10 Foods That Enhance Hair Growth (Vegetarian Edition)

There are several foods that can give hair growth a boost if eaten in moderation. They contain the nutrients that enhance hair growth that will nourish the scalp for optimal results. The key to eating foods for hair growth is balance, a mixture of complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals are important to ensure that the hair grows strong and thick. Too much or too little of these key nutrients and the hair will not do too well. That’s why when your diet is unhealthy; the hair appears limp and dull and breaks easily.

There are several theories espoused by nutritionists on what to eat for hair growth, not surprisingly in the field of nutrition there are debates and counter-debates as to what are healthy foods to eat or not. For those persons (like myself) who would like a simple list of the nutrients that make the hair grow, here they are: protein, iron (absorbable), B complex vitamins, vitamin B12, folic acid and zinc. Of course, the body is made to be in balance so eating a variety of natural foods in a balanced way should be pretty good for hair. The following list is vegetarian based because that is my dietary preference generally.

1. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Chickpeas are a very good source of protein, vitamin B6 and Zinc. Protein is needed for hair growth, and zinc and vitamin A work together to prevent dandruff and hair loss. Chickpeas can be had in a variety of ways and it tastes yummy. Other beans like lentils and kidney beans also pack a wallop in the protein department.

2.Eggs or Egg Whites

Egg whites are a fabulous way to get a complete protein addition to your diet. It is also a very good source of riboflavin and selenium.

3. Salmon

Salmon are a great source of protein, B vitamins including B12 and other vitamins and minerals.

4. Almonds and Other Nuts

Another good source of protein for vegetarians are almonds. They are invaluable in their contribution to hair health. Almonds, arguably the king of the nuts are low in saturated fat and contain nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, 20-25 almonds (approximately one ounce) contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk.

Other nuts, such as Brazil nuts, contain selenium, which is an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds.

5. Oats

Oats is an excellent source of easily absorbable iron, which is important to your hair and heart. Not only that oats also contains a whole host of vitamins and also minerals such as, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

6.  Brown Rice

Complex carbohydrates, feed energy over a longer period of time than refined carbohydrates, brown rice is an ideal form of complex carbs, when eaten with protein, it keeps you full for longer and its good for your hair. It’s also a good source of B vitamins and fiber.

7. Cottage Cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese is a good protein and calcium source. Top it with some fresh berries for an added serving of fruit.

8. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C works with Iron to allow better absorption of Iron. Additionally, Vitamin C helps with the creation of collagen, an essential part of hair growth.

9. Soybeans

Soybeans contain significant quantities of iron and vitamin E, which improves blood circulation to hair follicles.

10. Dark Green Vegetables

Spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard and callaloo are excellent sources of  vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum (the hairs natural oil) which is secreted by your hair follicles. Additionally, dark green vegetables provides the body with significant amounts of iron and calcium.