Compiled by Lela
Here at Shoporganic.co.za we are all about natural products and lifestyle and that includes what we put into our bodies, not just what we put ON them! For hair which has a natural shine, does not develop split ends and is soft and hydrated without being limp, we can certainly find wonderful products to use but we also need to pay attention to what we put on our plate.
Here, in no particular order, are our Top 4 foods to eat this winter to keep your hair lustrous and healthy from the inside out:
Number One: Eggs
One of the easiest meals to prepare when one is short on time or ideas, eggs contain a whole array of nutrients among which are the amino acid tryptophan, the trace minerals selenium and iodine, the minerals molybdenum, phosphorus, iron and zinc, the vitamins B2(riboflavin), B5(pantothenic acid), B7(biotin), B12, choline and Vitamin D, as well as the carotenoids luitein and zeaxanthin.
Added to that they are also an excellent source of the macronutrient protein, weighing in at around 5,5 grams of highly bioavailable protein per average sized egg. Biotin is essential for overall scalp health and hair growth while riboflavin is needed for normal cell growth and helps cells to use oxygen efficiently. It is a precursor for two enzymes which are needed for energy production (flavin monocleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide). Riboflavin also helps to maintain good eyesight, healthy hair, nails and skin.
Think scrambled eggs with goats cheese and rocket on hot rye toast with lashings of farm butter, mmmmm.
Remember to buy free-range and organic, it's worth it!
Number Two: Nuts and seeds
We are nuts about nuts and seeds! Brazil nuts contain Selenium, a super hair-loving nutrient. Almonds and sesame seeds contain Vitamin E and pumpkin seeds contain Zinc. Selenium, Zinc and Vitamin E all act as powerful anti-oxidants which boost the immune system and assist the body with maintaining normal functions, vitamin E especially helps to increase the circulation of blood to all parts of the body, including the scalp. Increased bloodflow to the scalp helps hair to grow.
Soaking nuts and seeds in a little water overnight before adding them to muesli or smoothies is a great way to make them easier to digest. Nut milks also make great bases for raw chocolate drinks!
Number Three: Coconut oil
Fantastic to put on your hair, coconut oil is also fabulous when taken internally, rich in MCTs (medium chain triglycirides), lauric acid and with a host of anti-microbial properties, regular use of coconut oil can help to condition the scalp, regrow hair and make hair stronger.
Add coconut oil to your morning coffee or evening hot chocolate, use it with stir-fries, melt it over steamed veggies, add a dollop to a bowl of steaming hot soup, use it as one of the ingredients in raw chocolate or simply eat it off the spoon!
Number Four: Hair Love soup (A vegan 'bone broth')
Bone broth has been all the rage recently and whereas it is certainly true that the gelatin (what collagen becomes when it is cooked) and minerals in bone broth will do good things for hair and skin, that doesn't really help the vegetarians among us! Making a mineral rich vegetable broth which includes organic seaweed, miso, loads of green veggies such as Kale and spinach and spices such as anti-inflammatory turmeric and Vit. C rich chillies will go a long way to having healthy hair as well as keeping the winter sniffles at bay! Drink a cup a day and be prepared to notice a difference, not just in the condition of your hair but also your overall sense of wellbeing!
Including one or more of the above foods in our daily diet should be easy and fun, experiment with new ways to use all of the foods on the list and know that you are doing the best for your body, especially your hair!
Egg Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Almond Image courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Coconut Image courtesy of Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Vegetable Soup Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net