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The 11 top Nutrients for Healthy Hair

Your hair is a reflection of your health. If you have brittle and dry hair you might have thyroid gland problems, and so we can go through the list of health concerns. However, this article’s focus is on the key nutrients that your need hair needs to be strong, shiny and keeps on growing.

1 Protein

Your hair is made is protein called keratin. However, to produce keratin, your body needs amino acids, which you can only take in by eating protein. It is, therefore, critical that you ensure that you consume enough protein daily to keep your hair healthy and strong. The downside of a lack of protein in the diet could means that your hair could become brittle, dry and weak. This means that you could suffer from hair fall caused by your hair breaking. In severe cases where you lack too much protein are that, you could lose your hair.

Good sources of protein are turkey, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products. Plant sources of protein are legumes, nuts, hemp seed protein and buckwheat.

2 Iron

An important mineral for your hair is iron. A lack of iron could result in a condition called anemia, and this is major cause for hair loss.

Your hair roots are fed by a consent supply of nutrient rich blood. When your serum ferritin, meaning the iron levels, drop to a certain level, you can go into a state of anemia. During this state, your blood supply is interrupted. This means the blood supply to the follicle is not providing your hair all the nutrients that it needs to grow. The implication is that the hair growth cycle will slow down or not halt. If that happens then you will state to shed hair, and there will not be as much new hair to replace the ones that were shredded.

Good sources of iron are red meat, chicken, and fish. Plant based sources of iron are lentils, green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach.

3 Vitamin A

You need to have vitamin A as it is used to make sebum. Sebum is the oily substance, which is created by your hair’s sebaceous glands and acts as a natural conditioner so your scalp can remain health. If you lack this sebum then you could have an itchy scalp and dry hair.

Good sources of vitamin A are yellow colored vegetables that are high in beta-carotene like pumpkins, carrots and sweet potatoes, but other good sources of vitamin A are animal products.

4 Vitamin C

Vitamin C I needed as it helps the absorption of iron. Therefore, it is a good idea to consume vitamin C rich foods with your sources of iron-rich foods. Vegan on the other hand should make sure that they take more vitamin C as meat sources of iron are better absorbed than plant based sources of iron, and thus extra vitamin C is needed to overcome that problem. In addition, vitamin C is a great source of antioxidants and it helps in the production of collagen, which assists with strengthen the capillaries that supply the hair shafts.

Good sources of vitamin C are fruits like oranges, blueberries, strawberries, papaya, kiwi fruit, guava, and vegetables such as broccoli and sweet potatoes.

5 Vitamin D

Vitamin D could assist to activate hair growth. However, vitamin D is a tricky vitamin. Few foods contain it naturally, and although sitting in the sun for at least 15 minutes daily can help your body produce more of it, many experts’ advice against it due to the increased exposure to harmful UV rays.

6 Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps to heal the scarring and damage from not only the sun, but also where vitamin C attacks free radicals. Therefore, it is important to get enough vitamin E in your diet, not only for your skin, but also for the benefit of your hair.

Nuts are a good source of vitamin E. Nuts also contain zinc and selenium, which are all needed for healthy hair.

7 Biotin

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin. If you have not enough of biotin your hair can become brittle, and this can lead to hair loss. To avoid this, you should add biotin rich foods in your diet. Good sources of biotin are whole grains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast.

8 Calcium

From strong bones, strong nails, strong teeth, and strong hair — calcium does it all. Calcium is one of the body’s most sought-after minerals, so when your system lacks sufficient calcium, you can see it clearly in the health of your hair and nails. However, consuming extra calcium might not be enough to get back in balance; your body needs help from other vitamins in order to absorb calcium correctly.

9 Magnesium

When you suffer prolonged periods of stress, you can probably see the effects in your nails and hair. Fortunately, magnesium is the best all-natural anti-stress mineral. It prevents hair loss and unsightly ridges on nails, which can be caused by poor diet and untenable stress.

Magnesium is not a well-known mineral, but it is plenty of delicious and nutritious foods. Pumpkin seeds are in arguably the most magnesium-rich food, followed closely by dark chocolate. By enjoying a sweet treat, you can be on your way to healthier hair and nails.

10 Omega-3 fatty acids

Our bodies cannot make omega-3 fatty acids; therefore, we need to make sure we consume enough of this important fat. This fatty acid is found in the cells that line the scalp and it provides the oils needed to maintain your hair and scalp hydrated.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish like herring, sardines, salmon and mackerel, but also plant sources such as pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and hemp seed powder.

11 Zinc

Besides iron, another important mineral that are needed for healthy hair, is zinc. If you lack zinc, you could suffer hair loss and your hair could be dry, and your scalp could be flaky. More so, zinc helps your hair grow.
Could sources of zinc are whole grains, fortified cereals, but also beef, eggs and oysters.

The bottom line

In the end, it is not fancy shampoos and salon treatments that will give you beautiful hair. Having a healthy and balanced diet that have the nutrients your hair needs that will benefit your hair. To have strong and shiny hair, you need to feed your hair from inside.

About Jacques Dippenaar

Jacques is an influential health blogger and researcher helping readers explore interesting facts and information.

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