The Best Food for Healthy Hair and Skin

Eating the right food goes a long way at ensuring your hair stays healthy.

If you feel your hair isn’t as healthy as it should be despite the regular use of hair products, then this article is for you.

Some hair problems result from a deficiency of nutrients so eating the right food for healthy hair and skin is the way out.

In this post, we’ll see the right meals that will benefit your hair and also have a positive influence on your skin.

To begin with, let’s take a look at the food nutrients that’d do your hair a whole lot of good.

Nutrients That Your Hair and Skin Needs 

Studies suggest that when you have a deficiency of some nutrients, could lead to hair loss.

Therefore, you should know the nutrients that can affect your hair and skin

Now let’s take a look at some nutrients that are beneficial to your hair and skin:

1. Biotin

Biotin (also called Vitamin B7) is the only Vitamin that is naturally produced in the human body.

Therefore, it is normal to expect that as a healthy person, you do not need to supplement or replenish it.

However, biotin deficiency occurs either due to genetics or it can be acquired.

Causes of acquired biotin deficiency include regular consumption of raw eggs, alcoholism, pregnancy, and prolonged use of antibiotics. Lack of biotin not only affects the hair but the skin and nails as well.

2. Iron

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency experienced in the world.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, chances are high that you have iron deficiency.

Menstruation is the biggest cause of iron deficiency in a healthy woman.

So you might want to consume foods with high iron content when you’re on your period.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C, derived from the metabolism of glucose, is an antioxidant that plays an essential role in the intestinal absorption of iron.

Therefore, vitamin C intake is very important if you’re suffering from hair loss due to a deficiency of iron.

It also protects hair follicles against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has a strong immunoregulatory effect.

This implies that it has a strong effect in ensuring that the immune system works the way it should.

Therefore, low vitamin D content or deficiency of it in your body weakens the immune system. Sparse hair growth is only one of its milder effects.

5. Riboflavin

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) plays a role in cellular development and function, and energy production.

Your body only stores small amounts of riboflavin in your liver, heart, and kidneys.

While a deficiency of riboflavin is rare, it can lead to hair loss.

6. Vitamin B12

This vitamin plays a role in the neurological function of the body.

The vitamin can be consumed at will since it has a low potential for toxicity.

The role of vitamin B12 and folate in nucleic acid production suggests that they play a role in fast hair follicle growth.

Thus, a deficiency in this vitamin will reduce the rate at which your hair grows. 

Other nutrients that can affect your hair and skin include:

  • selenium
  • zinc
  • folate
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin E

Nutrients That Affect Your Hair and Skin Negatively 

Are there any nutrients that can have a negative effect on your hair and skin depending on certain conditions?

Yes, the following nutrients or minerals can negatively affect your hair and skin if care is not taken:

1. Vitamin A

Consuming Vitamin A has a whole lot of good effects that range from helping vision to boosting your immunity, and cellular growth development.

Therefore it is an important mineral that you likely consume as well.

Where does the negative effect come from though?

This occurs when you consume too much of it.

Your body has a daily limit and consuming way more than that will spill over some Vitamin A into the wrong parts of the body(in the sense that they have a negative effect).

2. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral your hair needs because a deficiency of it results in hair loss.

It helps to support hair growth and the repair cycle.

However, overconsumption of zinc is very toxic for your body.

Hence, it’s not advisable that you use zinc supplements to treat hair loss due to zinc deficiency.

food for healthy hair and skin velacurls
Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

Which Foods are Good for Skin and Hair?

Now that you’ve learned the nutrients that are beneficial for healthy hair growth and skin, here is a list of foods that provide such nutrients. 

1. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and they also provide biotin which is essential for healthy hair growth.

Since eggs are proteinous, consumption of it benefits your skin as well as your hair follicles, which are mostly made of protein.

Eggs are also a source of zinc and selenium, which are other nutrients beneficial for the skin and hair.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a source of beta-carotene, a compound that is converted to vitamin A in your body.

Research has shown that vitamin A can affect the production of sebum which keeps your hair healthy.

A deficiency of vitamin A can lead to hair loss.

But an overload of vitamin A can also cause hair loss so you’ll need to be moderate with eating sweet potatoes.

3. Spinach

Spinach is a healthy green vegetable that contains nutrients like iron, vitamin A, and folate which are all nutrients that are helpful to your hair and skin.

The iron nutrients in it help your red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body.

This fuels your metabolism, aids growth, and helps in the repair of damaged tissues.

It also ensures you are not at risk of having iron deficiency.

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits (widely known for their use in making juices) contain vitamin C, which is a nutrient that strengthens the immune system.

It can help to keep your skin smooth and elastic.

The vitamin C present in citrus fruits is one of the necessary nutrients your hair needs.

It supports your hair growth and protects the hair from damage.

For example, it gets rid of dandruff.

5. Meat

Many people eat meat regularly and that’s cool for the hair.

