18 Best Foods For Hair Growth & Thickness -The Secret To Grow Healthy & Luscious Hair Locks!
Proper hair growth is linked to not one but many factors out of which diet is the most crucial factor. Knowing these 18 best foods for hair growth and thickness can promote strong and silky hair strands if a lack of proper nutrition is what has been hindering your hair growth.
Family history, medical conditions, weight loss, and age are other factors that influence hair growth but if you have been experiencing a hair loss without any of these factors being the cause, it’s time you revamp your eating habits!
Super Foods For Hair Growth And Thickness – What To Eat For Hair Growth?
The trick is simple! The next time you are about to eat something, you have to ensure that the food is rich in any one or more of the following nutrients that support hair growth.
Daily Recommended Intake Of Protein
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the daily recommended intake of protein is 46 grams to 56 grams per day. A diet low in protein is known to cause hair fall 1
Most of the hair follicles are made up of protein which is why our diet needs to be enriched with good amounts of protein.
Protein-Rich Foods For Healthy Hair
Being rich in protein is not the only factor that makes eggs an important inclusion in your diet.
Eggs (particularly egg yolks) are one of the richest sources of biotin which is a B-complex vitamin, essential for the formation of a protein called Keratin, the other sources of biotin being liver and yeast.
One large egg which is around 50 grams fulfils 13% of your daily protein requirement and a cooked whole egg provides 10 mcg of biotin.
A study conducted on the intake of biotin has proved to improve hair growth after the supplementation. 2
Apart from proteins and biotins, eggs are also a good source of zinc and selenium, both of which are essential for the promotion of hair growth.
2. Beans And Legumes (Lentils And Chickpeas)
Ensuring that beans and legumes are a regular part of your diet makes your hair growth process much easy.
Just a cup of beans (177 grams) fulfils protein requirement by 31%.
Also, zinc, selenium and Iron present in beans assist in healthy hair growth.
If you are a vegan and a hardcore foodie, nothing compares to the delicious taste and health facts that tofu offers.
1/4 block of tofu (81 grams) fulfils 26% of protein requirement of the day. The plus point is that tofu doesn’t really cause any weight gain since it is low in calories.
Tofu is also an excellent source of calcium and Iron which help in nourishing your scalp with a good flow of blood and its circulation.
II. Zinc-Rich Foods
Daily Recommended Intake Of Zinc
The daily recommended intake of zinc is 8-11 milligrams and there are numerous sources that you can rely on to fulfil your daily zinc requirement.
Zinc deficiency is known to cause hair loss. Studies have proven that those suffering from severe hair loss had significantly lower levels of zinc in their blood.
We need zinc for the synthesis of DNA and proteins as well as proper regulation of thyroid hormone.
An underactive thyroid hormone can cause hair to fall. Furthermore, zinc hinders the synthesis of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone which is known to cause pattern baldness.
Zinc-Rich Foods To Eat For Hair Growth
Most of the nuts like pine nuts, cashew nuts, peanuts, and almonds can boost the amount of your zinc in the body.
Consumption of one cup of any of the seeds can help you meet your zinc requirement by more than 20%.
Popping up a few seeds every now and then can increase the uptake of zinc in your body. An interesting advantage of consuming seeds is that these are super rich in essential fatty acids which are essential for stimulating a healthy growth of hair.
You can replace some unhealthy snacking foods like pastries and other sugary sweets with some healthiest seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Consuming seeds regularly not only helps is not only advantageous for hair growth but also for keeping your heart and brain efficient as you age.
Nothing is as healthy as consuming oatmeal as your breakfast food. Just a cup of oats helps you meet your daily zinc requirement by 41%.
The best way to consume oats is to top them with some of the best vitamin C rich fruits like berries. Oats are also a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
You also get ample amounts of proteins through oats. They fulfil 53% of your daily protein requirement.
On the whole, it is the good amounts of proteins, zinc, vitamin C and essential fatty acids present in oats that makes it the best foods for hair growth and thickness.
7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is healthier than you can really imagine! It is a good source of vital nutrients that help in a proper flow of blood to your hair follicles and scalp, helping in proper hair growth.
Dark chocolate is a good source of zinc with 22% RDA, proteins with 16% RDA and Iron with 67% RDA.
Moreover, cocoa is a rich source of various flavonoids which are known to inhibit 5 alpha-reductases, thereby helping in faster growth of hair.
The darker is the chocolate, the bitter it tastes due to huge amounts of cocoa and it is the cocoa that contains flavonoids.
However, dark chocolate is not the only source you can rely on to gain nutrients. 1-2 ounces of chocolate per day can help you reap the maximum benefits. 6
There are other best sources of flavonoids like tomatoes, onions, broccoli, peppers and fruits like berries, citrus fruits, grapes and black currants that can be consumed for healthy hair growth.
III. Vitamin C Rich Foods
Daily Recommended Intake Of Vitamin C
The recommended intake of vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams per day.7 There are numerous sources of natural vitamin C available which is why you do not need any additional vitamin C supplements that are sold in the market.
Vitamin C is essential for proper absorption of Iron by our body. Dry and brittle hair is a symptom of lack of proper vitamin C and depletion of vitamin C from your body can cause a chronic hair loss.8
Vitamin C has rich antioxidant properties which can fight the free radical damage that may otherwise damage the hair follicles.
The vitamin can also boost collagen which can prevent the hair from ageing which makes them the best food for hair growth.
