A lot of girls have experienced the frustrating process of trying to grow their hair out: countless days spent in front of the mirror, ruler in hand, or taking in armfuls of products that promise to condition your hair into luxurious lengths. While using appropriate hair care is essential to maintaining long hair, it won’t necessarily make it grow any faster: just like your skin, the beauty and length of your hair comes primarily from the inside. Hair, like almost every other part of your body, is made up of proteins (remember your high school biology teacher yelling about the “building blocks of the cell”?).
Without protein, your body forms cells that are weak, lackluster, or simply not there at all–and this significantly impacts hair health. According to Dr. John Diaz, MD, “”Vitamins and nutrients, like biotin, B vitamins, iron and zinc, promote healthy hair follicles and healthy hair growth”. So in order to get your hair as long as possible as fast as possible, check out some of these foods that give your body all the protein it needs (in some conveniently delicious forms, too!).
Salmon is the superfood of the sea, boasting a remarkable amount of Omega-three fatty acid compounds that are essential for healthy skin, nails, and hair. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t naturally produce Omega-three fatty acid compounds, so make sure you eat at least two to three servings of fatty fish like salmon or tuna per week.
Sweet potatoes are chock-full of the compound beta-carotene, the precursor to producing Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for keeping the cuticle of your hair intact and shiny, preventing breakage and allowing your hair to grow as long as possible. As if we needed a reason to say yes to sweet potato fries!
All those biotin supplements you see on the shelf can be much more easily (and tastily) consumed by eating a mix of pecans, walnuts, and almonds on a regular basis. Nuts are super rich in Vitamin B7 or biotin, which has been proven to help strengthen the barriers of skin and hair cells, which will help keep your hair luscious and long.
What can’t avocados do? Besides being super tasty, avocados are high in Vitamin B and E as well as certain essential fatty acids that strengthen and promote hair growth. Their essential fatty acids make them great for your cholesterol levels and heart health, too: spread half of one on a piece of whole grain toast for a delicious breakfast that’ll keep your skin, hair, nails and heart beautiful and healthy.
Chia and Flax Seeds
Vegan, vegetarian, or just not that into fatty fish like salmon and tuna? Don’t worry: chia and flax seeds are excellent alternatives for getting the right amount of Omega-3 essential fatty acids into your diet. Plus, chia and flax are super easy to ingest: simply sprinkle a few on a yogurt, over your salad, or even in your breakfast smoothie for a hardly noticeable way to promote hair growth and maintain the health of your skin and nails while you’re at it.
Have any superfood favorites that weren’t mentioned here? Make sure to tell us your long-hair food secret in the comments below!