We all know that our diet is important to our general health. A selection of fresh fruit and vegetables along with healthy portions of lean meats like chicken and fish are important to a healthy diet. Our diet is also a factor that impacts our hair health and it is important to include foods that help your hair. Nutrients important for healthy hair can be found in a variety of foods. When looking to add something new to your diet, don't be afraid to try some interesting ingredients.
The five hair health foods described here may be unfamiliar, but they are delicious and healthy for any diet. The foods that made the list were chosen for their nutritional profile relating to hair nutrients, their relative scarcity in the average diet, and we chose foods that actually tasted good and were easy to add to any diet.
Most foods will be available at your local grocery store but some more unusual items may need to be found at specialty health food stores. Check your regular grocer first; you would be surprised what may be on the shelves right under your nose.
The food Okra is the seed pod from the okra plant. It has a mild but unusual taste and is popular in many world cuisines. Okra can be lightly cooked leaving it firm and crunchy, or it can be cooked until soft or broken down as in Gumbo. Okra is a great food because it is filling, low in calories and very nutritious.
This unusual vegetable can be found fresh or frozen in most grocery stores. It goes well as a side vegetable to meat dishes like chicken and pork. It can be mixed together with other vegetables like tomato and onion and fried together. Okra is rich in many nutrients important for hair health.
Okra Hair Nutrients:
Magnesium, Manganese, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A
Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Low Calorie
Quinoa is a grain-like plant that is harvested for its seeds. Quinoa seeds can be prepared like whole grain or rice. It can also be dried and flaked like oats. Quinoa is gluten free and can replace wheat in gluten-free diets. The quinoa grain also has an excellent nutritional profile that is rich in protein and iron compared to other grains.
Quinoa has become very popular recently for its high nutritional value. Most grocery stores will carry Quinoa and health food stores will have a variety of Quinoa products like flakes and seeds.
You can use quinoa as you would couscous, as a side dish on its own or mixed with vegetables. Quinoa may also be used as a flour or flaked and added to cereals and granolas. Quinoa flour can also be used in baking. It is an excellent substitute for wheat flour for gluten free cooking.
Add Quinoa to your diet to get a dose of healthy hair nutrients.
Quinoa Hair Nutrients:
Protein, Magnesium, Iron
3. Kombucha Tea
Looking like an alien from another world or some strange jellyfish, the Kombucha appears to be a strange looking mushroom. In fact, it is a culture made up of yeasts. The health benefits of Kombucha are derived from a tea made using the Kombucha culture.
A sweetened tea with sugar added to help the culture is put in a jar with the culture on top of the liquid. A tea drink is created as the liquid is processes by the yeasts. Kombucha tea is used as a detox tea and helps maintain the body's pH balance. Kombucha is also rich in Vitamin B-6. You don't need to make your own tea; many commercial varieties of Kombucha teas are available pre-packaged in health food stores.
Kombucha Tea Hair Nutrients:
Vitamin B-6, Detox, Maintain body pH
Many people love oysters and they are known for their purported aphrodisiac qualities. Though they may not help spark love, oysters are packed with nutrition essential for healthy hair. They are high in protein and also contain Magnesium and Zinc - a powerful antioxidant.
Oysters Hair Nutrients:
Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc
5. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds have very high nutritional value and are often touted as the world's "most nutritionally complete food source". What does this mean for your hair? Hemp seeds are high in protein and contain all nine of the essential amino acids we must obtain through our diet. Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of essential fatty acids with the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Onega-6 fatty acids.
Health food stores and many grocery stores will carry Hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are very easy to quickly add to many recipes. They can be eaten raw or added to cereals and many cooked dishes. They are fantastic on salads and add a nice nutty taste. They are also a terrific garnish to use over cooked vegetables.
Hemp Seeds Hair Nutrients:
3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, High protein, All 9 essential amino acids
Next time you are out shopping for groceries, check to see if your grocer carries any of these these unusual foods. Most should be easy to find in large grocery stores. If you can't find them at your regular grocer, try looking for a local specialty or health food store.
These foods were selected because, although unusual, they are easy to fit into many household meals. Even the unusual Kombucha Tea can be found in pre-made drinks. Search the Internet for meal and recipe ideas and give some of these weird foods a try.