You can see a large number of advertisements for hair growth products being publicized all over the media because hair loss issues are a serious concern for many.
Some of us keep on searching for the best hair growth supplements or products…and keep changing one hair care product after another.
But many of us do not give importance to the good foods that promote hair growth as much as the attention we pay to hair care products.
If you care for your hair dearly…then the first step is to identify the foods for hair growth and include them in your daily diets.
I am sure that nobody likes to see their hair falling off excessively or their scalp turning bald. It is the foods for healthy hair that will make the maximum impact on the permanency of your hair and its beauty.
In this article, we are going to see the best foods for hair growth that contain the essential vitamins and nutrients required for the hair.
What Matter For Healthy Hair Growth?
At first, let us have a brief understanding of the hair growth mechanism in our body.
The growth of hair is largely controlled by androgens hormones. This hormone efficiently controls the three phases of hair growth, namely anagen, catagen, and telogen.
However, it is the protein and vitamins which go into the making of the hair.
It is natural to have stunted hair growth and pattern baldness as we grow old. It is because the cells in the hair follicles are weakened or dead…. as a result, the regeneration and growth span of hairs are reduced drastically.
The hair follicle can also shrink and lose its capacity to grow hair due to a lack of protein and vitamin supply them.
As our body needs vitamins and nutrients for growth and development…for the hair growth also vitamins and nutrients are required.
The major vitamins and nutrients required for the growth are Vitamins A, D, E, C, and B Vitamins (Biotin), protein, iron, and zinc.
If you need to make your hair grow healthy, it is important to make sure that your body gets the essential hair growth vitamins and nutrients regularly.
Of course, there are hair growth supplements that might help in supplying these required nutrients for the body….however, they have their merits and demerits on health.
It is the food that we eat that will give our body the right type of nutrients required for hair growth and also for a healthy body.
The Vitamins And Good Foods For Hair Growth
Let us have a look at each of the vitamins and nutrients required for hair growth and the natural foods that can supply them to our bodies.
The sebaceous glands in the skin secrete a lubricating oily matter (sebum) into the hair follicles to lubricate the skin and hair. Sebum keeps the skin and hair healthy and moisture. It is the body’s hair conditioner from within.
In the absence of sebum, our skin and hair will be dry and unhealthy; the scalp also becomes thicker.
It is only with the help of Vitamin A and E the sebaceous glands will be able to produce sebum lubricant.
High vitamin A foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, pumpkins, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, fish, liver, tropical fruits, and all yellow-colored vegetables; these are the best foods for hair growth.
Since Vitamin A is a water-soluble vitamin, it is best absorbed by the body when it is consumed along with fat.
Vitamin C has an important role to play in the formation of collagen in the human body. Collagen is essential for strengthening the capillaries that supply growth nutrients to the hair shafts.
As it is also a water-soluble vitamin, the body does not store it and usually flushes out the excess dose of daily consumption of all water-soluble vitamins. The body needs this vitamin regularly, and so regular consumption of foods with Vitamin C is necessary for good health.
Vitamin C is also needed for the better absorption of iron by the body. One of the main reasons for breakage and loss of hair is the lack of Vitamin C in the body.
Almost all sour fruits/citrus fruits like lemon, gooseberry, orange, etc. are healthy food for hair as they contain Vitamin C in rich quantities. This vitamin is also found in blackcurrants, blueberries, guava, kiwi fruits, strawberries, broccoli, papaya, and sweet potatoes…these are good foods that promote hair growth.
The diet that gives the body Vitamin E is said to be good food for hair growth and healthy skin.
Like Vitamin C, this one also helps in strengthening the capillaries to increase the blood flows into the hair follicles.
This Vitamin protects the hair from sun damage and also adds shine and glossiness to the hair. Using shampoos and hair creams that contain Vitamin E is good for improving hair growth and stopping hair fall.
Oils, seeds, and nuts are foods good for hair as they contain Vitamin E in good amounts.
Vitamin D is one of the most neglected vitamins by health scientists in the past…as recent studies suggest that Vitamin D is related to just about every illness and a thousand different diseases’ genes are turned on by it…most of the hair loss diseases are closely linked to a deficiency in Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is not only essential for hair but also for several key functions of the body as Vitamin D controls the balance of minerals in the body. The mineral-like zinc, iron, and selenium that are important for hair growth are moderated by Vitamin D.
