Turn heads! Top 6 foods for healthy, gorgeous hair

What should you eat to prevent grey hairs? What foods will give your hair that soft bounce and salon glow? Find out here...

Racha Adib

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Many women and men strive for healthy, shiny locks which, in today’s world may be quite a challenge.

That’s because our hair is exposed to damage in so many ways. Being out in the sun, going for a swim, using heat styling devices, applying damaging hair products, and following an unhealthy diet can all leave your hair dull and frayed.

As a result, many people resort to all forms of hair treatments from oil treatments to topical creams that may work, a nourishing diet is key. That’s why you should try these six readily available foods to supply your hair with the essential nutrients it needs to become shiny, lustrous and strong.

Salmon for silkier hair

Besides being a source of high quality protein, the key ingredient in Salmon that we’re looking at is Omega-3. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids our bodies can’t make and can only get from our diets, and guess what? Fatty fish is the best source. Along with the numerous benefits, Omega-3s provide the oils that keep you scalp and hair hydrated, protecting you from dry and dull hair that we all dread. What it does instead is give your hair that extra shine. If Salmon isn’t available, you can always resort to Tuna for a similar effect.

Half a salmon filet weighing 124g contains 1.8g Omega-3, while a can of tuna weighing 178g contains 806 mg Omega-3.

Sunflower seeds to stimulate growth

Sunflower seeds contain plenty of hair loss preventing minerals including iron and hair promoting minerals such as zinc. Boosting tissue growth and repair, zinc helps keep your hair healthy. Grab a handful of sunflower seeds for healthy hair growth. You can also sprinkle some sunflower seeds on your salads or oatmeal or add to pancakes or bread.

Because they’re high in calories, avoid eating too much. One serving of sunflower seeds, equivalent to 2 tablespoons, contains 110 calories and 10g of fat, although healthy.

Eggs to combat brittle hair

While eggs have been criticized in the past for their high cholesterol content, the latest studies show that the cholesterol in eggs isn’t as harmful on blood lipid levels as they once thought - and when it comes to healthy hair, eggs can be quite beneficial. Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is a nutrient found in the egg yolk, and according to research, biotin works to protect our hair, from follicle to shaft, against breakage.

On average, adults need around 30 micrograms of biotin a day. A hardboiled egg contains 25 micrograms of biotin, so eating only one can put you well on your way to meeting your needs.

Animal protein, such as chicken, for thicker hair

Without enough protein, the main building block that makes up 88 percent of hair follicles, our hair can be weak and brittle. The reason we’ve stressed on an Animal source of protein is because it’s complete, meaning it provides all of the essential amino acids, unlike most vegetarian sources. It’s also a great source of easy to absorb iron. But remember, always select lean mean such as chicken breast or turkey.

Most people need an average of 56 grams of protein a day. Half a chicken breast contains around 23g, which should give you an idea on how you can meet your needs.

Apricots for conditioned hair

This fruit’s got a rich source of Vitamin A, a vitamin needed by the body to make sebum. Sebum is an oily secretion created by our hair’s sebaceous glands. It acts as a natural conditioner and keeps your scalp from itching. Not only does it contain Vitamin A, which happens to be a potent antioxidant that protects your hair on a cellular level, it’s also a rich source of iron.

Although this fruit is available fresh mainly in summer, you can find its dried version all year long. Four apricots contain 2,696 International Units of Vitamin A, providing you with half your needs.

Lentils to prevent grey hair

Beans in general are a great way to get gorgeous hair. Lentils are from the richest sources of iron among beans. Besides iron, lentils contain hair thickening protein, anti-breakage biotin, hair growth promoting zinc, and hair loss preventing iron all at one go. But the nutrient in lentils that we’re looking at is folic acid, which may play a key role in grey hair, a nuance to many. According to research, a deficiency in this vitamin many not only cause your strands to turn grey, but can also slow down you hair’s growth which happens to be reversible.

One cup of lentils contains 358 micrograms of folic acid, which constitutes 90 percent of your daily needs.