless of where you live, here are 5 hair-healthy “super-foods” you could try this summer.

  1.  Salmon- Rich in protein and vitamin D, which help your hair grow strong, salmon is a great choice. An added bonus, this fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your scalp and hair hydrated. A meal idea for this summer: try fresh grilled salmon with pineapple salsa and green beans for a delicious dinner!
  2. Walnuts-This type of nut contains the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E and biotin. These nutrients help keep hair lustrous and shielded from the sun. A summer salad suggestion: add walnuts to a strawberry and chicken salad for a fresh, hair-healthy dish! If you don’t like salad, simply mix walnuts with raisins for a quick, energy-boosting snack.
  3. Sweet Potatoes-These bright orange potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for a hydrated scalp. Try substituting a sweet potato for a regular baked potato at your next dinner. Or, if you’re more adventurous, you can make sweet potato chips for a lunch side dish.
  4. Greek Yogurt- Packed with tons of protein, vitamin B and vitamin D, which all support hair growth, Greek yogurt is a terrific option. Try substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream in your recipes. For a breakfast idea, try a Greek yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and nuts.
  5. Turkey- A lean protein with lots of iron and B vitamins that help keep hair strong and plentiful, turkey is a sure bet. Try substituting turkey for ham on your sandwich. Or add turkey to your salad for a filling, delicious dinner!

These are just a few foods that will help your hair stay strong and beautiful. Like always, choose foods that you like, but be sure to incorporate these hair-friendly options. Enjoy the sun this summer, but remember to be proactive and protect your hair!

Photo Credit: Racehl Weidt

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