Great Food for Healthy, Faster Hair Growth – and Great Ways to Cook Them!
Did you know that what you eat can make a significant difference to how healthy your hair is and how fast it grows? You really do not have to go scouring the grocery stores for strange and exotic foods though – everything you need to create delicious good for your hair (and good for your health) meals is sold right in the regular aisles of most food stores. Here are just some of the foods that will nourish your hair as well as your body and help it grow stronger, longer and faster than ever before:
Salmon is a great natural source of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential not only for the health of your hair but your body in general. Omega 3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants and they protect hair from the everyday damage free radicals in the environment cause on a daily basis. In addition the high protein content in salmon is fantastic for helping to speed hair growth.
Salmon can be prepared many different ways. if you are short on time and don’t really have culinary level cookery skills yet this is a great, quick and easy way to prepare a delicious slamon dinner:
Salmon the Easy Way
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 (6 ounce) salmon filets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Stir together the garlic powder, basil, and salt in a small bowl; rub in equal amounts onto the salmon fillets.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook the salmon in the butter until browned and flaky, about 5 minutes per side. Serve each piece of salmon with a lemon wedge and your choice of healthy sides.
#2. Dark Green Vegetables and carrots
Popeye did not have much hair but he really should have done as spinach is great for promoting healthy hair growth. Together with chard and broccoli spinach is packed full of Vitamins A and C which helps speed the production of sebum at the scalp, a substance that acts as natural hair conditioner.
Many people say that they do not like spinach and miss out on all its benefits for that reason. Here’s a great tasty recipe though that’s easy to make and tastier than you might ever have imagined spinach could be:
Parmesan Spinach Cakes
- 12 ounces fresh spinach,
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine (cottage cheese by the way is also a great “hair food”)
- Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups
- Bake the spinach cakes until set which will take about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.
Various different nuts contain nutrients that are great for promoting healthy, strong hair that grows faster. For example selenium is an essential mineral for scalp health and the best natural source of it you can find is in Brazil nuts. In addition if you don’t get enough zinc in your diet one of the damaging side effects can be hair loss and hair shedding. Fortunately walnuts, cashews and pecans are a great natural source of zinc and walnuts have the extra benefit of being a rich source of hair loving omega 3 fatty acids as well.
Possibly the easiest way to consume all of these nuts is to eat them straight out of the package but if you are looking for something different you could try this healthy trail mix recipe which also contains other foods that are great for promoting healthy hair growth – pumpkin seeds which contain maganese which intensifies natural hair color and goji berries that are another great source of Vitamin C and omega fatty acids!
Walnut Trail Mix
- 2 cups California Walnut halves
- 1 cup Pecans and Brazil nuts
- 1 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup banana chips
- 1/2 cup goji or acai berries
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Arrange all of the nuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Bake in the center of oven until fragrant and toasted, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let cool. In a large container, combine toasted nuts with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, apricots, banana chips and berries . Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Beans (or legumes if you are more sophisticated!) of all kinds are great for the health of your hair. Not only are they packed full of protein but they have high levels of iron, zinc and biotin. A lack of biotin in your system can lead to brittle, easy broken hair so consuming enough of it is a hair health must!
Kidney beans and lentils are the best beans to choose for hair health and her’s a tasty recipe that uses them both:
Lentil, Kidney Bean and Brown Rice Stew
- 2 cups dry lentils
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 5 garlic cloves (diced)
- 4 large peeled carrots (chopped)
- 4 celery stalks (chopped)
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 can dark red kidney beans – drained and rinsed
- 1 T oregano
- 1 T Basil
- 1 T black pepper
- 2 cups of water
- 4 cups of precooked brown rice
- Soak lentils in water for one hour.
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot. Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil. Add the carrot and celery after a few minutes. Saute for five minutes, stirring often.
- Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, water, spices, and lentils. Simmer for 30 minutes (until lentils are soft), stirring often.
- Add the kidney beans and cooked brown rice.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve warm, can be refrigerated and stored.
The plain old egg contains a number of hair health enhancing essentials including biotin, vitamin B12 (B vitamins are a must for healthy hair) and tons and tons of protein. Another humble food, carrots, is also great for hair as the Vitamin A they contain is great for the health of your scalp. This great recipe combines them both and makes for a very different breakfast:
- 2 Bread slices
- 1/2 cup Carrot(grated)
- 1/4 cup Onion(diced)
- 1/2 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 Green chili (diced) (cut into small pieces)
- Curry leaves
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp Butter – 1 tsp
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a frying pan, add butter & saute carrot, onion, ginger paste, green chillies and curry leaves for 2 minutes
- Beat egg & add to the pan and scramble it until the egg is well done and then mix all ingredients together.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add filling to bread (toast the bread first if you like)
- Cut into two triangular pieces.
