Macronutrients are the major components of your daily diet. The three most common macronutrients of the human diet are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, a healthy balance of all three macronutrients is needed to look and feel your best. So, if you still believe that “fat is bad” or “carbs make you chubby,” the following section is for you.
Macronutrients: Building Blocks for Healthy Hair
Fats normally fall into 1 of 4 categories: Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans, or saturated. In general, diets rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthiest since these two types of fat are known to improve heart health and reduce cholesterol. They are also known promote a healthy scalp and hair growth. For more information, visit this page on good versus bad fats.
Proteins are one of the most basic of all macronutrients. In fact, it’s estimated that protein makes up about 16% of the entire human body. In addition to being a fundamental building block of many important muscular and connective tissues, protein also facilitates chemical reactions, cellular activity, and neurotransmitter use. Feel your interest peaking? Visit this page to brush up on protein basics.
Carbohydrates are essential for energy and cellular respiration, despite getting a bad rep from modern day diet and weight loss fads. However, there are good and bad types of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate intake varies by individual and lifestyle, perhaps more so than any other macronutrient. To learn more, visit this page on complex and simple carbohydrates.
Macronutrient knowledge is great, but practical knowledge is even better. Now that we understand why all macronutrients are important, it’s time to explore specific foods that are known to promote longer, fuller, and stronger hair.
Foods That Prevent Hair Loss
With the right kind of fish, you can promote hair growth and prevent hair loss in at least two important ways. First, fish is a great source of protein, a macronutrient that literally builds hair from end to end. Second, fatty fish like salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and iron. Each of these nutrients promotes scalp health while nourishing hair follicles, helping to create fuller and more vibrant looking hair.
Like fish, lentils are rich in a variety of essential nutrients for healthy hair. Throughout the day, experiment with different dishes that include kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, and soy nuts. In addition to being rich in protein and iron, lentils are also a good source of biotin, a fundamental building block for healthy hair.
Eggs are another great source of protein and omega-3s, just like salmon and other fatty fish. However, be aware that too much egg yolk can be a bad thing. As a rule of thumb, eat 2 egg whites for each whole egg. Follow this ratio to ensure a healthy amount of protein, saturated/unsaturated fat, and healthy cholesterol.
Like eggs, avocados are rich in healthy fat that can improve the health of your scalp and hair. Pair avocados with your favorite meat, seafood, poultry, or vegetables during the day. For a real treat, try the Avocado and Egg on Tortilla meal featured below.
Okay, so an antioxidant is not a specific food. Nevertheless, few nutrients are more beneficial to overall health. Moreover, antioxidants are known to fortify hair follicles to help sustain thicker and fuller natural hair growth. Below is a list of the best sources of antioxidants. Try them separately, add them to a meal, or blend them in a smoothie to enjoy while on-the-go this summer.
- Goji Berries
- Red Peppers
- Sesame Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Grapes (Red, Purple, & Blue)
- Tea (Green, Oolong, & Rooibus)
Meals to Prevent Summer Burnout
Now that we covered essential macronutrients and foods that prevent hair loss, check out the following Videomeals™ for just the right amount of healthy fat, protein, and carbohydrates for healthy hair this summer. Try these meals at home, and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
Visit the full recipe: Salmon & Asparagus.
Visit the full recipe: Beans Salsa & Egg on Tortilla.
Visit the full recipe: Avocado & Egg Pita Pizza.
Visit the full recipe: Green Tea Matcha Smoothie.
(i) “How to Stop Your Hair From Falling Out.” Capillus Hair Blog. Accessed 2 July 2015.
(ii) “Biotin: User Reviews & Ratings.” WebMD. Accessed 3 July 2015.
(iii) “Avocado for Hair Growth.” LiveStrong.com. Accessed 3 July 2015.