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Eat These 7 Snacks for a Healthy Scalp

Sure, you can eat your way to stronger strands but do the same rules apply to the scalp? Because great hair is impossible without a clean, properly functioning scalp, we figured we’d cover our bases and find out how to ensure health right from the root. We’re happy to report that there’s no need to make a big change—you can actually snack your way to scalp wellness. To find out which snacks are most effective for the scalp, we contacted the nutrition experts, who happen to have authored some of our fave books on the subject. Discover what you should eat for a healthy scalp below!

1.  Salmon or Fish Oil

Don’t sleep on this popular fish option. If you prefer salmon-colored blouses to seeing them on the plate, then try a supplement—either way, omega-3’s are crucial to maintaining scalp health. “The anti-inflammatory properties [of fish oil] can reduce itchy scalp (especially when associated with psoriasis),” says Naomi WhittelNew York Times bestselling author of Glow15 and founder of Simply GOODFATS. “If you have dry or brittle hair, or a dry or scaly scalp, you could be deficient in essential fatty acids. Plus, this healthy fat plays a vital role in the maintenance of healthy skin, scalp, and glossy hair.”

Brooke Alpert, registered dietitian and author of The Diet Detox, agrees. “Salmon may improve hair shininess and scalp moisture levels because it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that can improve the look and texture of hair.”

2. Nuts

There are a ton of nuts that will contribute to scalp health, some even contain the same good stuff found in salmon. “Brazil nuts are a natural source of selenium,” says Naomi. “Walnuts contain zinc and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help hair condition. Pecans, cashews, and almonds also contain zinc.” This is crucial as zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding.

3. Poultry

No need to cut poultry out of your diet if you’re eating with your scalp in mind. According to Naomi, poultry is a source of “high-quality protein and iron with a high degree of bioavailability to strengthen hair and promote growth.” Conversely, “weak brittle hair and the loss of color have been linked to protein deficiency.

4. Legumes

Eat your legumes like kidney beans and lentils. These provide a bevy of good stuff, including protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. All things that, if lacking, “can result in brittle hair,” Naomi reminds us.

5. Kelp and Seaweed

These undersea treats are rich in iodine and can help combat hormonal imbalances (often caused by thyroid disorders) that lead to thinning or slow-growing hair. “Boosting your iodine levels, can help to add a bit more regulation to hormone production and hair growth,” explains Naomi.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A.
“Vitamin A deficiency often results in dry skin, which can affect your scalp. Dry skin on the scalp is otherwise known as dandruff. “For a healthy scalp try incorporating more beta carotene into your diet,” says Naomi.

Brooke also has this treat on her list. “Sweet potatoes can help improve scalp health because they are rich in beta carotene which encourages the production of sebum, an oil that keeps the scalp and hair from drying out,” she adds.

7. Greek Yogurt

The health benefits of Greek yogurt just keep on coming. Not only is this probiotic good for you overall, but it’s also optimal for scalp health. This is because it “contains vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, which can improve blood flow to your scalp,” explains Brooke.

Craving more healthy hair snacks? Follow THESE simple diet changes to make hair healthier.



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