We’ve already broken down the foods that help create beautiful skin, but now it’s time to talk hair! As we’ve said before, hair is something that we value tremendously, but to our bodies, it’s a non-essential tissue. Which means your strands are the last thing to receive the nutrients they need to grow to their full potential.
Luckily, by incorporating the right nutrient-packed foods into your diet, you can be assured you’re giving your locks what they need to grow long and strong. To find out exactly what these foods are, we checked in with registered dietician Carolyn Brown from FoodTrainers, a New York-based team of nutritionists.
Click through our slideshow for all the foods you should be putting on your plate!
Photo courtesy of Ellen von Unwerth for Interview Germany.
“Your locks are made of protein,” Brown says, which makes things like eggs the perfect food for hair. “Plus, they’re rich in biotin!”
Whole grains, like quinoa and millet, are great for hair health because they’re full of zinc and iron.
Healthy fats are important in your diet, especially for your hair and skin! Why? They’re full of vitamin E and omega fatty acids.
Just like eggs, salmon is full of biotin and healthy fats that nourish your strands.
Shellfish, like oysters and clams, are great for your locks thanks to their high levels of zinc. Hair growth hormones are regulated by zinc, so it’s important to get enough, Brown says.
Legumes—like kidney beans, black beans, and lentils—are high in iron, zinc, and biotin, all necessary for hair health.
“Broccoli is high is folate, which helps cell division,” Brown told us. “If you have weak, thinning, or brittle hair, it can be a sign of low folate levels.”
“Papaya is a vitamin C jackpot, which is essential for collagen production,” Brown says. In fact, a lack of collagen can lead to more spilt ends, so be sure to get your daily requirement.
Just like papaya, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are loaded with vitamin C.
“Sea buckhorn is an Asian berry that’s loaded with omega 7s, beta carotene, and vitamin C,” Brown says, all of which are great for promoting healthy, shiny strands.
Leafy greens, like kale and spinach, are full of iron. “Some studies have linked hair loss in women with low iron levels,” Brown says.