The secret to long, strong and shiny hair isn't an expensive shampoo or fancy salon treatment - it's all about your diet. You can have dry, frizzy, smooth or silky hair - all these are signs of your inside health.
Each strand of hair is made up of cells that contain a protein called keratin. They need to be constantly nourished with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to make your hair healthy and strong. So, what can you eat for the mane you've always dreamed of?
Eating a variety of healthy foods is key. Fill up on the following six nutrients to begin growing your best hair ever…
Six nutrients that are important for hair growth
Hair growth nutrient #1: Vitamin D
A number of studies have found that vitamin D may help activate hair growth. But this vitamin is a tricky one – few foods contain it naturally, so your best bet is to take a 1,000 IU supplement daily. Sitting in the sun for a few minutes each day is another options, although many experts advise against it due to the increased exposure to harmful UV rays.
Hair growth nutrient #2: Biotin
Biotin is a B vitamin essential for hair health. Eggs are a top source of biotin that are also packed with vitamin D, protein and choline. If you aren’t a fan of eggs, you can take a 30 mcg supplement daily instead.
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Hair growth nutrients #3 and #4:
Iron and zinc
Iron and zinc deficiency are common causes of hair loss
in men and women. These nutrients help hair follicles to grow. Eat red meat, which is rich in both iron and zinc, to up your intake of these nutrients. If you’re vegetarian, pair nonmeat sources of iron, such as soybeans and lentils, with a vitamin C-rich food like an orange for optimal absorption.
Hair growth nutrient #5: Omega-3 fatty acids
Eat fatty fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel twice a week for silky hair. Vegetarians can take 1 g a day of a DHA and EPA supplement. In addition to hydrated hair, omega-3 fatty acids help relieve depression
and protect against heart disease
Hair growth nutrient #6: Protein
Protein is one of the building blocks of life. Not only does this nutrient promote cell growth and repair, but increases your hair strength, too. Men should aim to get at least 56 g protein a day, while women should aim to get at least 46 g.
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