Plant-Based Foods To Eat For Good Hair
There's no superfood that'll make your hair grow much faster than the average six inches per year or turn you into Cousin It overnight. However, poor nutrition definitely stunts growth and makes hair more brittle, and that's what we want to avoid. To make sure your hair is living up to its best potential, especially during stressful times, here are foods you'll want to consume on the regs, which also happen to all be plant-based. We call that killing two birds with one stone—an ironically very non-vegan expression.
One word: antioxidant. The vitamin C in berries have antioxidant properties, which help fortify your follicles from cell-damaging free radicals that exist in your body and in the environment. Vitamin C also helps the body produce collagen and absorb iron; the lack of iron can lead to anaemia, which often comes with hair loss symptoms.
Recommended method of consumption: smoothie bowl.
Spinach has lots of the good stuff for hair: folate, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. So if you think you're going to fail on incorporating everything on this list into your diet, start with spinach. Oil is essential for a healthy scalp, and vitamin A is what aids the skin glands in sebum production. Spinach is also famous for its iron content, which the body needs in blood for good metabolism, growth and repair.
Recommended method of consumption: a sauteed side for something like a grilled tofu teriyaki steak or vegan full English breakfast.
As we've mentioned, your scalp needs a healthy amount of oil to sustain hair growth. Avocados are known for their healthy fats. In addition, avocados provide lots of vitamin C and E. Vitamin E, as you may be familiar with, has a protective characteristic and functions in repair.
Recommended method of consumption: guac, avo toast or chocolate avocado pudding.
Nuts are generally beneficial to hair health as another type of food that provides plenty of natural and good fats. They are also good sources of vitamin E, vitamin B and zinc, all of which fortify hair growth and quality.
Recommended method of consumption: in muesli or granola, or sprinkled atop your berry smoothie bowl.
Beans are the holy grail of protein sources for vegans. Protein, of course, is needed for healthy hair generation, and so are iron, zinc and biotin—all of which can be supplied by beans. Soybeans, in addition, have the compound spermidine, which has been found to prolong a phase of active hair growth called the anagen phase.
Recommended method of consumption: soy milk, edamame or fresh silken tofu with wakame, shoyu and shiso leaf.
Speaking of wakame, seaweed is another source of zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. The underwater plant also contains collagen and omega-3 fatty acids, both good for skin and hair.
Recommended method of consumption: wakame salad.
7/8 Chia Seeds
Tiny but powerful, seeds are rich in vitamin E and other nutrients, such as zinc and selenium, that promote hair growth. Chia seeds, like seaweed, are also an easy way to get your omega-3s if you're going plant-based.
Recommended method of consumption: soy chia seed pudding.
8/8 Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes supply us with beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A. In addition to aiding in sebum production, vitamin A helps encourage the growth of thicker hair and stronger follicles.
Recommended method of consumption: roasted or made into chips.
See also: Six Ways Gardening Can Benefit Your Mental Health