The way we eat has a direct impact on the health of the hair: if it receives the vitamins and other elements it needs, its appearance and structure will be optimal, as long as there are no pre-existing conditions. But do you know exactly which nutrients and foods strengthen hair?
Why are nutrients so important?
Surely you have heard of building, regulating and energetic foods.
The nutrients we receive from food are responsible for our metabolism and body to function. These elements provide us with energy, create the structures that make up our bodies, and regulate biochemical reactions.
The nutrients that allow all this to happen normally are divided into:
- Macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats, components that our body requires daily in high doses.
- Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals, which must arrive in lower amounts but also every day.
A varied and balanced diet , such as the Mediterranean diet, can provide all these nutrients without problems . However, age and key vital moments such as pregnancy or lactation must be taken into account.
When a person does not cover the nutritional needs that their body asks for, problems such as anemia can appear . One of the effects of this type of imbalance is a loss of strength and/or shine of the hair to the point of suffering a specific or prolonged loss.
Nutrients and foods that strengthen hair
Now that we know why nutrients are so important and the direct impact that diet has on hair health, it is time to mention those foods that strengthen hair. We’ll walk you through the various nutrients you need to stay healthy inside and out.
- Amino acids: keys to hair growth. Meat, fish, eggs, cereals, nuts and legumes are its main sources. You can also get them through brewer’s yeast.
- Sulfur: active element in the formation of keratin, so it will help you strengthen hair. Cruciferous vegetables (cabbages, broccoli, etc.) are rich in sulfur, as are onions, garlic, fish, meat, red fruits, milk, and nuts.
- Calcium: another important element to maintain strong hair. Dairy products are reputed to be very rich in calcium, but you must take into account the large percentage that you will find in fish such as sardines or salmon, spinach, watercress, soybeans, sesame seeds, and nuts such as almonds.
- Iron: helps prevent hair loss and is easy to include in the diet, for example through nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, spinach, legumes, shellfish, tofu, and dark chocolate, among others.
- Potassium: plays a fundamental role in hair hydration by retaining water. Soybeans, pistachios, sweet potatoes, cardoons and bananas are rich in this mineral.
- Proteins: they are in charge of renewing tissues and cells, which is why they are essential for hair growth! Meat and fish are always cited as a source of protein, but more and more voices are being heard in favor of introducing vegetable protein, present in legumes, nuts, yeast (both brewer’s and nutritional), spirulina or quinoa.
- Vitamin A: is responsible for the maintenance of cells and is found in dairy, meat, fish, fruits, legumes and eggs.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): metabolizes amino acids and helps growth. Whole grains and brewer’s yeast have it in good proportion.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): promotes growth functions and energy metabolism. It is present in dairy, eggs or whole grains.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): is an active part of amino acid metabolism and tissue respiration. They are introduced into the diet with yeast, oily fish, cereals or legumes.
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): participates in energy metabolism reactions and helps combat stress by producing cortisol. It is present in foods rich in protein.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): It is involved in the metabolization of amino acids and is found in fish, dairy products, nuts and liver.
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid): helps fight hair loss. It is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, chestnuts, or whole grains.
- Vitamin E – Known as the “anti-aging vitamin” it plays an important role in the circulation of the hair follicles. Olive oil and whole grains are rich in this nutrient.
- Vitamin F: it is a group of fatty acids that restores the skin’s natural barrier, minimizing seborrhea, thus controlling the appearance of dandruff. Nuts are key to obtaining it.
- Vitamin H (Biotin): participates in cell growth, helping to prevent hair loss and nourishing hair. Liver, eggs, oily fish or peas are great sources of this vitamin, also called B7.
- Zinc: Helps hair grow and stay strong. This mineral is present in nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts, but also in liver, oysters, oats and brewer’s yeast.
If you want to continue reading about the foods and nutrients that care for the health of your hair, also check out our post This summer, eat lighter and fill your hair with vitamins.
Minoelements to reinforce the assimilation of nutrients
Throughout life, there are times when we may need extra nutrients because we are not receiving them from food or we cannot metabolize them well for other reasons.
For example, adolescents, experiencing such profound changes due to growth, may also experience episodes of hair loss. This can be increased by the stress generated by this situation.
Another moment in which diet plays a key role is during menopause: it may be necessary to review the diet to introduce nutrients that are not being paid attention to, such as iron, the absence of which causes changes in the hair.
Also Read: 10 Natural Recipes To Straighten Your Hair