9 Optimum Foods for Hair Growth

How to nourish and support your hair.

What to eat for maximum hair health.

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Whether you wear your hair long or short, you probably want it to be as thick and healthy as possible. That’s why hair loss is such a touchy and complicated issue. While there are many contributing factors that can influence hair thinning and loss like genetics, health, lifestyle, and aging, according to mindbodygreen, there are things you can do to help nourish your hair and support regrowth.

While you cannot influence hereditary balding or losses due to illness, there are things you can do if your hair is thinning. Reducing stress, which can accelerate hair loss, using quality hair products, and eating a balanced diet that contain nutrients that support healthy hair can help to promote hair growth and could also slow down hair loss. Here are nine foods that promote optimal hair growth.

Healthy Eggs

Eggs contain protein and biotin, two nutrients that are essential for hair growth, according to Healthline. Getting enough protein in your diet is very important because hair follicles are made mostly of protein. A lack of protein could be the cause of hair loss. Biotin is essential for your body to produce the hair protein called keratin but it is important to get the right amount of it from your food. Too much biotin can interfere with the lab results that are used to diagnose other health conditions.

Eggs contain essential nutrients.

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Superfood Avocado

Avocados are an important superfood to add to your diet. Rich in nutrients and healthy fats, these gems  also provide 28 percent of your daily vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative stress and damage to the cells on your scalp that can lead to fewer hair follicles and loss.

Avocados contain healthy fats.

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Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

Salmon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat because it is highly nutritious and is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids; commonly known as healthy fats.  Omega-3 helps with heart health, lowers inflammation, and contributes to hair health, according to Good Housekeeping. Fatty fish is great for your hair because it is rich in protein and contains selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin B. Other fatty fish include sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna, and trout.

Salmon is a healthy food choice.

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Bountiful Berries

Berries are very healthy fruits and whether you enjoy blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries, these summer treats are chock full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients that are essential to maintain a healthy body including your hair. Strawberries contain over 150 percent of your daily vitamin C needs and help to control blood pressure and brain health. Your body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein that helps to strengthen your hair and keeps it from becoming brittle and breaking.

Berries contain a large amount of vitamin C.

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Sea Oysters

Oysters are one of the best food sources of zinc and just one medium oyster provides 96 percent of the daily requirement of zinc for females and 76 percent for males, according to research from the USDA. Oysters are also an important source for protein, iron, and selenium. A lack of zinc in your diet could cause telogen effluvium, a form of hair loss that can be reversed by adding zinc to your diet, explained Good Housekeeping.

Oysters contain zinc, an important mineral for hair health.

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Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain a variety of nutrients that you need for hair growth including vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and essential fatty acids, according to Healthline. These nutrients have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and a reduction in inflammation. On the flip side, not getting enough of these important nutrients can contribute to hair loss. Seeds also contain vitamin E, zinc, selenium, as well as a host of other nutrients. Flaxseeds and chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. Adding nuts and seeds to your diet is easy.

Eating nuts and seeds can help keep your hair healthy.

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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a compound that your body converts to vitamin A, which is linked to healthy hair. Just one medium sweet potato contains enough beta-carotene to provide over 100 percent of your body’s vitamin A daily needs. A vitamin A deficiency can lead to hair loss so it is essential that you eat foods rich in beta-carotene like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, and other bright orange, yellow or green colored fruits and vegetables.

Sweet potatoes are a healthy food choice.

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Red Meat

Meat contains important nutrients like protein and iron that supports hair growth. That’s because the protein in meat helps to repair and strengthen hair follicles. Just one 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of steak provides 29 grams of protein and red meat is especially rich in a type of iron that is easy to absorb. Iron helps deliver oxygen to all the cells in your body including hair follicles.  But meat, especially processed ones, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease so it is best to consume lean cuts and control portion size.

Some healthy plant-based protein alternatives are chick peas, lentils, beans, and peas that are known as pulses (dry edible seeds). Just one cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein.

Lean meat is a good protein and iron source.

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Spinach and Leafy Greens

Spinach is loaded with the beneficial nutrients iron, folate, as well as vitamins C and A that are all important for healthy hair and growth. Just one cup of spinach provides 20 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Spinach is also an excellent plant-based source of iron which is needed for hair growth. A deficiency in iron has been associated with hair loss.

Spinach contains nutrients that are beneficial for hair growth.

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