One very important thing that is hardly talked about is the importance of taking proper foods to promote natural hair growth. There is no value in focusing on the physical aspects of natural hair care (e.g. product application and protective styling) and forgetting to take care of your overall health and nutrition. Proper health and nutrition is the backbone of a well-functioning body system such as hair growth.
The best foods that promote natural hair growth include: 1.Eggs, 2. Avocados, 3. Nuts, 4. Pumpkin Seeds, 5. Leafy Greens, 6. Chicken, 7. Red Meat, 8. Fatty Fish, 9. Berries, 10. Sweet Potatoes, 11. Mushrooms, 12. Citrus Fruits, 13. Dairy, among others. These foods are rich in nutrients such as Essential fatty acids, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, Iron, Zinc and Proteins which are essential in promoting natural hair growth.
In this article we will go into the details of foods that provide essential nutrients and the role these nutrients play in promoting natural hair growth.
Below are the best foods that promote natural hair growth.
1. Eggs provide proteins required for natural hair growth
Over the decades the opinions on the importance of eggs has varied but what we know for sure from science is that eggs are packed with several nutrients. Eggs are rich in proteins and also a good source of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B7 (biotin), selenium and zinc. (1)
Hair is made of a protein that is called Keratin and therefore incorporating a protein-rich diet such as eggs, will be beneficial in promoting natural hair growth. The hair follicle, a part of scalp that produces new cells so that the old ones accumulate forming the hair strand, is usually made up of protein. Adequate provision of protein in the diet leads to development of more hair follicles resulting in a large volume of hair.
Vitamin B12 is crucial in cell division and red blood cells production promoting healthy hair development.
Biotin is well known for boosting your hair’s growth rate thickening hair strands at the same time increasing its silkiness and radiance though the production of keratin protein .
Zinc is essential in growth and repair of hair. Zinc promotes proper functioning of the sebaceous glands in producing sebum. Adequate production of sebum leads to adequate moisture balance on the scalp inhibiting hair loss that may result from a dry scalp.
An egg contains approximately 0.015mg (15mcg) of selenium. Normal consumption of selenium boosts hair growth and development. Excess consumption leads to hair damage and loss of silkiness.
2. Avocados are rich in healthy fats and vitamins
Avocados are not only yummy in salads and smoothies, they are a great source of healthy fats and Vitamins. Avocados is rich in vitamin E which is an antioxidant. Therefore, it protects your hair from oxidative damage by free radicals produced mainly through the breakdown of food and exposure to UV radiation.
A study done in human volunteers experiencing hair loss showed that after consuming Vitamin E supplements, there was an increase in hair growth. This study demonstrates the importance of Vitamins E which can be obtained by adding avocados in your diet.
Avocados are also a good source of essential fatty acids. Hair growth occurs due to compilation of old cells in the hair roots. Essential fatty acids are required for cell development given that hair development is caused by compilation of old cells when new cells are formed leading to hair growth.
3. Nuts provide essential nutrients for natural hair growth
Generally nuts are good sources of essential fatty acids, selenium and zinc. In this section I will dive deep into discussion of Walnuts which has proven to have massive contribution to your hairs health when incorporated in your diet
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, biotin and selenium. Omega-3 fatty acids provided by walnuts come in handy in promoting proper functioning of the sebaceous glands hence a healthy scalp free of dandruffs. The Omega-3 fatty acids and Potassium makes walnuts good for hair strengthening.
Walnuts also contain Selenium which help in preventing hair fall. It’s Biotin composition makes it good for hair growth. Keratin content present in walnuts gives you a strong healthy mane with its curls defined.
Other nuts good for hair growth include; cashew nuts, Brazilian nuts provide an excellent source of selenium in the body.
4. Seeds Provide Fatty Acids and Vitamins
Seeds provide nutrients essential for hair growth. Nutritional composition of different types of seeds varies but most of them are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin E and zinc.
Chia seeds for example provide protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, zinc, iron, magnesium to the body. These nutrients all together help reduce hair fall and promote growth of hair.
Flaxseeds are also good for hair growth. They contain essential fatty acids which are good sources of nutrients to the hair follicles. It has anti-inflammatory properties which ensures that your scalp remains healthy. Healthy scalp equals to healthy hair growth.
Other seeds of importance to hair growth include: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and water melon seeds
5. Leafy greens are packed with Iron and Vitamins for hair growth
Green leafy vegetables contain a lot of healthy nutrients which are essential for hair growth; iron, vitamin C and vitamin E. Common leafy greens include Spinach, Kales, Microgreens, Collard greens, Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Lettuce among others.
Iron, which is common in leafy greens is an important mineral in the circulation of oxygen and nutrient around the body. The hair follicles receive sufficient nourishment hence your hair grows.
