Eat your way to glossy tresses
Ten foods for amazing strands.
The average woman has dozens of hair potions—from shampoos and serums to oils and sprays—in her beauty lineup. But did you know gleaming hair starts from within? The best part, sexy strand ingredients are already there in any well stocked kitchen. After all, every savvy gal knows that she is the sum total of the quality of food she eats. Read on to know the Top Ten foods that will give you the bouncy, shiny mane you’ve always wanted.
Beans and lentils
No surprise that this brain shaped nut is a power house of everything you need for an alert mind and glossy head of hair. Walnuts are rich in Alpha-Linolenic Acid, a fatty acid that is a key ingredient for healthy, moisturized locks. Walnuts also help enrich your natural color. Make sure you grab a small fistful every day.
Vegetarians rejoice! The good news is that you don’t need to eat chicken or fish to get adequate protein. Beans—kidney beans, chickpeas, black eyed beans and vaal—are choc-a-bloc with growth boosting proteins that add thickness and length to strands. Don’t like to eat a bowlful of beans? Just throw some steamed beans into salads, soup, even rice. Lentils, or the humble daal is also rich in iron and protein, vital for transporting oxygen from your blood to hair follicles, improving strand strength and growth.
This pulpy fruit is rich in Vitamin B6, Iron, Silica, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium and Manganese. Vitamin B6 deficiency has been linked to strand thinning, hair loss, immune disorders and anemia. This water soluble vitamin also converts amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, the feel-good hormone, and helps the body absorb the nutrients it receives from the food we eat. Eat a banana daily for hydrated and nourished hair follicles and strands.
Time to ditch white for brown! Combine a vegetarian protein like daal with a Vitamin B rich complex carb like brown rice and you have a winner on your hands. It provides the energy needed to build and maintain strong hair. Moreover, brown rice is full of the hormone-regulating mineral zinc, which directly impacts the growth rate and thickness of strands.
Carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin
Just a couple of tablespoons can give you’re a protein packed, hair loving breakfast or lunch on the go. Slip it between two slices of whole wheat toast or eat it with fruit. It’s even versatile enough to have as a teatime snack with crackers Cottage cheese is low in fat, and high in hair and nail strengthening calcium and protein. Spread some cheese and bid split ends goodbye forever.
These orange-red veggies are a powerhouse of beta carotene which is converted into Vitamin A by the body. This vital vitamin protects and produces oils that keep the scalp hydrated. A deficiency can cause itchy, irksome dandruff. Get your fill of these to improve the circulation of oxygen to hair follicles through the scalp and promote shiny strands.
Pumpkin and flax seeds
Who knew that the humble dahi had hair strengthening properties? Yoghurt is replete with strand boosting protein, calcium and Vitamin B5, the last is also a common hair friendly ingredient found in strand serums. Plus the probiotics and gut-riendly bacteria aid in good digestion. A healthy gut means you can efficiently absorb the minerals and vitamins from food so that your strands get adequate nutrition.
Both pumpkin and flax seeds are excellent sources of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamins B and E. The omega-3 fatty acids nourish hair follicles from within, improving elasticity and making strands less prone to breaking. Vitamin E is known to prevent premature graying and ensure the scalp stays moisturized and dandruff-free. Dry roast flax seeds and sprinkle over salads or yoghurt along with a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds for power packed, delicious crunch.
Replace your daily cuppa with several cups of green tea that has six compounds to stave off hair loss. This antioxidant rich beverage contains polyphenols and catechins with 5-alpha-reductase inhibiting properties that lower levels of DHT (Di Hydro Testosterone), the substance that causes hair loss in men and women. These anti-inflammatory properties not only stop hair loss but promote new growth as well. If you don’t like green tea, you can get the same benefits from a supplement like Natrol Green Tea.
As if you needed any more reasons to indulge! The vitamin, antioxidant and mineral-rich cousin to the sugar-filled milk chocolate is full of mood elevators and antioxidants that prevent damage to your hair. Choose a dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa to get a daily delicious dose of iron, zinc, copper and minerals that support cell renewal to boost blood flow and oxygen to the scalp. The result: thicker, stronger strands.
Finally, it won’t hurt to supplement with a tress friendly supplement like Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin and Nails 3000 mcg of Biotin or Natrol NuHair For Women Regrowth Tablets.