4 Foods for Healthier Hair

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Hair extensions and hair-pieces are more popular than ever. It’s really no surprise—after all, who doesn’t want fuller hair? Having thick, luscious locks makes us feel good, more confident, and sexy. If your hair looks a little lackluster, and you don’t want to rely on extensions, include these five hair-thickening foods regularly as part of your healthy menu plan. They contain nutrients that can create noticeable improvements in your hair. 

Eggs
Yolks are a rich source of biotin, a B vitamin that promotes hair growth and overall scalp health. Without enough, your hair is left looking thin and lifeless. A deficiency can also cause brittleness. Plus, eggs pack a double health punch for your hair since they’re also a good source of protein; inadequate protein in the diet can cause hair loss.

How to get more:
•    Have a hardboiled egg, vegetable omelet, or frittata at breakfast or at dinner.
•    Add a chopped hardboiled egg to your green salad for protein, or make a healthy, egg-salad sandwich by using non-fat Greek yogurt and a little mustard instead of mayonnaise.
•    Have a hardboiled egg and a piece of fruit for a snack on-the-go.

Note: Avoid raw eggs. Avidin, a sugar- and protein-containing molecule found in raw egg whites binds to biotin and prevents its absorption. Plus, raw eggs may harbor salmonella.

Other biotin-rich foods include peanuts, almonds, wheat bran, salmon, low-fat cheese, and avocados.

Oats
If a rough-on-your-locks blowout leaves your hair straggly, consider eating more oats. Thanks to their abundance of silica—a form of the element silicon—oats can make your hair stronger and thicker.

How to get more:
•    Have a bowl of oatmeal at any meal, even at snack-time. Spruce it up with cinnamon or nutmeg and crunchy nuts.
•    Make muesli: Soak oats in nonfat milk overnight and then stir in yogurt and fruit in the morning.
•    Combine oats with spices to make a breading for crusted chicken or fish.
•    Add oats to meatballs instead of breadcrumbs and incorporate into crumbly toppings for fish, chicken, and fruit desserts.

Other silica-containing foods include bananas and raisins.

Wheat germ
Wheat germ is a good source of zinc, which helps regulates the production of androgens. At too-low levels, these hormones are associated with hair loss, slow hair growth, and dandruff. 

How to get more:
•    Add it to smoothies.
•    Sprinkle it on cereals, cottage cheese, and yogurt. 
•    Use it to top salads, fruits, and casseroles.
•    Blend it with a low-fat cream cheese and spread over toast. 

Note: Store wheat germ in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.

Other good sources of zinc include oysters, crab, clams, liver, and lean beef.

Kidney beans
Kidney beans are an iron-rich protein and both protein and iron are important for hair maintenance and support. Skimp on either one and you may experience noticeable hair loss.

How to get more:
•    Add beans to salads, soups, and casseroles. 
•    Enjoy them in a burrito packed with lettuce and tomato for lunch.

Note: Eat kidney beans with a food rich in vitamin C to enhance iron absorption. For example, add bell peppers to a salad with kidney beans, or tomatoes to a chili with kidney beans.

Other ways to get this iron-protein combo include eating different legumes (like lentils), chicken, fish, and lean beef. 

Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dieticians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.

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