Seven Essential Nutrients for Stronger, Healthier Hair
Being able to grow long, thick hair is dependent on a number of factors. These primarily include your genetics, your age, and the environment you live in. However, one thing that truly affects how your hair looks is what you eat. If you want to improve your hair’s appearance, be sure you’re eating well and including these nutrients in your diet.
- B Vitamins – There are quite a variety of vitamins that are in the B family. A lot of these vitamins impact your hair health by stimulating your hair growth, adding strength, and improving the circulation to your scalp. They can also help to prevent hair loss. The primary B vitamins involved with hair are B6, B12, folic acid, niacin, and pantothenic acid. B vitamins can be found in eggs, salmon, chicken, leafy vegetables and oatmeal.
- Iron – If your iron gets too low, a sign may be hair loss. This is because low iron can disrupt the nutrient supply to your hair follicle, interrupting the growth cycle and causing your hair to shed. Iron can be found in both animal-derived and plant-derived methods, including red meat, chicken, fish, lentils, pumpkin seeds and leafy green vegetables. Be aware that vitamin C can help with iron absorption while consuming calcium at the same time can hinder absorption.
- Protein – A tough protein known as keratin is the main component of your hair. It is important to eat enough protein to replenish it as it grows. This helps your hair be strong and healthy. Too little protein can potentially cause dry and brittle hair or even hair loss. Nuts, fish, seeds and meats are great sources of protein.
- Vitamin A – Your scalp naturally produces oil. This helps to keep your head from becoming itchy and dry, and also helps to hydrate your hair. This oil depends on vitamin A. Foods that contain Vitamin A include dairy products, egg yolk and liver. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is found in carrots, squash, and leafy veggies.
- Vitamin C – Along with helping the absorption of iron, vitamin C is also a great antioxidant. It helps your body with collagen production, which helps to strengthen the blood vessels that bring nutrients to the hair shaft. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, kiwis, guava, strawberries, blueberries, sweet potato and broccoli.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps to protect your hair from the outdoor elements, including sunlight, cold temperatures, and dry conditions. Almonds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and leafy green vegetables are great sources of vitamin E.
- Zinc – Often, if you have a dry or flaky scalp, it is caused by a zinc deficiency. This can also lead to hair loss for some people. Zinc can be found in egg yolk, oysters, whole grains, beef and fortified cereal.
Having strong hair and a healthy scalp is something that we all desire. Fortunately, there are natural ways we can improve our hair’s wellbeing. It’s important to keep in mind that how we eat and what we choose to consume impacts us more than we may think.
To learn more about the impacts of what you eat and how you can improve your health naturally, consider taking an online nutrition course through the Edison Institute of Nutrition. We have a wide variety of holistic nutrition courses available for those looking to get a degree. From here, you can transition into a professional role as a nutritionist.
The Edison Institute is an internationally recognized nutrition school, offering online courses worldwide. If you have any questions about courses, fees, or want more information, call us at 1-800-456-9313 or contact us online.