Skip to main content

All About that Healthy Hair Diet

All About that Healthy Hair Diet

here’s no disputing that the foods we put in our bodies have an impact on our outward appearance. The scalp and hair follicles require several key nutrients for optimal growth, and vitamin deficiencies can cause thinning, shedding and compromised hair production. Although I advocate a “Monday to Friday” clean-eating approach that allows for indulgence on the weekends (or other special occasions), loading your plate with these follicle-friendly foods (most of the time) can help maintain a healthy head of hair.

Cruciferous greens
Iron deficiency is a major contributor to hair loss, and vegetarian sources such as kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts deliver hefty helpings of magnesium, calcium and potassium as well. An adequate amount of iron ensures a healthy scalp environment and promotes the production of sebum that lubricates the follicles, in turn allowing them to produce strong, healthy hair.

Eggs and dairy
The hair is comprised mainly of a protein called keratin, and the body needs nutrients like vitamin B12 and omega-6 fatty acids to produce it. Eggs and dairy products are rich in both, making these foods important for a good hair day every day.

Nuts are a wonderful snack that can benefit your body inside and out (just limit your intake as not to overload on calories). High in protein, biotin and magnesium, eat a handful here and there or sprinkle them on top of a salad to optimize scalp health and boost hair production.

“Good” fats
Fat has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny over the past few decades, but “good” fats are finally getting credit for their health benefits again. Avocadoes, olive oil, chia seeds, oily fish (like salmon), eggs and nuts are among the best sources of the omega fatty acids our cells need to thrive.

FYI: In addition to benefits for hair, snacking on cruciferous vegetables and nuts also helps sustain insulin levels throughout the day, which helps avoid cravings for not-so-healthy sugar-laden and other processed foods.