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Everyone wants strong, manageable and healthy locks. However, if you are bothered by common hair problems like thinning, hair loss, dandruff and dry, dull and/or frizzy hair, then remember that hair health is dependent on a number of factors. Some major ones being age, genetics, diet, how you take care of your hair and underlying medical condition (if any). Out of all the above factors, what you eat is definitely one of the things under your control.

Now before you go shelling out money on professional hair treatments and hair products that claim to give you shiny and long locks, try nourishing your scalp and hair from within. According to dermatologists, consuming fresh food that is rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber and proteins on a daily basis, strengthens the existing hair follicles and promotes optimal hair growth.

To know exactly which food is good for hair growth, keep scrolling down. These superfoods are easily available in the market and can be incorporated in your diet regularly through various delicious recipes. So why delay, let's start.

1. Eggs

'Proteins' and 'biotin' are two ingredients, that are great for healthy hair growth. Deficiency of biotin causes thinning of hair and brittle nails while keratin, a type of protein offers strength and structure to hair. Deficiency of any or both these nutrients is bound to cause hair problems.

Fortunately, eggs are a good source of both these important nutrients, including Vitamins A, D and choline. All these nutrients are very helpful in promoting hair growth. Apart from including eggs in your diet (the yolks in particular), you can also use egg hair packs for external use. Egg hair packs are one of the most popular DIYs to condition and moisturize your tresses while inducing more softness and shine to it.

2. Spinach

Popeye's favorite vegetable spinach is one of the healthiest food for hair growth. This green leafy veggie is packed with iron, magnesium, folates and Vitamins A, B, C, E and K. These nutrients can immensely benefit skin and hair health.

Vitamin A in spinach for example is essential in the production of sebum - which is the natural oil produced by our skin glands. Sebum helps in keeping the scalp moisturized and the hair nourished. Likewise, Vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen, which in turn promotes new hair growth.

Spinach is also iron rich. This very important nutrient helps growth and repair of hair by supplying oxygen to all parts of the body, including hair follicles. Check out this study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science and you will know how iron deficiency can play a role in patterned hair loss.

3. Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is one of the recommended foods against thinning hair. Though it is often believed to be fattening, this under-rated root vegetable is surprisingly jam packed with varied Vitamins (A, B6, C, D & E),  iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, including fiber and other important nutrients. 

However, it is the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes that converts to Vitamin A, Vitamin C, E and iron that actually contributes in its fight against dry, thin and dull hair. Additionally, beta-carotene also assists in collagen production to boost hair strength and help healthy hair growth.

So the next time you are at the vegetable market, remember to stock up this humble vegetable to gain its many nutritional and beauty benefits. 

4. Berries 

Strawberries, blue berries, black berries, raspberries, cranberries - who doesn't love eating these berries? These juicy, pulpy and colored fruits are not only flavorsome but also hold the key to good health, skin and hair.

Berries have shown some amazing benefits towards hair health as they are loaded with many important vitamins and compounds. Dermatologists particularly recommend including berries in the diet for their antioxidant properties and good Vitamin C content. 

The many nutrients, Vitamin C and antioxidants help protect hair follicles from damage, aid in the production of collagen (that helps in strengthening hair) and thus stimulates healthy, luscious and strong hair.

5. Fatty Fish 

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herrings, tuna & sardines are really good for healthy skin and hair. These fish in particular are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, Vitamin D and other nutrients that are needed for supporting optimal hair growth. 

The essential omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats and are linked to improve hair health while also being beneficial for the eyes and heart.

6. Nuts

Add good nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts to your diet for promoting healthy and strong hair. These nuts are not only tasty but also an excellent source of biotin, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and other minerals like zinc and magnesium. These very important nutrients may help in nourishing the scalp, reducing thinning of hair and strengthening the hair cuticles.

Since nuts have high calorie content, munch on a few but a variety of them as a mid-day snack item or include them in your smoothies, desserts and homemade nut bars.

7. Yoghurt (Specially Greek Yoghurt)

Another food item that is delicious to eat, nutritive and beneficial for hair is yoghurt - particularly Greek yogurt. 

This variant of yoghurt is jam packed with building blocks of hair, i.e. protein. Greek yoghurt is a low-fat food that contains calcium, Vitamin B5 (popularly known as pantothenic acid) and Vitamin D. The high protein content along with these important nutrients play a vital role in improving hair strength and preventing hair loss and hair thinning. 

So enjoy a cup of creamy Greek yoghurt as is or add your favorite fruits to it before digging in. You can also mix Greek yoghurt with chia seeds and a dash of honey or maple syrup. If you love flavored yoghurt, then try the ones from Epigamia. Their Greek yoghurts have a thick and creamy texture, with no chemical preservatives in it. 

8. Avocados

Some people love this fruit, while some absolutely dislike it. Nevertheless, the fact remains that avocado (also known as butter fruit) is beneficial for your health and hair. 

Avocados are rich in vitamin B (including biotin), C, E and K, potassium and magnesium . These nutrients work well in protecting and strengthening existing hair while stimulating new hair growth.

Besides the many beneficial minerals and vitamins, avocados possess high fat content. The natural oils in this fruit nourish and moisturize the scalp and make hair look shiny, soft and healthy. 

Apart from incorporating avocados in your diet through various interesting recipes, it can also be used in at-home DIY hair masks. Off late, commercially available avocado oils have also become popular in haircare regime. 

9. Seeds

Just like nuts - seeds are also very healthy and beneficial for hair. Though low in calories, seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa & sesame have high nutritional content. Many of these seeds contain good amount of Vitamin E, Vitamin B, proteins, zinc, selenium and even omega-3 fatty acids that aid hair growth, nourish the scalp and improve its health. 

You can consider munching on a spoon of these to tame your hunger in-between meals or add them in your breakfast cereal bowl. You can also sprinkle these seeds in your cup of yoghurt or while making muffins, breads, pancakes, salads and smoothies.

10. Carrots 

What a color? That is what I usually say when I look at carrots.

Carrots are crunchy and tasty to eat, while being rich in Vitamin A. These weight-loss friendly root vegetables are also a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. 

Vitamin A is known to help produce natural oil called sebum, that moisturizes the scalp and boosts the strength and growth of hair. The other plant compounds in carrot contribute effectively in making hair thicker, longer and stronger, while also offering many health benefits.

So chew on a carrot as a snack when you are hungry, use them in your salads, juice them up and have a glass regularly or prepare some savory or sweet dishes out of it. However you plan to consume, but do include carrots in your diet.  

Wrapping up I would say that irrespective of whether you are a vegetarian, non-vegetarian, eggetarian or vegan, ensure that you have enough proteins, vitamins, fiber and minerals in your regular diet by including all or most of the above-mentioned food items. In case you observe an unusual amount of hair loss, then do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist at the earliest.

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