NATURAL HAIR GROWTH AND FOOD
You are what you eat –except for real this time. Food is a big part of our everyday lives. Such a big part in fact, that we can’t do without it. It provides energy for daily activities and brain function, helps us stay strong, and certain foods even help build our immune systems to fight off illnesses. These are all the major perks of a balanced diet. Food actually plays a more important role in natural hair health and growth than most naturals know. Feeding your hair from within will always be the number one route. A lot of times, we tend to forget that we are eating for our hair too and leave out essential foods that contribute to its overall health. Today, you’re going to find a way around that by learning all foods/food classes you should be taking to keep your natural hair growing and glowing!
How exactly does food help your natural hair grow?
Your body naturally knows how to break down food, extract essential components and transport these components to areas where they are required. When you eat right, essential nutrients that help your hair stay healthy are transported to your scalp. So basically, your hair is only as healthy as your scalp. Nutrients from your food getting to your scalp encourage new growth, natural scalp oil production, and keep your scalp at the normal pH for best hair conditions.
What foods boost natural hair growth?
Not all fingers are equal and definitely not all foods will do as much good for your hair as others will. Certain food classes and specific foods are more effective when eating right for your hair. These are;
The basic building block of hair is actually a protein called keratin so it follows that a protein-filled diet is beneficial to maintaining healthy hair and aiding faster hair growth. Keratin keeps a healthy moisture balance in your hair and maintains its strength. You can easily find proteins in everyday foods around you, but some of the best and most prominent sources of protein are; eggs (these are rich in both protein and biotin and biotin is essential in the successful production of keratin), beans, seafood, milk, yoghurt.
- Fatty acids
There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. Due to a lack of understanding, some people tend to stay away from fats completely. Healthy fats are an essential part of your diet to maintain overall health and aid hair growth. Regarding your hair, fats in your diet help it hold moisture and contribute to its luster and sheen. Healthy sources of fats that you require include Fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), eggs, avocadoes, full-fat yoghurt.
Iron is basically the messenger that propels oxygen all around your body. Deficiency of iron has been shown to lead to hair loss many times over, so it would be a wise idea to ensure you’re getting enough iron from your diet. Alternatives are available for people suffering from iron deficiencies, but to avoid the pills just eat right. Some great sources of iron are; spinach, red meat, and turkey.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient for humans. It has many applications in the human body but its most prominent function is that it aids eyesight and maintains healthy skin. Vitamin A helps your skin to produce a natural oil called sebum. Sebum is also produced on your scalp. This helps to keep your scalp lubricated and protect it from harmful bacteria. Majorly, sebum prevents dry scalp and thus dandruff. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, eggs, dairy products.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very important in maintaining healthy hair. It helps your body synthesize collagen. Collagen is a common ingredient in hair products because it helps to strengthen hair and improve its elasticity. In this way, it prevents breakage and excessive shedding. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron from your food. Sources of vitamin C include; Citrus fruits, pineapples, papaya, guavas.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a very popular micronutrient because of all the good it does. It’s a rich source of antioxidants that help to protect your hair from harmful free radicals that are in the atmosphere and naturally exist in the body. You could technically say that antioxidants are like white blood cells for your hair. Vitamin E is majorly found in avocadoes, peanuts/peanut butter, sunflower oil, cooked spinach.
All in all, your diet is a very important factor to consider if you’re looking to grow your natural hair faster and longer. Eating the right food can really go a long way towards hair growth and maintenance. It is important though, not to go overboard with these foods and neglect others intentionally or unintentionally. The key is striking a balance.