Even with all the care we give our hair, it’s easy to forget one simple fact:
Just like your skin, nails, and teeth…your hair is part of your body.
And just like those unique body parts, your hair is affected by what you eat and drink.
That means some foods give your tresses a boost of fortifying goodness…
…while others can sap your hair’s moisture, drain it of nutrients, and leave it feeling lifeless and limp.
So I’d like to call your attention to five foods that can cause your hair just these kinds of problems.
Next time you see these foods at your local market…
...proceed with caution!
I’m also going to share healthy alternatives to these problematic foods. Don’t worry: They’re delicious, too!
HAIR HAZARD #1: PROCESSED SUGAR
Years of scientific studies have uncovered a number of problems from eating too much processed sugar.
That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise that the type of sugar found in packaged treats like cookies, candy, and snack cakes can also cause issues for your hair as well.
“Sad but true: Good doesn’t always mean good for you!”
You see, your hair is mostly made up of proteins…and processed sugar interferes with your body’s ability to absorb protein.
Less available protein, and your hair won’t grow as long and lustrous as you’d like.
Hair Helper: Fresh Fruit
The good news is:
You can avoid processed sugar and still satisfy your sweet tooth!
Fresh fruit is packed with natural sugars, as well as vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system, help fight cold symptoms, and offer a host of other health benefits.
With fresh fruit as part of your diet, you’ll satisfy your craving…for sweetness, and for healthier hair! 2
HAIR HAZARD #2: HIGH-MERCURY FISH
Your doctor has probably told you about the health benefits of a diet rich in seafood.
And it’s true…
...seafood contains essential oils and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which enrich your scalp and nourish your follicles.
Unfortunately, some fish are also high in mercury. Too much mercury in your system is known to be a leading potential cause of hair loss. 3
Fish that are particularly high in mercury include:
Hair Helper: Low-Mercury Seafood
Thankfully, there are plenty of tasty seafood choices with low or no mercury content.
“Salmon is one of the healthiest seafood choices for both your body and your hair”
These fish deliver a power-packed nutrition boost without the mercury risk:
Also, if you enjoy tuna, make sure to choose the canned light variety. Albacore has a bit more mercury, so you don’t want to eat more than 6 ounces a week. 6
HAIR HAZARD #3: TOO LITTLE IRON AND ZINC
These common minerals, found together in red meat, are necessary for your body’s production of keratin. This is a major protein found in your hair, helping to give the strands shape and body.
However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or on a low or no red meat diet, getting enough keratin can be challenging…and your hair may lose bounce and volume as a result. 7
Hair Helper: Beans
For decades, vegetarians and vegans have relied on beans for meat-free protein.
The best part?
Beans are also an outstanding natural source of both iron and zinc.
Your best beans for iron and zinc are:
“A diet that’s ‘full of beans’ offers a range of potent benefits for your hair”
With these beans in your kitchen, you’ll have a ready, vegetarian source of the nutrients you need to keep your keratin high…and your hair lush and attractive.
HAIR HAZARD #4: VITAMIN A
You’ll be happy to hear the problems vitamin A poses are not a result of your diet. The amount of vitamin A occurring naturally in most foods is not enough to endanger your hair.
But if you’re taking a vitamin A supplement, this may be a cause for concern.
High amounts of vitamin A have been shown to shrink your skin’s oil glands. This can keep them from producing the oil your hair strands need to stay hydrated and moist. 10
Hair Helper: Tomatoes and Carrots
These two popular veggies are a strong natural vitamin A source. Adding them to recipes and salads can help if your diet is vitamin A deficient. (10)
“The tomatoes and carrots in this salad aren’t just colorful...they’re also great for your hair!”
Of course, if you’re taking your supplements on doctor’s orders, consult with your physician before making any adjustments to your routine.
HAIR HAZARD #5: ALCOHOL
No doubt about it…
...sometimes, a glass of wine with your gal pals can be just what the doctor ordered. And with summer coming up, a nice cold beer can go a long way to cool down a hot day.
Alcohol actually dehydrates you…and that includes your skin. Dry skin can deprive hair of moisture it needs to maintain health and luster. 11
Hair Helper: Everything in Moderation
If you do enjoy a drink, the condition and care of your hair is just one of many reasons to moderate your indulgence. Curbing your alcohol consumption helps both you and your hair stay properly hydrated.
Of course, it’s also important to limit your use of skin and hair products containing alcohol. That’s why I remove or severely restrict the alcohol content of all my hair care products.
HEALTHY HAIR IS HAPPY HAIR
In short, limiting or lessening your consumption of these food-and-drink items can have strong benefits for your hair.
So whenever you can, be sure to try my “Hair Helpers” as follicle-friendly alternatives.
Your hair will thank you for it…
...with a bounty of vigor, body, and beauty!