This vitamin is also a co-factor nutrient of Vitamin A.
Your list of the best food for hair growth must compulsorily have Vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon; all dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, cereals, beef liver, and egg yolks.
Biotin or Vitamins B7 is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of B-Complex vitamins. It is the single most important vitamin that is required for the better growth of hair and most importantly to make the hair strands healthy and strong.
In every healthy individual, the intestinal bacteria produce the enzyme that helps to generate the required amount of biotin in the digestive system itself.
However, people with a weak digestive system could experience biotin deficiency, and this can be mitigated by taking biotin-rich foods like egg yolks, liver, and yeast. Other best sources for B7 vitamins are peanuts, sweet potatoes, almonds, carrots, salmon, tomatoes, and walnuts.
In extreme cases of biotin deficiency…a person may need to take a good quality biotin supplement.
The deficiency of iron in the body causes a disease called anemia which usually results in hair loss besides other health complications.
The body also requires mineral iron for the smooth blood flow into every part of the body including the hair follicles.
Anemic health condition reduces the supply of hair growth nutrients to the hair follicles via blood and it eventually leads to stunted hair growth and increasing hair loss.
Naturally, everyone needs to consume iron-rich foods for good hair growth. The best source of iron is red meat, in fact, animal meat has the best quality iron that is easily absorbed by the body. All sorts of meats like beef, pork, mutton, poultry, and fish too have rich iron content.
If you are a vegetarian, then you need to depend on vegetables like lentils, spinach, and all dark-green-leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, salad greens, etc.) for this essential mineral. It is also found in Seafood, beans, dry fruits, peas, and mushrooms.
The vegetarians may require taking additional iron supplements to prevent the occurrence of anemia as iron from vegetables is not easily absorbed by the body.
Here again, Vitamin C is important as it has the ability to boost iron absorption by the body.
The hairs are made of protein….naturally, the best foods for hair growth have to be those containing a sufficient amount of good quality protein.
Long and healthier hair development requires a protein-rich diet. If your hairs are brittle, weak, and dry, probably it is a sign of protein deficiency in your body.
The best sources of protein are meat, fish, and eggs. But those who are vegetarians need to consume a lot of legumes and nuts.
Choose chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products, and eggs as excellent sources of protein along with vegetarian sources such as nuts, sprouted beans, peas, lentils, lima beans, peas succotash, kale, broccoli, white mushrooms, and sweet corns. All legumes (beans) and dark-green leafy vegetables have a good amount of protein in them.
The list of healthy foods for hair growth must have at least 50 grams of protein intake per day by adults and teenagers.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids-rich foods must be included in our daily diet. This is the healthy fat without which many of the body functions will collapse. As for the hair and scalp, it is the omega-3 fatty acids that keep the scalp and hair hydrated. It is the part of cells that form the scalp skin tissues.
Omega-3 fatty acids nourish your hair follicles for stronger and shinier hair. It reduces hair breakages and maintains hair moisture.
The best and quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids are seafood, especially salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, and herring. The plant foods that have a good bit of it are walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocado, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and most of the other nuts and seeds.
Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps several important functions of the body from the immune system to cell division and growth.
Naturally, the development of cells in the hair follicles and hair strands also requires the help of zinc to happen so.
For a healthy scalp, it is really important to have a zinc and selenium minerals-rich diet. The deficiency of zinc leads to stunted hair growth, hair loss (alopecia and pattern baldness), hair dryness, and a flaky scalp.
Zinc-rich foods like oysters, beef, and eggs are good for hair growth. All meats and fish have a good amount of zinc mineral in them. Other good sources of zinc are nuts, whole grains, legumes, and yeast.
Fruits and vegetables are not good sources of zinc because the zinc in plant proteins is not as available for use by the body. The zinc from animal protein works the best for the body.
Best 10 Foods For Hair Growth
As we have already discussed the best vitamins minerals with their food sources…now it is easy to pick up the ten best foods that together contain every nutrient and vitamin required for healthy hair growth. I have arranged them in a chart as given below.