Strong and healthy hair depend on may factors such as age, genetics, environment ,diet , any medical treatment. Diet plays a very important role in having a graceful mane. While other factors are not in control, diet can definitely be controlled. Lack in nutritional diet can lead to hair loss. Vitamins and minerals play a major role in hair follicle growth cycle. Deficiency in vitamin B12,D, Iron, biotin, riboflavin can lead to hair fall and poor hair quality.
Some foods which are important for hair growth are:
Spinach: Contains large amount of folate, iron, vitamin A and C ,beta carotene which stimulate hair growth giving healthy scalp and shaft.
Also help to moisturize the hair and keep them frizz free. All green leafy vegetables are recommended for good hair health.
Eggs: Eggs are loaded with protein and biotin which are essential for hair growth. Hair follicles are made up of proteins and hence eating adequate protein help in the growth and maintaining hair health. Biotin aids the production of keratin which is a hair protein and hence the biotin supplements promote hair growth. Eggs are also a good source of zinc ,selenium and many other nutrients which are necessary for healthy hair and scalp.
Sweet Potato: Contains beta- carotene which the body converts into Vitamin A. Vitamin A controls the sebum production which maintains the hair and scalp health. Also helps to protect the dry dull hair
Nuts: Addition of nuts in a regular routine is beneficial for the entire health. They contain vitamin B , E, zinc and fatty acids which promotes hair growth.
Seeds: Seeds like sunflower, flax, chia are rich in nutrients like vitamin E, selenium and zinc. Flax seeds and chia seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which improves hair growth and volume. A mixture of various seeds provide a variety of nutrients.
Fatty Fish: Like Salmon, Mackerel are excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid that promote hair growth and density. They are also a good source of Protein, Selenium , Vitamin D3 and B. They also impart shine to the hair.
Beans: Contain Protein, Iron, zinc, biotin and folate which aids hair growth and repair too. Easy availability can help easy introduction in diet.
Soybeans: Contain spermidine which prolongs the phase of active hair growth called anagen. Due this the hair follicle stays longer in the phase and grows longer.
Meat: Contains protein which help to repair and strengthen hair follicles and red meat is rich in easy to absorb iron which promotes hair growth.
Avocado: Excellent source of Vitamin E which supports hair growth also maintains scalp health due to its antioxidant properties.
Berries: Rich in vitamin C which is a very strong antioxidant which protects hair follicles by damage from free radicals. Vitamin C also helps in collagen production which in turn strengthens hair and also helps in absorption of iron.
Legumes: Important source of protein for vegetarians. Rich in zinc, iron , biotin. Biotin helps to strengthen the structure of keratin that makes up the hair, nail and skin. Makes hair strong and gives them a volume.