15+ healthy foods to eat that will also help keep hair healthy

Did you know that, on average, hair grows a half-inch per month or about six inches per year? If you hair growth is not measuring up, take a look at both at how you're treating your hair and even what you eat. Many factors can affect hair growth, such as lifestyle, styling products and tools, age, genetics and health.
There are, however, simple things you can do to help your locks gain luster. One of them is adding foods to your diet that provide excellent nutrients for increasing the health and vibrancy of your hair. Read on to find out 15 foods that can benefit your hair.
1. Fatty fish
Salmon, mackerel and sardines are all examples of fatty fish, which are packed with omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help promote silky, smooth and voluminous hair in addition to helping the body fight illness.
2. Iron-fortified foods
Cereal, grains, pasta, soybeans, organ meats and dark, leafy greens are good sources of iron. Iron is essential for hair health. It helps the red blood cells carry oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body. If the body lacks adequate amounts of iron, one can experience hair loss.
3. Lean poultry
Hair growth requires protein, and healthy proteins can be found in chicken and turkey, both lean meats. If levels of protein are inadequate in the body, hair growth will slow or even go into a resting stage of almost no growth.
4. Berries
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are packed with compounds and vitamins that are essential to hair health. Berries are loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects hair from free radical damage and hair loss. Antioxidants fight the effects of the oxidative, aging processes of free radicals on the body.
5. Guava
Guava is a tropical fruit jam-packed with vitamin C. One cup of guava contains four times (377 mg) the minimum daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C assists the body in collagen production, which is the protein responsible for strengthening hair.
6. Dark, leafy greens
Spinach, kale and collard greens are full of vitamin A, iron, beta-carotene, folate and vitamin C. All of these help keep locks moisturized and strong. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron, and both are essential to optimal hair health.
7. Greek yogurt
Protein is the building blocks of hair structure, and Greek yogurt is packed with it. Greek yogurt also contains pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which may prevent hair thinning and loss.
8. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, cantaloupe and mangos provide beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, which aids against follicle regression and dry, brittle hair. Vitamin A also stimulates glands in the scalp to release sebum, a natural moisturizer for hair and the scalp.
9. Eggs
Eggs are nutrient-packed powerhouses, containing protein, zinc, iron and biotin. Biotin is needed to produce keratin, a protein found in hair. Those who lack sufficient biotin can experience hair loss.
10. Shellfish
Oyster, crab, lobster and shrimp are rich in zinc, iron, protein, vitamin B and vitamin D with small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Zinc is a mineral that helps prevent hair loss; when zinc is too low, hair loss may result. Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc and aid in repairing the growth cycle of hair.
11. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds are packed with essential fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, and zinc. One ounce of almonds contains 37 percent of the recommended daily needs of vitamin E. All nutrients, compounds and healthy fats found in nuts promote smooth and strong strands of hair.
12. Cinnamon
Sprinkle this warm spice in your coffee, cocoa, milk, oatmeal or on toast. Cinnamon increases blood flow, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the body, including the hair and scalp.
13. Sweet peppers
Sweet peppers have a lot more vitamin C than an orange – more than five times as much. Vitamin C increases collagen production and provides antioxidant protection against free radicals.
14. Avocados
Avocados are full of healthy fats and excellent sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E promotes hair growth and fights free radical damage. One medium avocado contains 21 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E. Avocados are is a source of fatty acids, which cannot be produced by the body but are vital for good health.
15. Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are healthy sources of protein and iron. Protein and iron are the foundations for hair growth and structure. Proper levels are essential for healthy hair growth.
Age, diet, genetics and overall health affect hair growth and manageability. Consult with your physician if you are experiencing unexpected or sudden hair loss.
Resources WebMD and Healthline

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