Hair products are only half the battle when it comes to growing healthy, strong curls. A lot of the time we focus on what goes in our hair rather than what goes into our bodies. Hair grows about .5 to 1.5cm every month, so everything we’ve eaten in the past month affects new hair, skin and nail growth.
A balanced diet packed with essential nutrients will provide your body with the tools it needs to grow the curls that you deserve.
Here are 10 foods that you should put on your next shopping list:
Pineapple is more than the go-to bedtime style for most curlies - it is also loaded with vitamin C and renowned for its health benefits. Pineapple is an excellent source of beta carotene that, when converted to Vitamin A in our body, helps produce essential oils that enhance scalp health - the key to a healthy head of hair.
Don’t let the baby boomers shame you into giving up your avo-fuelled lifestyle. This brunch staple is one of the top five super fruits for hair growth. Packed with Vitamin B, C and E, and beta-carotene, these key vitamins in avocado help your capillary walls get sufficient oxygen, promoting scalp circulation. Avocados bring the right kinds of fats and oils to your diet, and the high fat content make it a perfect addition to DIY conditioners.
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C that is an essential ingredient for healthy and shiny hair. They are also rich in beta-carotene, flavonoids, and magnesium that boost hair growth.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp (with an added bonus of good vision).
A healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, strong, well-conditioned head of curls.
A handful of nuts is the perfect snack when you’re feeling low on energy. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. Another star nut is the Brazil - the main benefit to eating Brazil nuts for hair growth is that they contain selenium. A deficiency of selenium in your diet is associated with poor hair growth. This is because selenium helps your body process proteins responsible for hair growth. Remember, nuts should be consumed in small amounts to prevent harmful health effects from excess intake.
Eggs have more nutrients per calorie than most other foods and are an wonderful source of high biological protein, biotin and vitamin B-12: all elements important in growing and maintaining healthy hair.
Dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale are filled with vitamin A and C. These vitamins are necessary for the production of sebum - an oily substance secreted by hair follicles that is essential for natural hair growth and shine. Dark greens also provide iron and calcium and are essential for healthy hair.
One of the best foods for maintaining healthy hair, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the scalp drying. Those on a plant-based diet can add 2 tablespoon of chia seed or flax seed into their foods to get omega-fatty acids from plant sources.
Milk and milk products are high in calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral that stimulates hair growth. Aim to provide your body with around 1000mg of calcium (typically 3 servings). Low-fat or fat-free yogurts, milk, and cheese are good sources of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, choose lactose-free milk, yogurt and cheese to get enough calcium. These foods have as much calcium as regular milk, yogurt and cheese. Plant-based options such as calcium-fortified soy, almond and rice beverages can also provide adequate calcium intake.
Water is not technically a food, but there’s never a bad time to remind the people you care about to drink water. In addition to keeping us alive, drinking enough water helps to regulate our circulatory system that feeds our hair follicles and stimulates hair growth, supports the work of cells and helps the elimination of toxins in our body.
Health authorities commonly recommend eight, 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 litres, This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember.