Top 18 Plant Foods to Strengthen Hair and Promote Hair Growth
What Makes Hair Grow and Makes it Stronger
Are you losing hair? Is your hair brittle and prone to breakage? Are you searching for ways to regrow your locks or to make your hair grow faster?
While there might be several contributing factors to hair loss, your diet may be one of them.
Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs certain nutrients in order to be strong and healthy. Today, I will tell you the TWO most important nutrients for healthy hair growth and 18 plant foods for you to add to your diet to stop hair loss and encourage hair growth, and strengthen your strands.
But before I do, let’s talk about what’s needed for hair health.
Collagen – Not What You Need for Healthy Hair
I know that you heard that you need collagen to help your hair grow, but nothing can be further from the truth.
Collagen is a structural protein that helps to keep your skin, bones, and joints healthy, not your hair!
Collagen is made up of 1400 different types of amino acids, most of which are non-essential, which means that your body can make them on its own – no outside help is needed.
Collagen supplements are nothing but a big marketing ploy.
Back in the day, the meat industry was looking to maximize its profit. They sold the most desirable parts of the animals, such as pigs and cows, i.e. their meat, and were left with hooves, tails, and other unusable parts. Rather than throwing them away, they came up with an idea to grind them up, cook them, and see what can be used to make a profit.
The byproduct was separated into several parts. A part was essential amino acids, so they put it back in the animal feed to help the animals grow. The other part was gelatinous, so, they began to make gelatin and it was sold to make foods, such as jello and jelly.
The remaining part was collagen. Good for nothing! But…
Nothing like a good marketing campaign to help maximize profit!
They began to market collagen as a beauty treatment for women. It is promoted as an antiaging agent, as well as a beauty and performance enhancer. So, it appeals to a wide range of consumers.
It turned out to be quite a profitable affair – collagen sales skyrocketed and brought in a hefty profit.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, collagen supplement sales in the U.S. reached an estimated $298 million in 2020—up from $73 million in 2015. The global collagen market size was estimated at USD 8.36 billion in 2020 and was expected to reach USD 8.67 billion in 2021.
However, collagen supplements are nothing more than smoking mirrors, because, as I mentioned earlier, collagen is made primarily of non-essential amino acids. Our body is more than capable of making it on its own! So, if you were buying collagen to slow aging or to improve hair growth, you were flushing your hard-earned money down the drain.
I know that you might be emotionally attached to your collagen supplement, and might have even felt that it helped you. I have nothing against the placebo effect. However, most often than not, it is nothing more than the placebo effect that makes people feel like collagen supplements are helping them.
In reality, rather than focusing on useless collagen, we need to pay attention to the real heroes of healthy hair growth – BIOTIN and KERATIN!
Biotin – A Building Block for Healthy Hair GROWTH
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is an important nutrient that helps the body convert food into energy. This essential vitamin also plays a vital role in the health of our hair, skin, and nails. It aids in the synthesis of keratin, a protein that promotes hair growth and reduction of hair loss.
Biotin is required for the synthesis of a variety of amino acids, which are subsequently transformed into keratin.
While it is tempting to buy biotin as a supplement, do not pull out your wallet yet. Biotin can be found in plant foods! But before we talk about them, let’s talk about Keratin.
Keratin – an Essential Nutrient for Healthy Hair, Strong Nails, and Glowing Skin
Keratin is a fibrous protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails. It is responsible for the strength and elasticity of our hair.
A lack of keratin can lead to dry, brittle hair that is susceptible to breakage. And can also lead to brittle nails and drabby skin.
Again, hold onto your wallets! Do not get tempted to buy either biotin or keratin as supplements. Here’s why.
The Supplement Industry’s Dirty Secret
The supplement industry was worth 151.9 billion USD globally in 2021. So, it is not surprising that so many of us got tricked into thinking that supplements are the way to health and happiness. However, here’s the little secret that you did not know about…
Over 90% of the ingredients that go into dietary supplements come from China. Frequently, from a small number of facilities! To make things even more interesting, most ingredients are GMO or synthetic. As you already know, the supplement industry is NOT regulated for quality, so you NEVER know what you will end up with when you spend your hard-earned cash on supplements.
When the ingredients are brought to the USA, they get combined and repackaged by different companies. So, while you are hunting for the “best product” on the market, you are possibly buying the same thing, only packaged and priced differently by different companies.
Mind melt! I know!
So, rather than buying “trash in a bottle”, I propose a better way to get what you need to stop hair loss and encourage hair growth. The best way to get your biotin and keratin is NOT from supplements but from WHOLE FOODS!
Here are 18 Top Winners that will give you both!
Top 18 Plant Foods to Strengthen Hair and Promote Hair Growth
8 Foods Rich in Biotin to encourage healthy hair growth
The Daily Recommended Value for biotin is 30-100 micrograms (mcg). It can be easily obtained from:
- Wheat germ – 3 tablespoons provides 30% of the daily value (DV)
- Cauliflower – 1 cup cooked or raw provides 20% of the DV
- Raspberries – 1 cup provides 15% of the DV
- Peanuts – 1/2 cup provides 12% of the DV
- Almonds – 1/4 cup provides 9% of the DV
- Walnuts – 1/4 cup provides 8% of the DV
- Pecans – 1 ounce (approximately 19 pecan halves) provides 5% of the DV
- Swiss Chard – 1 cup cooked or raw provides 4% of the DV
10 Foods Rich in Keratin to prevent hair loss and help with hair growth
Spinach is rich in nutrients like iron, zinc, and beta-carotene, which are all essential for healthy hair growth. It also contains antioxidants that can protect the scalp and hair from damage.
2. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another great source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which can promote a healthy scalp.
3. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which is essential for hair growth. They also contain other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, both of which can promote healthy hair.
Avocados are packed with nutrients that can promote hair growth, including biotin, vitamins B6 and C, copper, and folic acid. They also contain monounsaturated fats that can help to nourish the scalp.
Nuts are a great source of protein, which is essential for hair growth. They’re also a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals like zinc and selenium.
Onions are rich in sulfur, which is a mineral that promotes hair growth. They also contain nutrients like biotin, vitamin C, and folic acid.
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for hair growth and can also help to keep the scalp healthy. Carrots are also a good source of fiber.
Kale is a nutrient-rich leafy green that’s packed with hair-healthy nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamins C and B6, copper, and iron.
Garlic is a good source of sulfur and keratin, which can promote hair growth. It’s also a rich source of vitamins B6 and C, and copper.
Mangoes are a good source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, essential for hair growth. Mangoes are also a good source of fiber and vitamins C and B6.
GROW HEALTHY HAIR CONCLUSION
Now that you know all the dirty secrets of the supplement industry, you can finally be set free to grow your hair back, thick and strong, without wasting a dime, and to do it in the most natural, sustainable way!
There are some other root causes that might lead to hair loss, but it is something we would have to cover another time.
For now, go get some of the foods on this list and enjoy them daily to encourage the growth of healthy, shiny hair.
Holistic Master Health & Life Coach
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