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Can Foods Help Speed Hair Growth & Improve Hair Health?

author image Denise Stern
Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.

Thick, healthy and manageable hair remains elusive to some of us, but you can take steps to encourage healthy and faster hair growth. Hair, like other parts of the human body, have a number of basic needs for health and optimal development. Eating foods that contain the nutrients necessary for healthy hair may benefit you and speed up not only hair growth, but overall health of your hair.


Hair, which is made up of protein, needs protein for growth and development as well as health. Protein-rich foods include dairy products, like milk and cheese and yogurt, as well as in eggs, fish and organ meats, like liver. You can also get protein from soy products like tofu and soy milk. According to CWI Medical, beans are also an excellent source of protein, as are lean meats like chicken. Stick to low-fat varieties of meats and dairy products, as diets high in fat may contribute to hair loss.


Hair needs vitamins for healthy and speedy growth. Vitamins B and E are especially valuable for encouraging healthy hair growth and you can get them from foods like meat and poultry as well as nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Olive oil (regular or extra-virgin) and avocados also contain plenty of vitamins B and E.

Vitamin C may also reduce hair loss, according to CWI Medical, and improves iron absorption. Foods high in vitamin C include fruits like strawberries, kiwis, lemons and oranges.


Iron is a necessary ingredient and mineral for hair growth, and is especially rich in dark green leafy veggies like spinach (remember Popeye) and kale. Other foods rich in iron include organ meat like liver, raisins, dates and whole grain cereals like wheat, rye, and barley and oats. Oatmeal is an excellent source of iron.

Zinc is another important mineral for hair growth. Glands in the body that trigger hair growth need zinc. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, shrimp, mussels, lean red meats and poultry.

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