Foods that support hair growth come from a variety of food groups and the good news is, we can easily include them in our everyday meal plan.
Beans and Sprouts – Provides complete vegetarian protein equivalent to animal protein in quality. Chickpeas has protein, zinc and vitamin B-6 required for healthy hair. Zinc has a crucial role in building hair protein.
Soybeans and Tofu – Soy is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians. It contains a considerable amount of Iron and Vitamin E. Iron is a critical component of haemoglobin, which in turn is essential in delivering oxygen to different tissues of the body. Vitamin E helps in the absorption of oxygen and increases the blood circulation to the scalp.
Almonds and Walnuts – These nuts are good sources of Iron and Vitamin E. They also help to lower cholesterol.
Fish – Fishes are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Protein and essential fatty acids (EFA’s). EFA’s play a significant role in preserving healthy nails, hair and skin.
Egg – Eggs are an excellent source of protein that’s of high biological value and also contain about 1 mg of iron per egg.
Dark Green leafy Vegetables – such as spinach, methi, dill and amaranth leaves are foods rich in iron. Spinach and amaranth leaves also contain oxalic acid which decreases the availability of iron to the body. This can be overcome to some extent by eating vitamin C rich foods like oranges, cantaloupes, or green bell peppers in the same meal, which increases the absorption of iron.
Curd – Curd is everybody’s favourite – it is mild in the stomach, and one cup provides about 6 – 8 grams of protein. It can be taken plain, or topped with fruits to make fruit yoghurt. It can also be blended with fruits to make a smoothie.
Butterfruit – is a good source of Vitamin C, K, B6, folate, dietary fibre, niacin, & pantothenic acid. Better known as avocados, they are rich in monounsaturated fats and omega three fatty acids, which are heart-healthy fats. (But limit the portion size to 2 tbsp per day, due to it’s high fat content)
Dates & Raisins – They are high in Vitamin C, Manganese, Iron and Potassium. Include them in small amounts in your meal plan for optimum health.
Silica: Silica slows down hair loss. It is found in the outer coverings of potatoes, cucumbers, green and red peppers. Bean sprouts too have a high content of silica, therefore include whole foods such as sprouts in your meal plan at least thrice a week.
Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Consultant Nutritionist at Modasta
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