23 Jun Healthier hair nutrition tips
Best protein sources: Animal-based – Lean red meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, Greek yoghurt, cheese.
Plant-based – Nuts, tofu, beans & legumes, seeds (particularly chia, sesame, poppy and sunflower).
Tip #2 – Omega-3 Fatty Acids It is important to have a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids as our bodies are unable to make it by itself. When it comes to hair, omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp. They are responsible for providing the natural oils that help maintain a healthy scalp and hydrated hair. A lack of omega-3 in the diet can result in a dry itchy scalp, dandruff and dry brittle hair.
Best Omega-3 sources: Animal-based – Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel.
Plant-based – Avocado, olive oil, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Tip #3 – Iron On average, hair grows approximately ½ inch (1.3 cm) per month. Hair follicles need a nutrient-rich blood supply in order to grow effectively. Iron is key in this. When iron levels are low (anaemia), the nutrient supply to hair follicles is reduced and can result in slow hair growth and hair loss. Adult women (aged 19-50 without any health conditions) are encouraged to consume 18mg of iron per day.
IMPORTANT: if you suspect you may have an iron deficiency, seek advice from your doctor promptly.
Best iron sources: Animal-based – Beef, lamb, chicken, salmon, tuna
Plant-based – Kidney beans, tofu, green lentils, chickpeas, cooked wholemeal pasta
Tip #4 – Vitamin C Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and as a result improves scalp circulation and hair growth. It also plays a role in the production of collagen which is one of the building blocks of hair. A lack of vitamin C can cause slow hair growth and even cause shedding of the hair.
Best vitamin C sources: Plant-based – Strawberries, kiwifruit, blackcurrants, blueberries, oranges, papaya, broccoli, red capsicum, sweet potatoes.
Tip #5 – Biotin Biotin or vitamin H is essential for growth and maintaining a healthy metabolism. It plays a role in the body’s production of proteins which can encourage the growth of stronger hair. A lack of biotin in the diet can result in brittle hair and hair loss.
Best biotin sources: Animal-based – Eggs, salmon, liver, cow’s milk.
Plant-based – Wholegrains, soy flour, tomatoes, almonds, onions, carrots, sweet potato, cauliflower.