Eat your way to healthy hair.
Hair needs a variety of nutrients to stay healthy such as:
Zinc – benefits hair follicle health and is a cofactor for so many enzyme reactions in the body.·
Antioxidants – vitamin E, C and A prevent hair damage and supports collagen levels.·
B vitamins – especially biotin, which is needed to make keratin to rebuild hair shingles and B5 pantothenic acid supports adrenal glands which helps stimulate hair growth.·
Vitamin D – low levels are often found in people with hair loss.·
Protein – hair follicles are mostly made of protein so sufficient is needed for strong healthy hair.·
Essential fatty acids – nourishes hair, decreases inflammation, and supports hair thickening. Click here to take a look at foods which provide these nutrients.
Eggs are a great source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids. They are also a good source of biotin which is needed for healthy hair.
Vitamin C helps to absorb iron from eggs so enjoy a glass of fresh orange juice or a small fruit salad (kiwi fruit, cantaloupe, mango and strawberries) alongside your scrambled eggs on toast.
Berries are packed full of antioxidants including vitamin C which is needed to create collagen to strengthen hair and prevent it from becoming brittle.
Replace your afternoon biscuit or chocolate bar with a handful of blueberries and almonds.
3. WILD CAUGHT FISH
Fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring contain omega 3 fatty acids which are essential fatty acids that decrease inflammation and support hair thickening. It’s also a great source of protein, vitamin D, B vitamins and selenium.
Grilled mashed up sardines and cherry tomatoes on toast makes a speedy nutritious lunch with a splash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Opt for wholemeal sourdough bread to make it even healthier.
4. SWEET POTATO
Sweet potato and other orange vegetables are high in vitamin A.
Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes or mix the two for a more nutritious mash.
5. NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are a great source of zinc, essential fatty acids and B vitamins. Pumpkin seeds are bursting with zinc. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Brazil nuts have been associated with creating new hair. Too much however may make hair brittle so stick to just a few.
Add a tablespoon of seeds to a smoothie for a nutrient-packed breakfast or mid-afternoon snack to avoid a slump. Grinding seeds in a coffee grinder makes the nutrients more bioavailable (usable for the body).
6. GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Spinach, kale and swiss chard contain folate, iron, vitamins C and A which promote healthy hair growth.
Kale crisps are a delicious healthy snack. Remove the tough stalks and drizzle olive oil and a pinch or two of sea salt over them. Massage together and spread on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 mins at a low temperature until crispy but not burnt.
A great source of the antioxidant vitamin E and essential fatty acids which are building blocks for our cells. Add avocado to your favourite sandwich, or it’s amazing with eggs for breakfast or lunch.
By Emma Mills, Nutritional Therapist
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
1 frozen ripe banana
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 chilled avocado
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chilled water
A tiny pinch of sea salt
Blend all the mousse ingredients together in the food processor until smooth.
Add the cacao powder first and as you blend it have all the ingredient to hand in order to adjust the ratios slightly as the size of avocados and bananas vary so much.
The perfect ration in order to avoid the dish tasting too much of either is to use almost equal amounts of both.
Taste and add a few drops of stevia if you feel you need more sweetness.
Fill little cups or shot glasses with the mousse sprinkle with cacao powder or nibs and serve.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse, The Art of Eating Well by Melisa and Jasmine Hemsley