Did you know that what you eat can make a significant difference to how healthy your hair is and how fast it grows? You really do not have to go scouring the grocery stores for strange and exotic foods though – everything you need to create delicious good for your hair (and good for your health) meals is sold right in the regular aisles of most food stores. Here are just some of the foods that will nourish your hair as well as your body and help it grow stronger, longer and faster than ever before:
Salmon is a great natural source of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential not only for the health of your hair but your body in general. Omega 3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants and they protect hair from the everyday damage free radicals in the environment cause on a daily basis. In addition the high protein content in salmon is fantastic for helping to speed hair growth.
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Salmon can be prepared many different ways. if you are short on time and don’t really have culinary level cookery skills yet this is a great, quick and easy way to prepare a delicious slamon dinner:
Salmon the Easy Way
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 (6 ounce) salmon filets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Stir together the garlic powder, basil, and salt in a small bowl; rub in equal amounts onto the salmon fillets.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook the salmon in the butter until browned and flaky, about 5 minutes per side. Serve each piece of salmon with a lemon wedge and your choice of healthy sides.
2. Dark Green Vegetables and carrots
Popeye did not have much hair but he really should have done as spinach is great for promoting healthy hair growth. Together with chard and broccoli spinach is packed full of Vitamins A and C which helps speed the production of sebum at the scalp, a substance that acts as natural hair conditioner.
Many people say that they do not like spinach and miss out on all its benefits for that reason. Here’s a great tasty recipe though that’s easy to make and tastier than you might ever have imagined spinach could be:
Parmesan Spinach Cakes
- 12 ounces fresh spinach,
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine (cottage cheese by the way is also a great “hair food”)
- Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups
- Bake the spinach cakes until set which will take about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.
Various different nuts contain nutrients that are great for promoting healthy, strong hair that grows faster. For example selenium is an essential mineral for scalp health and the best natural source of it you can find is in Brazil nuts. In addition if you don’t get enough zinc in your diet one of the damaging side effects can be hair loss and hair shedding. Fortunately walnuts, cashews and pecans are a great natural source of zinc and walnuts have the extra benefit of being a rich source of hair loving omega 3 fatty acids as well.
Possibly the easiest way to consume all of these nuts is to eat them straight out of the package but if you are looking for something different you could try this healthy trail mix recipe which also contains other foods that are great for promoting healthy hair growth – pumpkin seeds which contain maganese which intensifies natural hair color and goji berries that are another great source of Vitamin C and omega fatty acids!
Walnut Trail Mix
- 2 cups California Walnut halves
- 1 cup Pecans and Brazil nuts
- 1 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup banana chips
- 1/2 cup goji or acai berries
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Arrange all of the nuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Bake in the center of oven until fragrant and toasted, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let cool. In a large container, combine toasted nuts with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, apricots, banana chips and berries . Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Beans (or legumes if you are more sophisticated!) of all kinds are great for the health of your hair. Not only are they packed full of protein but they have high levels of iron, zinc and biotin. A lack of biotin in your system can lead to brittle, easy broken hair so consuming enough of it is a hair health must!
Kidney beans and lentils are the best beans to choose for hair health and her’s a tasty recipe that uses them both:
Lentil, Kidney Bean and Brown Rice Stew
2 cups dry lentils
2 T olive oil
1 large onion (diced)
5 garlic cloves (diced)
4 large peeled carrots (chopped)
4 celery stalks (chopped)
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
(2) 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 can dark red kidney beans – drained and rinsed
1 T oregano
1 T Basil
1 T black pepper
2 cups of water
4 cups of precooked brown rice
- Soak lentils in water for one hour.
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot. Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil. Add the carrot and celery after a few minutes. Saute for five minutes, stirring often.
- Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, water, spices, and lentils. Simmer for 30 minutes (until lentils are soft), stirring often.
- Add the kidney beans and cooked brown rice.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve warm, can be refrigerated and stored.
The plain old egg contains a number of hair health enhancing essentials including biotin, vitamin B12 (B vitamins are a must for healthy hair) and tons and tons of protein. Another humble food, carrots, is also great for hair as the Vitamin A they contain is great for the health of your scalp. This great recipe combines them both and makes for a very different breakfast:
2 Bread slices
1/2 cup Carrot(grated)
1/4 cup Onion(diced)
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
1 Green chili (diced)
(cut into small pieces)
1 large egg
1 tsp Butter – 1 tsp
Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a frying pan, add butter & saute carrot, onion, ginger paste, green chillies and curry leaves for 2 minutes
- Beat egg & add to the pan and scramble it until the egg is well done and then mix all ingredients together.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add filling to bread (toast the bread first if you like)
- Cut into two triangular pieces.