Protein is essential to healthy hair and poultry – chicken and turkey – are great sources of protein that can be used to create a whole world of different delicious meals to suit almost every taste and using almost any culinary technique! Here though is a quick and easy delicious chicken recipe that you can make in just a few minutes, a great way to end a busy day!
Chicken Panko Romano
- 2 large chicken breasts – boneless and skinless
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 cup Panko
- 1/4 cup finely shredded Romano cheese 1 cup spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine spaghetti sauce, chopped green pepper and tomato in a small saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- While sauce is cooking, clean chicken breasts of all visible fat and cut each in half horizontally, making 2 fillets from each breast.
- Combine Panko and Romano cheese in a bowl. Put flour into another bowl and mix the egg and water in yet another bowl until well blended.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add several tablespoons of oil to the pan. When the oil ”shimmers,” it is ready for the chicken. Oil that is not hot enough will absorb into the chicken and oil that is too hot will smoke.
- Working quickly, coat each piece of chicken in flour – shaking off excess, and then in egg wash and lastly in Panko and Romano coating. Make sure there are no bare spots on each breast.
- Fry each coated fillet in the heated oil until golden brown, turning once during cooking — 5 minutes on each side.
- Drain well on paper toweling and serve immediately with warm sauce.
#7. Whole Grains
It might come of a bit of a surprise to learn that something as simple as a slice of whole grain bread could help you get stronger, healthier hair that grows faster but in fact whole grains are an excellent source of zinc, iron and the B vitamins that are so great for both improving the condition and the strength of your hair! An added bonus is that whole grains also provide you with a quick burst of energy so a whole grain snack in the afternoon can pep you up just as well as an energy drink can. Here is a whole grain bread recipe that is easy to make and the whole family will love.
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.
- Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, in a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.
- Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife and prick each of the four quadrants.
- Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
#8. Dairy Products
A lot of people tend to avoid too many dairy products these days because they are worried about the effect of the higher fat contents on their waistlines. The problem is that they are depriving their bodies, including their hair, of some very vital nutrients by doing so. The calcium that dairy products contain so much of is not only essential for strong bones but for strong healthy hair as well. Most dairy products also contain casein and whey which are two natural sources of protein.
If you choose low fat dairy products you can reap all of these benefits and still stay slim. Low fat dairy does have a reputation for being a bit tasteless but it does not have to be. try this great recipe and you will see what we mean!
Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Basil Yogurt Sauce
- 4 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons grated low-fat Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil water. Cook fettuccine and drain.
2. Immediately toss with oil, garlic and yogurt. Add Parmesan, basil and salt & pepper. Serve hot.
Oysters are a well known aphrodisiac but they are also great for your hair. The reason that they are such great hair boosters is that oysters are packed full of zinc which boosts both hair growth and promotes a healthier scalp.
Oysters are probably not something you are going to eat a whole lot of though, so you can also look to lean beef to provide you with the zinc your hair (and the rest of your body) needs as well. But if you are in the mood for cooking a great for your hair (and maybe great for your love life) dinner then here a a recipe you can try that also contains a number of other great for your hair ingredients like spinach! :
- 2 slices bacon
- 24 unopened, fresh, live medium oysters
- 1 1/2 cups cooked spinach
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon anise flavored liqueur
- 4 cups kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
- Clean oysters and place in a large stockpot. Pour in enough water to cover oysters; bring the water and oysters to a boil. Remove from heat and drain and cool oysters. When cooled break the top shell off of each oyster.
- Using a food processor, chop the bacon, spinach, bread crumbs, green onions, and parsley. Add the salt, hot sauce, olive oil and anise-flavored liqueur and process until finely chopped but not pureed, about 10 seconds.
- Arrange the oysters in their half shells on a pan with kosher salt. Spoon some of the spinach mixture on each oyster. Bake 10 minutes until cooked through, then change the oven’s setting to broil and broil until browned on top. Serve hot.
So there you have it, a quick breakdown of some of the best things you can eat for healthier, stronger hair that grows faster and longer as well. Which of these is your favorite? Can you think of a food we missed out? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!