Nutrition Choices for Beautiful Healthy Hair

A healthy diet can lead to great skin, better moods, and, not surprisingly, beautiful hair. What you put in your body determines the health of your hair: shine, thickness, and strength, all come from your diet. Healthy eating, and some nutrients in particular, can help you gain gorgeous, beautiful hair.

Our hair, skin and nails make up our Integumentary System, which is the largest system in our body, and the only one that never stops growing. As a result, this body system has enormous nutrient requirements, making good nutrition imperative to keep all three looking fabulous.

Protein is the building block of hair, so it is integral to your diet. Whether you get it from a big steak or tofu, protein is key to healthy eating that impacts your whole body, not just your hair. Foods high in protein also tend to have great iron content: meat and shellfish supply iron that will keep your hair beautiful

The best way to get enough protein and iron is to have a daily serving of lean meat, which won’t rack up calories like a deluxe cheeseburger will. However, many people choose to not eat beef, and there are many protein options for vegetarians and non beef eaters.

A healthy diet will improve the health of your hair.

Multivitamins also pay an important role in having and maintaining luscious locks. Vitamins and minerals can support healthy hair and can come from your diet, but taking a daily multivitamin gives you that extra boost. 

Many women lack vitamins B-6 and B-12, which can be obtained from bananas and meat, respectively, as well as folic acid, which can be found in fresh fruit. If the sun doesn’t provide enough vitamin D for your body, fortified dairy products can easily close the gap. 

Vitamins A, C, and E are also important. Dark green veggies provide vitamins A and C, and carrots, and other orange vegetables are an excellent source of vitamin A, which also benefits your vision.

Shiny hair comes from sebum, an oil whose production can be boosted by nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids – found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines – are also beneficial for shiny, healthy hair. A daily handful of walnuts or almonds is a healthy snack that can add luster to your hair. Eating salmon or even sardines as a snack, also provides an easy dose of essential Omega-3 fatty acids.

Additionally, eggs and whole grains contribute Biotin, which can help strengthen hair and assist in preventing hair loss. However, experts have long recognized healthy growth of the specialized tissues of our hair, skin and nails requires much higher levels of Biotin than are present in even the healthiest diet or any typical multivitamin. 

For that reason, most people are deficient in this nutrient, as it’s difficult to obtain an adequate daily supply without supplementing. To achieve therapeutic levels of this recognized beauty nutrient, it’s recommended to take 4,000 mcg daily. Supplementing with Biotin can have a profound impact on the health of your hair, in a short amount of time.

Sulfur is essential to the structure of our hair, and MSM is an exceptional source of organic Sulfur. It’s of course, also beneficial for skin and nails as well. MSM can be found in most vitamin sections of your local grocery store.

No multivitamin, however, can make up for poor eating habits. Crash diets – especially those that limit calories – lead to a decrease in mineral intake, which can contribute to hair loss. One of the many side effects of eating disorders is dramatic hair loss. Even gradual, regulated diets, if they result in weight loss of 15 or more pounds, can usually mean noticeable thinning of the hair. 

Of course, more important than counting calories or slimming down quickly, is maintaining overall health – and your hair is a big indicator of the nutrition you’re getting in your diet. Under-eating or neglecting to get enough protein, and common vitamins, can create thin, dull hair: a look that doesn’t complement even the most bikini-ready figure.

Avid CSI fans know that hair is a common piece of evidence forensic scientists can use to find out a great deal about a suspect, including drug abuse or medications. Think of your hair as a “log” of how you treat your body – poor eating habits now will be evident in your hair, even weeks and months down the road. So invest in your future hair and pop a multivitamin every morning or treat yourself to a great seafood dinner.

While no nutrition plan will guarantee healthy hair, good eating habits and a well-rounded eating plan can definitely contribute to your overall health, which just makes you feel better. And when you feel better about yourself, you take better care of yourself. Every part of you benefits – even your hair!

** Also, check out the Vitamin Wheel on our side bar, for more information on individual vitamins, and what food groups to find them in.

Barb Quinn is also known as Hairstyle Blog
Guest author has been a professional hair stylist for over 30 years and has established herself as a nationally recognized hair designer, educator, and freelance writer. Barb has been chosen by her peers to serve on the advisory panel of Cosmos C International the global hair stylist network. Thousands of women each day follow Barb’s hair styling wit and wisdom on her highly successful blogs Hairstyle Blog and Visual Makeover. In 2011 The Hairstyle Blog was selected as Top Beauty Blog by
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