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The Healthy Hair Diet

written by: KJ Fitness,Ink • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 6/27/2011

If you have ever wondered what you can do get gorgeous, strong, shiny, healthy hair then this article is for you. With the right combination of healthy habits, you'll be on your way to healthy hair you'll love for life.

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    Introduction

    If your eyes are the window to your soul, then your hair, skin, and nails are the windows to your health. if you don't eat a balanced diet and are missing vitamins and minerals from your diet, your hair will show it. Hair is made of three strands of a substance called keratin that is a protein.

    It grows from a follicle in the scalp that is not visible to the eye.The part of the hair you can see with your eyes is dead. Hair grows faster in the warmer months than it does in the colder ones. Although you can't speed up how fast it grows, you can promote its health so that you can maintain and keep the hair you have.

    Hair needs nutrients for health. One way to better deliver the nutrients is through exercise. Exercise opens up the blood vessels and enhances circulation. Hair receives its nutrients from the blood so regular exercise is recommended for healthy hair. Exercise is also useful for relieving stress which can lead to hair loss.

    Taking a multi-vitamin to promote hair growth and health can be effective, but you still need to eat a variety of foods. Eating fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and low-fat protein will improve the amount of the vitamins that you can absorb. Just because you're taking in a day's worth of vitamins and minerals in pill form doesn't mean you're absorbing all of it. Here are some suggested meals that contain the right combination of vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates, and fish oils to promote the health of your hair.

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    Breakfast

    Start each day with a high fiber, low-sugar, and low-fat breakfast. Here's a sample healthy hair breakfast. Have four ounces of orange juice or some other form of Vitamin C to help you absorb the iron in your food. Don't have coffee with your breakfast. Caffeine hinders your ability to absorb iron. Also, include egg whites for a low-fat, high protein source of energy. The cholesterol is in the yolk so enjoy two or three egg whites instead of two whole eggs. Finish your breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal for a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

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    Lunch

    For your healthy hair lunch, start with leafy green vegetables for a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Have grilled salmon or tuna which is rich in protein and fish oil for strong and shiny hair. Fish oil is an essential fatty acid that helps hair stay healthy. Add in a baked sweet potato for another excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B6 to promote the health of your hair.

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    Dinner

    Choose a lean cut of beef prepared in a healthy way and loads of more fresh vegetables. Beef contains B vitamins and protein. Don't forget to limit your portion sizes of red meat. One serving is equal to about 3 ounces. That's about the size of a deck of cards. Beef stir fry with a variety of vegetables and brown rice makes a great combination of low-fat protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

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    Snacks and Drinks

    When you can't get all your nutrients in during a meal, snacking is a great way to supplement what you're missing. Here are some suggestions.

    • Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts.
    • Fresh vegetables: Carrots have beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a key role in the development and health of your hair.
    • Water: An essential element needed to keep your hair and skin moisturized. Remember that hair and skin tend to be drier in the colder months so keep a large container of water with you at work and during your commute to stay well hydrated.
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    Balance

    Balance, variety, and moderation are the key to getting and keeping healthy hair. Don't eliminate any one food group from your diet or you'll throw off your balance. Eat a variety of foods because each one has different amounts of the nutrients essential for healthy, gorgeous hair. Eat sweets, sugar,and alcohol infrequently to maximize the benefits of moderation. Incorporate these practices in your healthy lifestyle and before you know it, you'll be staring in the mirror and loving that beautiful, shiny mane.

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    More Resources

    To learn more about the link between healthy hair and diet, visit these sites:

    Web MD- Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

    CBS TV- Expert: Healthy Diet is Key to Healthy Hair