Beautiful, long and healthy hair starts from within. It works just like with your skin – those who eat healthy are more likely to have beautiful skin. Hair is mainly created by the protein keratin which consists of amino acids. The health of hair growth depends entirely on what we eat, breaking it down into the bloodstream, and the circulation of blood to the scalp (which can be improved by massage).

Seven nutrients you should eat for your hair every day

1. Zinc

Zinc helps hair through a number of different pathways: growth, repair and oil production in the scalp. Zinc supports tissue growth and repair and helps keep your scalp and hair healthy. It regulates the hormones in the body (including testosterone) and it helps maintain the production of oil-secreting glands on the scalp that help your hair grow. The latter is important because an imbalanced scalp can lead to inflammation; inflammation, in turn, leads to thinning hair. Zinc is an essential micronutrient that is often overlooked. It supports numerous enzymes in the body. Of course, you should not take too much of it – everything in moderation. If you take too much of it, it can cause stomach and intestinal problems. Zinc-rich foods include chickpeas, wheat germ, oysters, beef, veal liver and roast beef.

2. B-vitamines

Biotin is perhaps the most well-known hair supplement. It has become widely known thanks to a host of anecdotal and research-backed benefits. Biotin, niacin and cobalamin are among the most popular B-complex vitamins that help support the shine and thickness of hair strands. Too little biotin can cause brittle hair and can lead to hair loss. Thinning hair and hair loss are common symptoms and can be supported by adding biotin. This is especially true if you are low in biotin. In that case, it is recommended to eat B-vitamin-rich foods such as whole grains, eggs, avocados, yeast, liver and legumes.

3. MSM

MSM is a sulfur that is naturally present in our bodies, as well as in certain plants. It supports collagen and keratin, which are fundamental building blocks for skin, hair and nails. In particular, MSM contains the amino acid cysteine, a key element responsible for the maintenance of skin and hair tissue. It also supports wound healing and is generally great for healthy skin, hair, bones and connective tissue. For example, MSM-rich foods include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, onions, and garlic.

4. Collagen

Collagen powder is often praised for its gut and skin-supporting benefits. It should also be commended for supporting hair health. Collagen is especially rich in the amino acid proline, the main amino acid in keratin. It is also said to contribute to better scalp health and to help manage oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss in humans. You can find collagen in bone broth, but you can also get it by taking collagen supplements.

5. Protein

While collagen is a very specific type of protein, it’s good to make sure you’re also getting complete proteins; it is essential for many functions in the body. Our muscle mass gets the most attention, but it is also of great importance for hair growth. Therefore, hair loss is one of the most common signs of protein deficiency. Because hair is mainly made up of protein [keratin], a diet lacking in protein can promote pigment loss, causing grayness. A diet rich in high-quality, naturally occurring proteins will do wonders for your hair. Protein can be found, for example, in eggs, beans, nuts, lentils, chicken, turkey

6. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are nourishing, both inside and out. The essential nutrients reach both the hair shaft and the cell membranes in your scalp, nourishing the hair follicles and promoting healthy hair growth. Plus, they add elasticity to your hair, which can help prevent breakage and hair loss. The body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so it is vital to eat a diet rich in flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, tuna, kale, Brussels sprouts, and small, fatty fish such as anchovies.

7. Selenium

Selenium is a trace element that helps the body make selenoproteins, which maintain reproduction, metabolism, DNA synthesis and immunity. It also supports the hair follicles to stimulate new growth. If you have selenium deficiencies you risk hair follicle abnormalities, reduced growth and hair loss. However, there is also some evidence that too much selenium will lead to brittle hair. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, shrimp, and sardines.

BronVivonline, Inga Stoit

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