5 Foods for Healthy Hair

So shiny ... if eating certain foods gets your hair closer to that, why not try it?. Trifonov Igor/Shutterstock

Healthy hair doesn’t stop with the kind of shampoo you use or how often (and how) you wash your hair. It also includes your diet. Here are five foods that will help keep your hair healthy:

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are one of nature’s healthiest fruits. Dark berries in general (such as blackberries, raspberries and strawberries) are known to have lots of antioxidants, which are important for combating the free radicals in our body. In addition, blueberries have a lower glycemic index than a lot of other fruit, making them an ideal choice for people with diabetes or for those focusing on weight loss. Blueberries also have a ton of vitamin C, which is essential for healthy hair, since it feeds the tiny hair follicles in your scalp. Without adequate vitamin C, your hair can break more easily. So eat your blueberries!

2. Salmon: Wild-caught salmon (as opposed to farm-raised) is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which include EPA and DHA, oils that our body doesn’t create on its own and are essential to healthy hair, and a healthy body. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, another essential nutrient for healthy hair. If you don’t like salmon, try eating walnuts or flaxseed, which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Oysters: Another from the sea, oysters are rich in zinc, an essential nutrient to your hair’s health. Too little zinc can lead to hair breakage or a flaky scalp. If you’re not a fan of oysters, you can boost your zinc intake with beef and eggs, which also are great sources of protein.

4. Leafy greens: Like you need another reason to eat your spinach! You know that leafy greens are important for a whole host of reasons, but now you can add a few more. They have iron, beta carotene, folate and vitamin C – all nutrients that help keep your hair full of luster and shine. You can eat spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or even broccoli to reap these valuable benefits.

5. Avocados: Many shampoos and hair treatments contain avocado as one of their main ingredients. That’s because using avocado can repair damaged hair, prevent hair loss, and even promote hair growth! But eating this fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit!) can be good for your hair, too. Avocados are rich in numerous nutrients, particularly vitamins B and E, which are important for keeping hair strong and preventing hair loss. Known as a superfood, avocados are also rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamin C, K, and folate.

Another way to boost your hair’s natural luster? Being pregnant! That’s because, during pregnancy, the growth/rest cycle of your hair is slowed down, and less hair is falling out than normal. Unfortunately, after you have that baby, your gorgeous, shiny hair will start to fall out (oh, the joys of motherhood). All the more important to boost your hair’s luster with the foods mentioned above. Not only will you have healthy hair, you’ll have a healthier body too.