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10 Foods That Lead to Healthy Bodies and Healthy Hair

photo courtesy of Model, Tonice J Taylor and Stylist, Hair by KLaree

You only have one body — so take care of it. Same goes for taking proper care of your skin, nails, and hair. Finding the right shampoos and conditioners definitely attribute to a healthy mane. But what we eat also greatly influences the condition of our healthy hair, making diet and hair linked to one another.

Hair is a record of one’s diet and nutrition, and that means that what we are not eating can show up, too, in both our bodies and our hair. As protein is one of hair’s key building blocks, insufficient protein in one’s diet can lead to a decrease in hair’s diameter, making hair thinner.

If you want healthy hair and beautiful hair, eat healthy foods, don’t crash diet, and get plenty of protein. Here are ten foods to add to your grocery list for healthier hair. –mckenzie harris

Salmon

Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron. Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health, because a deficiency can result in a dry scalp,  giving the hair a dull look.

Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.

Low-fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt

Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources.

Eggs

However they’re served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find. They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.

Poultry

You can experience weak and brittle hair without adequate protein or with low-quality protein. Poultry provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.

Oysters

Oysters may be better known for their reputation as an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair. The key to their love and hair-boosting abilities is zinc — a powerful antioxidant. If you don’t eat oysters everyday, you can also get zinc from beef and lamb.

Whole grain

Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins. A whole-grain snack can also be a great go-to food when your energy is zapped halfway through the afternoon, and you’ve still got hours to go before dinner.

Beans

Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.

Dark green vegetables

Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body’s natural hair conditioner. Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.

Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision. Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, you’d be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.

Nuts

Brazil nuts are one of nature’s best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp.

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.