by Fran of

Believe it or not, sexy abs, clear skin and long, healthy hair is made in the kitchen!  Sure, we can find the right workout to enhance our shape or the right cream to define our texture. But neither will be as effective without the proper diet strengthening us from the inside out. I’ve noticed my fitness results are more clearly defined when my body is properly hydrated and muscles pumped with the right nutrients from healthier eating (as opposed to over the counter supplements).  My nails grow longer, don’t break as often or yellow the more I incorporate leafy greens into my breakfast smoothies. And my hair is shinier and thriving when I consume healthy doses of proteins and minerals in my main meals throughout the day. Luckily, there are tons of options when it comes to beauty super foods. Variety is the key to avoiding boredom but also necessary to ensure your body, as a whole, is well rounded in nutrition. Just to get us started on healthy eating for natural beauty, here are five super foods I’ve found to be tried and true when my hair needs that extra boost!
Whole Grains are loaded with Protein and Vitamin E. Since hair is made mostly of protein, a diet rich in protein will aid in strengthening your strands from the inside out. This results in stronger, healthier and longer hair. Vitamin E helps with balancing your production of natural oils, so your scalp and strands stay properly moisturized. Quinoa is a powerful choice as a super food for hair growth because it contains high levels of both Protein and Vitamin E! This particular whole grain has a stronger nutritional value than rice, containing loads more essential vitamins and minerals, and cooks in less time. A win all around!
Kidney Beans

Beans are an awesome source of essential hair care minerals. Not only do they provide the same hair strengthening Protein as Quinoa, but beans on your plate also give you a much-needed boost of iron, zinc and biotin. Those with Biotin deficiencies often suffer from overly dry hair. Many will run to capsules of the mineral, when a serving could be consumed with a side of Kidney Beans! Any type of bean will do, but Kidney Beans are my favorite because of how filling they are in a meal. Not to mention how well they go as a topping on a fresh, spinach salad or mashed up with vegetables in a wrap!
Greek Yogurt
After a workout, your body needs protein to fortify those tired muscles. I always pour a container of greek yogurt into a bowl with pomegranate seeds and chopped fresh fruit sprinkled all over. One serving of this yogurt is equivalent to one serving of meat. Crazy right? So not only will these yummy strengthening nutrients help restore your body after a tough exercise circuit but they will also provide your hair with a major protein boost!
A mineral deficiency leads to excessive shedding, dry scalp and brittle hair. Nuts are a terrific source for these essentials. Almonds, alone, are loaded with powerful hair care boosts like Zinc to help your scalp maintain healthy circulation, resulting in proper oil production levels and shiny, healthier, well moisturized tresses. Other nuts like Walnuts and Brazil Nuts are powerful for improved scalp health, as well.
Salmon or Flaxseed Oil
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are extremely important for promoting scalp health. Unfortunately, the body is unable to produce them on its own. A deficiency often means clogged pores and dandruff, resulting in poor circulation, stunted growth and shedding. You can get a healthy dose of these essentials with one serving of fresh Salmon. Salmon also carries Protein, B-12 and Iron - perfect for regenerating cells. If you’re a vegetarian, like myself, you can get a similar daily fix by including Flaxseed Oil or seeds in your breakfast smoothie or cereal.

Written by SoVAiN Williams — June 10, 2012

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