- Proteins (including iron) and vitamin D are fundamental to hair strength and growth. Hair is 97% protein.
- Iron is involved in the transfer of oxygen to hair follicles. Too little iron (anaemia) can lead to hair loss.
- 3% of a hair shaft is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s cannot be made by the body so they have to be obtained from food.
- Biotin and vitamin E are needed to protect cells from DNA damage. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss.
- Vitamin A is needed for good cell functioning. Too little can lead to scalp problems, e.g. dandruff. It also gives hair a shiny, well-conditioned look.
- B-vitamins are all essential for healthy hair growth. E.g. B6 helps the body absorb other nutrients from food and it nurtures hair follicles for great hair growth and shine.
- Vitamin C is involved in ciculation. Too little can lead to hair breakage.
- Selenium is essential for a healthy, dandruff-free scalp.
- Copper helps to maintain your natural hair color and hair glow.
- A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss even in eyelashes as well as a dry, flaky scalp. It regulates hormones involved in hair growth and thickness.
Rich in proteins, vitamin D, B12, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
Not a fan of salmon, like me? Great alternatives: trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, avocados.
Rich in iron, beta carotene, folate and vitamin C.
Alternatives: broccoli and other dark leafy greens, e.g. kale.
Rich in proteins, iron, zinc, and biotin
Alternatives: red kidney beans, edamame.
Rich in vitamin B5 and vitamin D.
Alternatives: milk and cottage cheese.
Very rich in vitamin C.
Alternatives: kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries.
I hate them but apparently they are the only nuts that are rich in omega-3s! They're also rich in biotin, vitamin E & selenium.
Alternatives: cashews (my fav) and pecans.
Rich in zinc. Three ounces has a gob-smacking 493% of your daily zinc requirement.
Some cereals and wholegrain breads are fortified with zinc but obviously they're not as rich in proteins as oysters are.
Alternatives: nuts, beef and eggs.
Rich in beta carotene which is converted to vitamin-A.
Alternatives: carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, apricots.
Rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Rich in vitamin B6.
Rich in B-vitamins.
Also a great source of complex carbohydrates. You need the energy from complex carbs to build proteins.
Alternatives: other whole grains
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References: webmd, usnews.com, HuffPo