The rich protein in meat aids the growth of your hair and also strengthens your hair.

Red meat is rich in iron that the body can easily absorb.

This supplements the iron you may need due to iron deficiency.

6. Beans

Beans are a great source of protein from crops; a good nutrient for hair.

It is also a rich source of zinc which aids hair growth and repairs.

Beans also contain some other nutrients like biotin and iron which makes them a good choice of food for healthy hair growth and good skin.

Good thing is, beans are less expensive so they are an excellent meal choice.

7. Oysters

Oysters are regarded as one of the best food sources for obtaining zinc.

Your hair needs zinc because zinc supports hair growth and the repair cycle.

So it s an essential mineral that your hair should not lack.

While you can obtain zinc from food supplements, it’s advisable not to do so.

This is because having too much zinc in your body can be toxic.

Eating oysters does not pose such a risk because they contain zinc in small quantities.

8. Seeds

Seeds are rich in nutrients and they contain few calories.

Some of these nutrients include vitamin E, selenium, and zinc.

There are various types of seeds and the nutrients they provide vary from each other.

In order for you to get the best out of them, it’s advisable to consume a mixture of seeds. 

9. Avocadoes

Avocados are not only delicious and nutritious but they also contain healthy fats.

They are also a great source of vitamin E, which is a great antioxidant.

What benefits does it offer you on consumption?

It protects your scalp from oxidative stress and damage, which ensures that your hair follicles will also be protected.

Avocadoes make an excellent hair-steaming ingredient.

10. Fatty fishes

Fatty fish like Salmon and Herring contain nutrients that may promote hair growth.

They contain the omega-3 fatty acid that is said to be responsible for hair growth.

While it’s not an established fact that omega-3 fatty acid is directly responsible for hair growth, fatty fish also contain nutrients such as protein, selenium, and B vitamins.

This makes it a good choice of food that ensures healthy hair growth and smooth skin.

Which Foods Damage Your Hair?

While eating some foods are beneficial for your hair, eating others (especially in large quantities) will damage your hair growth.

Here are some examples:

1. Raw Eggs

Eggs are nutritious for both the body and your hair but it becomes harmful to your hair instead when you regularly consume them raw.

The avidin present in raw eggs combines with biotin which hinders its absorption.

This causes a deficiency in biotin and it means that the keratin needed for your hair will no longer be produced.

2. Alcohol

Heavy alcohol consumption causes a nutritional imbalance which also affects protein synthesis.

Since your hair is made up of proteins, it is affected when you regularly take alcohol.

It gradually becomes weaker and loses its luster.

For healthy hair growth, you should reduce or stop alcohol consumption.

3. Sugar

High sugar consumption is not only bad for your hair but also your overall health.

Insulin resistance, a cause of obesity and diabetes, can make you lose your hair (in mild cases) or even make you go bald.

The number one factor behind insulin resistance is high sugar intake.

So apart from improving your health, taking less sugar is also great for your hair!

4. Fish

One of the causes of hair loss is high levels of mercury.

A common way you consume mercury is from fish like mackerel, swordfish, and sushi.

It’s advisable that you replace fish containing much mercury with fish that do not have high mercury content.

Even though it might seem stressful and time-consuming to research which fishes have a higher mercury content, it’ll be beneficial for your hair growth.

Other foods that can damage the hair are low protein diets, consuming too much vitamin A, low intake of zinc and iron, etc.

FAQs on Food for Healthy Hair and Skin

Here are the answers to a few questions you might have about foods to consume for healthy hair and skin.

What is the healthiest food for hair?

There are different foods that are beneficial for your hair like eggs, spinach, oysters, beans, meat, avocados, and sweet potatoes.

The healthiest food for your hair depends on what nutrients you lack for proper hair growth.

Which fruit is best for skin and hair?

Many fruits are beneficial for your hair and skin depending on the nutrients you need.

Examples of such fruits are Bananas, Oranges, Apples, and Pawpaws.

If you’re suffering from hair loss due to nutrient deficiency, you might want to give them a try.

What kind of water is best for hair?

Distilled water is the best type of water for your hair.

This is because it does not contain minerals present in hard water.

Hard water leaves a deposit of minerals on your hair which affects your hair growth

What vitamin should I take for hair loss?

Vitamin B7 (also known as biotin) is an important vitamin for hair growth.

A deficiency in the vitamin results in hair loss, skin rashes, and brittle nails. So you should ensure you do not lack biotin.

Which food prevents hair fall?

Many foods are helpful in maintaining the growth of your hair and preventing hair fall.

These include eggs, meat, fatty fish, oysters, avocados, and other foods that provide the needed nutrients for your hair.

Summary

Using hair products to take care of your hair is nice, but that’s not all your hair needs.

What you take in is also very important.

So eat the right meals, ones that contain nutrients needed for hair growth.

That way, your hair can stay nourished, shiny, and truly healthy!

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