Vitamin C Rich Foods To Eat For Hair Growth
8. Citrus Fruits
Lemons, grapefruits, oranges, pomelos, mandarins, sweet limes, tangerines and key limes are some of the best citrus fruits which provide abundant amounts of vitamin C.
Regular consumption of citrus fruits is known to prevent baldness and prevent hair fall.
Either by relishing a freshly prepared fruit juice from any of the above fruits or by relishing a bowl of fresh fruits, you can meet more than 100% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
There is no harm in exceeding the recommended intake of vitamin C but the limit of vitamin C intake is 2000 mg per day.
Consuming a cup of papaya (140 grams) gives you more than 100% of daily vitamin C requirement. Apart from the antioxidant property of papayas, other nutrients present in the fruit can help in the growth of strong and healthy hair strands.
You can also try applying papaya puree to your hair and scalp so as to nourish it with all the nutrient properties of the fruit.
However, pregnant women should avoid consuming Papaya since papain present in the fruit can increase the risk of miscarriage due to uterine contractions.
Papaya is also a rich source of vitamin A which helps in proper cell growth so that there is a growth of strong hair follicles.
Tomatoes provide 32% of daily vitamin C requirement. Apart from being a good source of the vitamin, tomatoes are also rich in lycopene which is an important antioxidant responsible for promoting hair growth.
Studies have proved that Lycopersicon esculentum extracts could successfully help in the treatment of hair loss, due to the presence of lycopene in them. 9
IV. Iron-Rich Foods
The recommended intake of iron is 13-18 milligrams per day.
We need enough Iron to carry haemoglobin to each and every cell of the body. When there is no supply of haemoglobin, it can deprive your cells of oxygen supply and when this happens with hair follicles, it leads to poor growth and development of hair. 10
This makes iron-rich foods the best foods for hair growth and thickness
Here are some best Iron-rich foods that you can include in your diet.
Iron-Rich Foods For Healthy Hair
11. Leafy Greens
Ensuring that your diet is filled with at least one leafy green a day helps in providing your body with rich amounts of Iron.
Spinach, Kale, beet greens and collards are the best sources of iron among leafy greens.
12. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a good source of folic acid part from Iron. Folic acid keeps the cells healthy by providing a good supply of blood and oxygen.
Consider including buckwheat, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, millets, and whole wheat bread more often into your diet.
13. Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Fortified cereals are those which are added with vitamins and minerals so as to help people cope up with the deficiency if there is any!
Most of the fortified cereals are loaded with good amounts of vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and folate which help in proper nourishment of hair follicles.
Fortified breakfast cereals are beneficial particularly if you are a vegan wishing to fulfil your daily nutrient requirement.
14. Baked Potatoes
If potatoes are your favourite foods, you must know the healthiest way of consuming them rather than just relying on the fried forms.
One large sized baked potato (299 grams) gives you good amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, folate, iron, zinc and proteins all of which are essential for growing healthy locks!
V. Healthy Fats
Fats are classified as healthy and unhealthy fats. Unhealthy fats are saturated and trans fats which are found in processed foods like meat.
Healthy fats, on the other hand, are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are majorly found in nuts and seeds, fish sources like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerels and also fish oils.
Since nuts and seeds are also the best sources of zinc, a hair healthy mineral, you can improve your chances of hair growth by including nuts and seeds into your diet more often.
Foods Rich In Healthy Fats To Eat For Hair Growth
Healthy fats are not the only reason why avocadoes make the best foods for hair growth and thickness. These also contain vitamin B6 (19% RDA), vitamin C (25% RDA), folate (30% RDA), zinc (6% RDA), vitamin E (16% RDA) and protein (6% RDA).
Apart from the consumption of avocadoes, an eternal application of avocado paste can also stimulate hair growth.
In fact, there are numerous hair washing agents like shampoos and conditioners that are prepared using avocado oil as one of the ingredients. 15
16. Fish Oils
Fish oils cannot be synthesized by our own body and they need to be obtained through our regular diet. These are the richest available sources of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Regular consumption of fish oils can make up for the daily hair loss that we undergo. Also, fish oils are anti-inflammatory in nature which keeps your scalp and hair away from dryness and itchiness. 16
Also Read: 12 Foods that are High In Vitamin D
17. Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Cold pressed coconut oil is rich in vitamin E and lauric acid both of which help in healthy growth of hair.
You can replace your daily cooking oil with cold pressed coconut oil for several methods like frying, roasting, dressing of salads and veggies.
Apart from the consumption, the topical application of coconut oil at least twice a week with gentle massage can rejuvenate hair follicles and eliminate dry and itchy scalp problems.
18. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive is the healthiest among the olive oils that are prepared by cold pressing the olives which are devoid of any added sweetening or flavouring agents to it.
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with good amounts of vitamins and antioxidants.
Most of the natural treatments meant for hair growth also use a consistent topical application of extra virgin olive oil for quick stimulation of strong and healthy hair strands.
Supplying your diet with good amounts of the following nutrients and the foods which supply these nutrients is the key to grow long and strong, silky tresses!
Best food for hair growth are the ones which contain these following nutrients.
Proteins (eggs, beans and legumes, tofu),
Zinc-rich foods (nuts and seeds, oatmeal, dark chocolate),
Vitamin C rich foods (Citrus fruits, papayas, tomatoes),
Iron-rich foods (leafy greens, baked potatoes, fortified breakfast cereals, whole grains) and
Healthy fats (Avocadoes, fish oils, cold pressed coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil)
Start from tomorrow to make these new inclusions in your diet and get ready to see a tremendous change in the texture and growth of your hair!