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You know what people notice first about a person besides the emotion they hold in their eyes? Well, their laugh and their smile. But most also look to the mop on top to assess the health of individuals they meet. Beautiful, strong, lustrous, shiny, bouncy, and thick hair says much about a person's vitality and the level of their self care. Many of us willingly abuse our locks with dye and other chemicals in the name of beauty, and then try to undo the damage using even more toxic substances like artificial pomades, conditioners, and processed oils. And with the summer season finally upon us, it's prime time to replenish our strands and prepare them for the long hot days ahead; days filled with excessive heat, light, humidity and water (both chlorinated and salt!). While maintaining proper hydration and following a well balanced, plant heavy diet can do wonders on its own, there are a few foods that are particularly fab when it comes to keeping your hair from looking drab. So in addition to munching on more orange fruits and veggies (beta carotene = vitamin A = cellular love), and plenty of leafy greens like spinach, there are a few other bites that you can, and should, try to make part of your daily diet:
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Grow your hair, and prevent its loss! Nuts are a great source of protein, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which promote healthy hair growth. Brazil Nuts are extra special, as they are high in selenium, a mineral which is linked to scalp health, helps resist infection and the causes of dandruff, while also preventing hair loss. Need more reason to eat nuts? We didn't think so, but check out these 5 benefits of eating nuts anyhow! Nuts make a great snack or addition to salads, desserts, and entrees. So, grab a handful or make some nut butter!
2. Flaxseed oil
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Yummy drizzled over salad, or whirled into a smoothie, flaxseed oil is extremely high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These guys nourish and moisturize the scalp and hair follicles and help to grow long, thick, and beautiful brittle-free strands. Flaxseed oil can also be used as a base for dressings and raw sauces, or as a finishing drizzle over top grilled veggies, quinoa dishes, or soups. Check out these flax facts and great product picks and learn how to make an Orange Flax Smoothie (pictured above)!
This rich, creamy, and indulgent fruit is a fantastic way to feed your face and in turn help keep your hair thick and shiny. Avos are chock full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, as well as omega-3′s and vitamin B5 (B5 can help prevent your from, ack, going grey!). And you don't have to be a guacamole-lover to appreciate the avocado...there are TONS of easy ways to incorporate them into your diet. Try avocados in smoothies for a rich, smooth texture, whip it into a pasta sauce, make a creamy salad dressing; use as the base for a raw soup; or even create an these chocolate cupcakes with Avocado-Mint Icing! Our favorite is this Cilantro Avocado Chickpea Salad Taco!
One of our fave tiny treats, these legumes are teeming with iron, zinc, and biotin, as well as being a great source of vegetarian protein, the building block for healthy hair! Iron is crucial to the diet as deficiencies can result in balding, and biotin is important in maintaining strong and thick hair and nails. Lentils are the easiest legumes to work with. They do not need to be soaked overnight and can be on your table in as little as 20 minutes. Beans and lentils are also extremely versatile. Toss some black beans on a salad, whip up some garbanzo bean hummus, make a veggie chili with kidney beans. While, soups, stews and salads are common dishes that contain lentils. For your next cookout, try lentil veggie burgers, lentil tacos or this out-of-the-world lentil loaf!
Recipe: Breakfast Blueberry Chia Pudding
Tops in antioxidants and brimming with vitamin C, blueberries are a true super fruit. Vitamin C is critical for keeping strong blood circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the hair follicles. If you run short on this vitamin in the diet, it can lead to hair breakage, no one wants that! Throw in a handful in that post-workout smoothie or check out these amazing blueberry recipes. For a healthy treat, try this Breakfast Blueberry Chia Pudding (pictured above), and for something decadent, go for this vegan Raw Orange and Blueberry "Cheesecake" is one of our favorites!
This post was originally published on One Green Planet.
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