When it comes to shiny, healthy hair, you get out what you put in. That’s why a diet rich in hair-building superfoods (foods that are generally low on calories and chocked full of essential nutrients and antioxidants) is the first step towards glowing, luscious locks. Here are three of these superfoods that you should be eating more of:
You’ve probably heard that Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of a balanced diet, improving heart, brain, and eye function. But Omega-3s are also great for hair, and fatty fish, like wild salmon, are loaded with them. That’s because Omega-3s not only promote growth and regeneration, they act as a natural conditioner, giving your hair a beautiful sheen and luster. Plus, these fatty acids give your scalp and roots a huge boost of much needed moisture.
When shopping for salmon, the general consensus is that wild is superior to farm-raised. That’s because wild salmon has fewer calories, less saturated fats, and they are less likely to contain contaminants and pollutants. Just remember to diversify your sources of Omega-3s, with a moderate amount of fatty fish being one the ways you introduce these healthy fats to your body.
Pumpkin seeds are a fall favourite but there’s no reason to wait until Halloween to start enjoying their benefits. While they are packed with vitamins and minerals that promote general health (including zinc, sulfur, and vitamins B and K), these little seeds can work wonders for your hair. That’s because they are rich in beta-carotene, which nourishes brittle, lifeless hair and helps prevent dry scalp. Plus, pumpkin seeds contain beta-sitosterol, a plant compound that actually inhibits our body’s production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that attacks the hair follicles and is largely responsible for thinning and alopecia. Pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed raw by the handful or sprinkled onto a salad but, for something different, try a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil over cheese or bruschetta.
If you want thick, bouncy hair, a sufficient amount of protein in your diet is an absolute must. That’s because proteins are the fundamental building blocks for our entire bodies, hair included. When protein is scarce, your body diverts its supply away from the top of your head towards more critical organs, leaving your hair to make due with what’s leftover. And that’s bad news: protein starved hair is thin, flat, and highly susceptible to breakage.
If you’re looking for a perfect protein boost, try Greek yogurt. Why Greek? While all yogurts contain protein, Greek yogurts typically pack more punch per serving, often containing nearly twenty grams in a single six ounce container. Select a low fat variety and you’ll get the same amount of protein found in many fitness drinks, all for less than 140 calories.