Thinning hair can derail your confidence. It also causes you to worry about your overall health and wellbeing. There is always a reason behind thinning hair. Perhaps it is stress, illness, a chronic health condition, hormonal changes, or your genes. Whatever the cause, it is always a sign that something isn’t working quite how it should be in your body. Because hair growth comes from within, an excellent place to start treating thinning hair is from within--by increasing your nutrient intake from nutrient-dense foods. Here’s a look at the best foods for thinning hair, according to dermatologists.
Parents who push their children to eat their leafy greens do so for a reason: they are packed full of essential nutrients to help support growth and development, including hair growth. Greens like spinach, kale, chard, and arugula are full of vitamins and minerals that can help your hair grow. For example, spinach is rich in iron, vitamin A, folate, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, and zinc (just to name a few!).
Eating about one cup of spinach alone will yield 6 milligrams of iron. As one of the most essential nutrients needed by your hair, iron helps your body deliver fresh oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles and stimulates the production of hair growth. The recommended amount of daily iron intake varies based on your age and sex. However, as a general rule, men ages 19-50 require 8mg daily, and women ages 19-50 need 18mg daily. The reason for the difference is primarily due to menstruation, where women need more iron to replace that which can be lost each menstrual cycle. After age 50, women only need about 8 mg like men.
Another essential nutrient for hair growth is vitamin A, which is also abundant in leafy greens. Vitamin A is needed to help all cells grow, especially hair, the fastest-growing tissue in the body. Your skin also needs vitamin A to help produce an oily substance called sebum, which keeps your skin moist and healthy. Sebum is especially important on your scalp because it helps hydrate your hair and has protective mechanisms for your scalp and hair.
Sweet potatoes are entirely underrated. These root vegetables are full of incredible nutrients for your hair and your whole body. One of the key players in sweet potatoes is beta-carotene, which facilitates cellular growth in the hair. It also prevents hair thinning and can give your hair more luster. Sweet potatoes also contain iron, potassium, magnesium, and copper. Aside from hair growth, they may also help lower blood pressure. You can cook sweet potatoes in several different ways, including baking, roasting, or boiling them.
Just like sweet potatoes, carrots also contain beta-carotene, and vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the nutrient that gives both carrots and sweet potatoes their rich orange color. Additionally, carrots are full of fiber, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamins C, K, and B.
Sometimes, that sweet tooth can actually pay off. Dark chocolate is incredibly dense with antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals in the body. Interestingly, some studies show that dark chocolate has more antioxidant properties than fruits like blueberries and acai berries. Other benefits of dark chocolate include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure
- Increasing health cholesterol while decreasing unhealthy cholesterol levels (↑HDL, ↓LDL)
- Lowering your risk for heart disease
- Boosting cognitive functioning
- Protecting the skin from harmful UVB rays
Keep in mind, the dark chocolate that has been studied contains at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate with at least this percentage of cocoa is a rich source of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and manganese.
Lentils are a dense source of vegetable protein. Hair is made up of keratin proteins. So, the more protein you have in your diet, the more that is available for hair growth. Aside from protein, lentils also contain fiber, phosphorus, and folic acid, which are necessary nutrients for cellular support.
We have yet to touch on food that contains omega-3 fatty acids. But, omega-3’s may impact hair thickness by helping to lower overall inflammation and enhance sebum production. While studies on omega-3’s and hair growth are limited, there is strong evidence that it helps in other areas of your health as well, including:
- Lowering your risk for heart disease
- Improving your vision
- Increasing brain function (and warding off diseases like Alzheimer’s), and
- Reducing joint pain in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
You can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon and mackerel. They are also present in some nut and seed oils.
How to Get the Proper Nutrients for Thinning Hair into Your Diet
Now that you know what foods are best for thinning hair, it’s time to incorporate them into your diet. However, this is a challenge for many people, especially if you do not know how to cook these foods or are not a big fan of their taste. Working with a nutritionist can give you resources for how much of each type of food you should eat and unique recipes to explore.
Yet, if working with a nutritionist isn’t of interest or is not feasible, there is a simpler way to get the nutrients you need: you can take a hair support supplement.
Of course, there are incredible benefits to getting nutrients through your diet, including balancing your microbiome and bettering your overall gut health. But, it can be hard to ensure you get the correct amount of nutrients you need for hair growth each day. And, if you are suffering from hair loss, the need for the right nutrients can be urgent. That is why many people turn to a hair growth support supplement like the Revita Nutraceutical Tablets for Hair Growth Support. These supplements contain all of the necessary building blocks for a healthy, thick head of hair, including:
- Alfalfa extract
- Canadian willowherb extract
- Apple extract
- Vitamin D
It can take time to reverse the effects of thinning hair, so don’t delay making dietary changes to help you restore thickness to your hair.