You know that eating a nutritious diet that contains enough of the macro and micro nutrients you need is a must for your overall health. Certain nutrients are also essential for your hair’s growth and health. While diet alone won’t reverse or stop hair loss due to male or female pattern baldness, it is an important part of maintaining your hair’s health before or after a hair transplant. If you don’t already eat them, try adding the following foods to your diet to give you hair a healthy boost.
Spinach and Leafy Greens
Spinach and its leafy green cousins, such as kale, are great sources of iron, which your hair needs to produce the protein that makes up the hair shaft. People who aren’t getting enough iron in their diet are likely to experience some form of hair loss.
As if being a good source of iron weren’t enough, spinach is also packed full of other hair-healthy nutrients, such as Vitamin C and folate. A quick way to get more spinach or kale in your diet is to replace some or all of the lettuce in your salads with either or to quickly saute some leaves as a side with your dinner. Cooking the spinach or kale in a cast iron skillet can help boost their iron content.
Walnuts are a good source of protein, which is what hair is primarily made out of. They also contain zinc and selenium, two minerals that help keep your scalp healthy and moisturized. Finally, they are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your hair shiny.
Since walnuts are high in calories and fat, it’s best not to overdo how frequently you eat them. A small handful added to a salad or mixed into yogurt can be a good way to enjoy them without adding a lot of calories to your diet.
Eggs are a good source of protein, which automatically makes them a good food to eat for healthy hair. But their protein content isn’t all that eggs have going on. They are also a great source of vitamin D and some B vitamins, which can help with hair growth and strength. You’ll also find a good amount of iron in eggs.
Salmon is another great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which your hair needs to stay shiny and for fullness. If you don’t get enough fat in your diet, hair is more likely to be dull and brittle. As an added benefit, salmon is also a good source of protein. You can enjoy it for dinner with a side of leafy greens and a whole grain.
Too much vitamin A is too much for your system and can actually lead to hair loss. But your body does need a certain amount of the vitamin for healthy hair growth and for other functions. Beta carotene, which is turned into vitamin A by the body, is a good way to make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of the nutrient. The right amount of vitamin A helps your hair in two ways. It encourages the production of sebum, which prevents your hair from becoming overly dry. It also improves the look of your hair by preventing dullness.
Sweet potatoes, or really any orange vegetable, are a great source of beta carotene. They are also high in vitamin C, which your body uses to help it absorb iron better. A meal that includes a sweet potato and spinach can be a real benefit to your hair.
Along with helping your body absorb iron, vitamin C has a number of other benefits for your hair. It can help improve blood flow in your scalp and plays a role in the production of collagen. While people often assume that citrus fruits are the best sources of vitamin C, fruits such as strawberries and blueberries tend to contain more. If you’re not a berry person, sticking with oranges is fine. Kiwi and peppers are also good sources of the vitamin.
Whether you’re just had hair transplant and are looking for ways to encourage your hair to grow back as healthy as can be, or are simply looking for ways to improve your overall health, looking at your diet can help.
If you’re currently worried about hair loss and want to know what’s causing it and what you can do about it, Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a board certified hair restoration surgeon, can help. Dr. Epstein has practices in New York City and in Miami. For an appointment at his New York office, call (212) 759-3484. For a consultation in Miami, call (305) 666-1774.