Many of my patients, readers and viewers long to know the secret to shiny, lustrous, thick and healthy hair. As with healthy, youthful and radiant skin, the answer can be found in the foods we eat. Choosing the right foods will ensure that we enjoy radiant skin, great-looking hair, increased physical and mental energy and improved mood. And the dietary suggestions listed below are your best way to ‘age-proof’ your hair and skin.
Essential foods for age-proofing your hair include protein, healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins. Adding these elements to your diet can lead to healthy hair and hair growth. Here are a few you should focus on:
Salmon and Coldwater Fish
Salmon and other coldwater fish are an incredibly beneficial source of both protein and healthy fats. They are rich sources of the omega 3 fatty acids, vital to scalp health and shiny, healthy hair. Salmon is also probably the world’s most heart healthy source of protein. Rich in long-chain omega-3 essential fatty acids - the most beneficial kind - keep the scalp healthy and the hair strong and shiny.
When we are lacking in these healthy fats, we can be assured that both our skin and hair will be dull, lacking radiance and glow. The high quality protein found in these fish will accelerate cellular repair, keep hair strong and promote hair growth.
The lack of protein will affect us regardless of our age. It will be visible in the skin, especially the face, and in our hair, worsening as we age.
If women understood that eating a simple inexpensive small can of sardines or salmon would give their hair and skin an unrivaled radiance, softness and suppleness, like nothing else in this world, these foods would fly off the supermarket shelves. You would see a stampede toward the fish aisle!!
While the extraordinary multi-organ benefits of sardines and wild salmon almost sounds like a fantasy, it is very real. Try the canned salmon and sardines that also contain both skin and bones to experience just a few of the hair, skin, brain, mood, and health and energy benefits of these amazing omega-3, protein, and calcium rich fish.
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Foods rich in Vitamin E are also essential to healthy hair, hair growth and the prevention of dry, brittle hair. Vitamin E promotes the growth of capillaries which increases circulation and thereby blood flow to the follicles and can stimulate hair growth. This fat-soluble vitamin can also help combat split ends and dry scalp.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E and the omega 6 fatty acids. They are also great sources of protein, and vitamins and minerals including biotin, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and calcium.
Olive oil, seeds and nuts such as almonds are excellent sources of monounsaturated fatty acids that promote a smooth and radiant complexion, prevent wrinkles and maintain skin elasticity. Almonds also provide an excellent source of Vitamin E.
Eating a small handful of nuts and seeds (as long as you are not allergic) is a wonderful way to satisfy hunger pangs while helping to increase the strength, shine and thickness of your hair.
The fatty acid profile of coconut consists primarily of caprylic and lauric acids, which support immune function. Researchers have also discovered the lauric acid fraction in coconut oil has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
These antimicrobial benefits are hugely important when it comes to preventing hair loss, because one of the main reasons behind hair fall and hair loss is microbial action on the scalp and hair roots.
The people of Polynesia are known for their long, lustrous and beautiful hair - thanks in part to their consumption of coconuts and their liberal use of coconut oil on their hair.
As always I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Dr. Perricone Recommends
Skin and Total Body