16 Super-Foods That Help Prevent Hair Loss
Here's a list of healthy eats that help prevent hair loss and thinning hair. The hair loss preventing foods listed below are not only bursting with nutrients that help strengthen hair follicles, these super-foods are also packed with flavor!
Please note that the purpose of this section is to provide information about the best hair loss fighting foods such as sunflower seeds, spinach, wheat germ, and eggs. If you're looking for more general information about hair loss and diet, go to the diet page of this Hair Loss Guide. For delicious recipes that combine hair loss preventing super-foods, visit this Guide's recipe page.
#1: Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are one of the best foods you can add to your diet if you are concerned about hair loss. These mild nutty tasting seeds are chock-full of nutrients that contribute to healthy hair. They are supercharged with vitamin E, zinc, and iron. Furthermore, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), with one cup providing 31% the recommended daily intake.
Vitamin B6 is crucial for the proper absorption of zinc from the intestines, but it also thought to have some hair loss preventing properties of its own. These properties may be linked to thw ability of vitamin B6 to boost oxygen supply to the scalp. On top of all that, sunflower seeds are one of the best dietary sources of copper, with a mere ounce of sunflower seeds containing a third of the recommended daily intake for copper.
Rosemary is a well-known culinary herb. However, few people are aware that rosemary also has a long history as a medicinal herb. It has been used throughout history to treat various ailments, including digestive problems and headaches. Rosemary is also known to improve circulation, particularly to the scalp. When blood flows to the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Rosemary also contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that can help protect tissues from free radical damage. Rosemary can be used to flavor fish, roast meats, and tomato sauces, but also fruits, especially oranges.
#3: Green Peas
Although small in size, green peas are huge in terms of nutritional value. They are also a great food to add to your diet if you want to boost the health of your hair. Peas pack a protein punch, which is needed for healthy hair growth. They also contain beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as some iron. Green peas can be bought fresh in the pod, dried, frozen, and canned.
#4: Mustard Greens
Chock-full of antioxidants and nutrients, mustard greens can make an excellent addition to your diet if you are aiming at having strong, thick hair. Mustard greens are one of the best sources of beta-carotene. They are also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin E. These highly nutritional greens with their distinctly peppery flavor are available throughout the year and can be found in the produce section of your local supermarket.
Popeye was right: you should eat your spinach! The nutritional profile of spinach makes it an excellent health food and an important food for anyone longing for lovely locks. Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene and a great source of folate. It also contains iron which helps carry oxygen to the hair. To maximize the absorption of iron from spinach, add vitamin C rich foods to your meal as it enhances the absorption of non-heme iron (the type of iron contained in spinach). Spinach also contains vitamin E and vitamin B6.
#6: Green Tea
Green tea is well known for its role in supporting weight loss, but few people are aware that green tea may help prevent baldness and hair loss. A specific polyphenol found in green tea (the so-called (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate) has been shown to modulate the production and actions of androgens and other hormones. Consequently, it has been hypothesized it could be useful for the treatment of hormone-related baldness.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein which is a primary constituent of hair. Further, the protein contained in eggs is readily digested and used by the body, which is also why bodybuilders consider eggs the "gold standard" for protein quality. Protein quality is typically measured by two values: Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS), which measures the completeness of a protein, and biological value, which reflects the amount of protein retained from the absorbed protein. Along with soy protein isolates and whey protein, egg whites have the highest possible PDCAAS of all foods. They also score 100 on the biological value, which means that all protein indigested from eggs is used by the body. In addition to providing an excellent source of protein, eggs pack a slew of nutrients known to promote hair health, including iron, sulphur, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and folate. With all that and the fact that they taste great too — whether boiled, poached, or scrambled — it is definitely a good idea to add eggs to your diet.
#8: Paprika Powder
The slew of vitamins and minerals in paprika powder is so comprehensive that a few spoonfuls a day will provide you with more hair health promoting nutrients than many vitamin pills. Paprika is packed with beta-carotene and vitamin E. It is also one of most vitamin C rich spices. Further, it is one of the most concentrated sources of B vitamins, particularly of vitamin B2, vitamin B9, and vitamin B6 (a mere tablespoon of paprika powder provides 14% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B6). In addition to preventing hair loss, vitamin B6 helps the body produce melanin which gives the hair its color. On top of all that, paprika contains a substantial amount of iron which ensures that the hair gets enough oxygen.
#9: Wheat Germ
Struggling with hair loss? Then be sure to include wheat germ in your diet! Wheat germ is packed with nutrients that are thought to promote hair growth. It is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E and an excellent source of dietary zinc. It also delivers a decent amount of vitamin B6 which is promotes the absorption of zinc from the intestines. Moreover, wheat germ is a fairly good source of copper. Try adding wheat germ to breads, cereals, muesli, milk shakes, or pancakes — it makes a highly nutritious, yet undetectable addition! When storing wheat germ, keep in mind that it goes rancid fast because of its unsaturated fat content. To optimize the shelf life of this great anti-baldness food, store it in a sealed container in a cool, dry place away from exposure to the sun.
Can't wait to jazz up your favorite smoothies, salads, and yogurt with wheat germ? Check out the article Where to Buy Wheat Germ for tips on how to get the most out of your next wheat germ purchase.