Whilst there is not enough research that has shown iron deficiency anemia causes hair loss, this study has shown that there is some relationship between iron deficiency (anemia) and hair loss. To be on the safe side, ensure you have sufficient iron intake through your diet.
Vitamin E and C both have anti-oxidant properties hence they protect cells and tissue membrane of hair from oxidative damage.
6. Carrots contain Vitamin A which promote development of hair tissues
This bright colored vegetable is loaded with pro-vitamin A compound beta-carotene. Beta- carotene is converted to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for cell formation hence promoting tissue development, the hair tissue being among them. It also plays an essential role of maintaining proper functioning of the sebaceous glands leading to the production of sebum in sufficient amounts. Scalp health by proper hydration in this instance is assured.
7. Chicken is rich in proteins
Do you love chicken but wondering whether it has anything to do with hair growth? Well, chicken is an excellent source of protein which are very essential in natural hair growth. With hair being mainly made of protein, providing it in the diet gives you a close to a hundred percent assurance of healthy hair growth rate. Chicken consumption also provides B vitamins, iron, zinc and selenium to your body.
8. Fatty Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote hair follicle growth
Fatty fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna, Herring and Sardines are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids provides essential amino acids to the follicle hence enabling it to grow. Omega-3 fatty acids help in the retention of a healthy scalp. Omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties preventing hair loss mainly through follicle damage. Fish is also an excellent source of vitamin B12 and iron.
9. Sweet potatoes provide vitamins that promote hair growth
Sweet potatoes which come is a variety of colors ranging from orange, yellow, white and purple are sweet root vegetables that are found worldwide.
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients good for proper nourishment of your traces. They are a good source of a pre-cursor of vitamin A compound beta-carotene, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C. Adding sweet potatoes especially the yellow type(have higher concentration of beta-carotene) to your diet list will significantly contribute to a healthy and fuller head of natural hair.
10. Berries are packed with Vitamins C which is good for hair
Berries are delicious and nutrient rich. They are among the healthiest foods you can incorporate in your diet today. Berries are a rich source of vitamin C which is good for hair. Vitamin C has anti-oxidant properties hence quenching free radicals which are responsible for premature greying of hair.
Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of the mineral iron in the body. Vitamin C also helps in collagen production which works wonders on hair strengthening and growth.
With plenty of variety to choose from (Blueberries, Raspberries, Goji Berries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Gooseberries etc.) don’t miss out on the benefits of these fruits. A very easy way to incorporate these juicy fruits in your diet is to simply pop them in your smoothies or eat them whole.
11. Red meat promotes hair growth
Meat is heavily loaded with protein required for growth and repair of the hair follicles. It’s also a rich source of zinc to your body. Zinc is important in hair growth as it plays a vital role in tissue development. Zinc also plays a role in the proper functioning of the oil glands hence properly moisturizing the scalp and hair strands. Some studies have shown zinc deficiency in the body leads to hair loss.
Lean red meat also contains trace minerals of iron, magnesium and biotin which are essential in promoting natural hair growth.
12. Citrus fruits provide essential Vitamins for natural hair growth
Main compounds contained in citrus fruits are; citric acid, vitamin C and iron. These compounds are great at strengthening hair follicles, balancing pH of the scalp preventing hair damage and reducing excess oil in the scalp unclogging its pores. Citrus fruits include Oranges, Lemons, Lime and Grapefruit.
13. Pumpkin seeds contain distinctive amino acids great for hair
Including pumpkin seeds in your diet roasted or raw is very beneficial when it comes to hair growth. The seed contains distinctive amino acid cucurbitin great in hair. Pumpkin seeds are rich source of essential fatty acids, biotin, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E in the body all in which promotes healthy hair growth and development.
14. Dairy provides proteins and calcium
Incorporating dairy in your diet will ensure that you are well supplied with proteins, calcium, biotin and vitamin D which works magic on hair. Calcium in this case helps in the formation of keratin a protein needed in the formation of the hair strand.
15. Mushrooms are rich in Selenium
Mushrooms are rich in the mineral selenium which promotes healthy hair growth. It also helps in the elimination of dandruffs from your scalp. Mushrooms are excellent providers of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has found to be linked to hair loss for this reason taking adequate amounts of this vitamin prevents is very important (2).
Mushrooms are great source of copper in the body which is good for hair. Copper is vital in melanin (pigment that imparts color on hair) production. Copper soothes an inflamed scalp restoring its health hence healthy hair growth. Copper is used to treat anemia a condition that may lead to hair loss.
If you’ve been wondering what to do to grow your hair, I guess by now you have the answer. A little change in your dietary practice incorporating the above foods and your hair struggles will become history. Do not forget to maintain a good natural hair care regimen in addition to eating well. You can learn more on how to grow your natural hair faster in this detailed Natural Hair Growth Guide.