Biotin boosters have become an all too familiar cure-all for any and all hair-related issues. While it would be great to take a pill and walk away with a mega-glossy and super-strong mane, real life rarely works like that. Though tempting to try, as long as you’re eating a balanced diet, chances are you don’t need them. Instead, try ditching the unnecessary supplements and eat your way to healthy hair. We tapped Brooke Alpert, registered dietitian and author of The Diet Detox, to find out which foods we should be eating to maximize our biotin intake, naturally.
(Image Source: Getty / A.L. Canterbury)
Best Biotin-Rich Foods
“There are many foods that you can incorporate into your diet that are good sources of biotin,” Alpert assures us. Her grocery list includes whole eggs, legumes, almonds, liver and other organ meats, salmon, yeast, milk, cheese, yogurt, mushrooms, carrots, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, and raspberries. If this feels overboard, fear not—don’t think of anything with biotin in it as calories wasted. “Foods that are rich in biotin are also beneficial for your diet in other ways,” says Alpert. She points out that these foods add healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber. “If you want to eat these foods daily you can,” she adds.
How to Maximize Your Biotin
There are easy ways to incorporate biotin into your diet in ways you might not have considered, such as replacing a key feature of a routine meal. “Choosing to use some of the above-listed foods as healthier substitutes for less healthy choices can be a great way to add biotin to your diet,” Alpert explains. “For example, if you used cauliflower rice instead of white rice, you are getting the benefit of biotin as well as a great source of vitamin C and fiber.”
To get the most biotin possible, choose foods that contain a denser concentration of the stuff. “Legumes, nuts, and seeds have the highest concentrations of biotin and are a great choice as a snack or as part of a healthy meal,” says Alpert. “The recommended daily dosage of biotin is 2.5 mg,” she notes. However, everyone is different when it comes to health and nutrition. “It is always important to consult with your doctor first to make sure it is an appropriate choice for your unique lifestyle and health profile since you can consume too great a quantity of biotin, leading to negative health effects,” she continues.
Though biotin is typically associated with animal-based protein, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can still reap the benefits of this B vitamin, naturally. “There are many vegetable-based sources of biotin,” says Alpert. Among her favorites are nuts, seeds, avocados, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower.
Why You Should Eat Your Biotin
While you might think you need additional biotin in vitamin form, as long as you have a healthy diet, it’s pretty unlikely that you aren’t getting enough through your food. “It is rare that people will have a biotin deficiency and should be able to get the appropriate amount directly from their diet,” Alpert notes.
“Many people who choose to add biotin supplements or biotin-rich foods to their diets are looking for more positive outcomes in the appearance of their hair, skin, and nails,” observes Alpert. However, if you are experiencing any issues, it’s a good idea to talk to a medical professional, pretty much 100% of the time. “If you notice unusual changes or problems in these areas, it is always advisable to talk to your doctor to make sure you are not experiencing any other possible health problem with similar symptoms,” she says.
Don’t just eat your way to healthy hair—HERE’s what you need to be snacking on for a healthy scalp.