Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wedding Wednesday! Eat your way to Healthy Hair


Most brides to are trying to eat their way into a smaller dress size for their big day. However, did you know that the foods you eat not only have an effect on your waistline but also on the way your hair grows? As I did research for this post, I learned so much about different foods that have a beneficial effect on hair growth and overall health. Everyone wants healthy hair and in turn healthy hair that is growing. I'm going to share some ways that you can achieve both with changing or incorporating certain foods in your daily diet.
I happen to eat salmon (Wild caught of course, which has more nutrients than farm-raised salmon) on a weekly basis, so imagine how happy I was to find out that it also has essential omega 3 fatty acids in it.  Salmon is also a great source of Protein and Vitamin D. If you aren't a salmon lover, don't worry, there are other fish that are great substitutes. They are herring, sardines, trout, or mackerel.
Cinnamon which is a spice I often use in my oatmeal or on french toast, happens to be rich in antioxidants and stimulates blood circulation.
Sweet Potatoes are a good source of beta carotene. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A, which produces oil that sustains your scalp.
Cantaloupe is great for hydration, vitamin C, as well as a source of beta carotene.
If you happen to be a nut lover, Walnuts are the only nut that has a significant amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts are rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps to protect cells from DNA damage. Not enough biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts have copper in them, which keeps your natural hair color rich and lustrous. Another nut that is great for your hair are pistachios which have high levels of monounsaturated and polysaturated fat which helps nourish hair/scalp.
If your hair is dry and flaky, try eating Oysters which are rich in zinc. Only 3 ounces has 493% of your daily value. You can also eat zinc fortified cereals or whole grain breads.
Eggs is a food that many of us have heard is good for you because of the protein that it stores. What most of us didn't know was that eggs have 4 key minerals in them. They are zinc, sulfur, selenium, and iron. These minerals are important because they help cells carry oxygen to the hair follicle.
Now let's get into the Mean Greens!!! I love my greens!
Spinach keeps hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating. Spinach has iron, vitamin C, folate, and beta carotene in it, which is what keeps your follicles healthy. You can also substitute spinach for broccoli, kale, or swiss chard.
I'm not the biggest fan of lentils, but they aren't bad in soups. They are a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. It's also a staple for vegans and vegetarians. You could also substitute lentils for soybeans, edamame, or kidney beans.
Greek Yogurt is high in hair-friendly protein, Vitamin B-5, Vitamin D, and pantothenic acid (ingredient often found in haircare products).
Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, which is critical for blood circulation to the scalp. It supports blood vessels that feed your hair follicles.
Other great substitutes for blueberries are kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries.
Lastly we have something for the carnivores. Meat is also beneficial to hair health.
Poultry has not only protein, but also zinc, iron and B vitamins, which keep hair strands strong and plentiful. For those who aren't aware, your hair is made up of 97% protein and 3% keratin. It's essential to eat foods rich in protein because it gives you the building blocks for your hair.

Lisa Drayer. NA, RD, Nutritionist. New York
Cybele Fishman. MD, Dermatologist. New York

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