The secret to think, strong, shiny strands isn't an expensive shampoo or fancy salon treatment—it's all about your diet. Eating a variety of healthy foods will give you the mane you've always dreamed of. Fill up on these nutrients to begin growing your healthiest hair ever.
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Iron and zinc
Iron and zinc help hair follicles to grow, says Wilma Bergfeld, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. She suggests eating lean red meat, which is rich in both nutrients, twice a week. Pair nonmeat sources, such as soybeans or lentils, with a vitamin C-rich food like an orange to boost iron absorption.
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Several studies have found that vitamin D may help activate hair growth. However, D is a tricky vitamin. Few foods contain it naturally, and although sitting in the sun for a few minutes a day can help your body produce more of it, many experts advise against it due to the increased exposure to harmful UV rays. Your best bet? Take a 1,000 IU supplement daily, and try these recipes that contain vitamin D.
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Protein is one of the building blocks of life, promoting cell growth and repairand it boosts your hair strength, too! Women should get at least 46 grams a day (3 ounces of chicken has about 23). Follow this guide to determine exactly how much protein you should be consuming daily.
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eat fatty fish (like salmon) twice a week for hydrated hair, or take up to 1 gram a day of a DHA and EPA supplement. In addition to silky hair, omega-3s may help relieve depression and are a proven heart-helper.
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Eggs are rich in this B vitamin essential for growth. (They're also an excellent source of protein, choline, and vitamin D.) Not an egg fan? You could also take 30mcg supplement daily.