50% of your diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This is something you may have read or heard a million times. It’s a different question if your daily diet does indeed follow such a pattern! But let us reaffirm that there is much validity to this statement. The benefits of such a diet are multifold – for your body, your skin, your hair and even your mind.
If you are someone who follows our blogs, you know how nutrition impacts hair growth and overall health. Proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and water, are six major classes of nutrients that are required by every human body. Healthy hair prevails in the body of the person who has all these six major classes of nutrients in the right proportion!
Today, we will specifically discuss the benefits that your hair can accrue from eating fruits.
Fruits are naturally low in calories, sodium and fat. They are a great source of essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. They are rich in antioxidants that protect your hair follicles. Our hair, as you have read in our hair care blogs, needs proteins and iron as well to maintain a sheen and remain strong. Inner nourishment is the key to keeping many hair-related disorders at bay! Ensuring consumption of the right nutrients, on a daily basis, and in adequate amounts, can restrict hair loss to a great extent.
So how do you go about ensuring you are eating right for your hair, especially on the front of fruits!
Here’s our take on how to crack the code on fruits for your hair!
We give you a list of 15 fruits that would not only benefit your overall health but can play an important role in promoting hair growth & healthy hair:
- Oranges/Sweet Lime – Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that has always been associated with hair and skin. Citrus foods should be consumed to feed the hair with the much-needed Vitamin C, which helps build collagen. It also aids in iron absorption in the body.Oranges, sweet lime and others in the citrus family, contain Vitamin C along with bioflavonoids which aid in proper circulation to the scalp which in turn promotes the hair growth.
- Bananas – Common man’s fruit! Bananas are known to improve the hair’s texture, manageability and sheen. They can help prevent and control dandruff, and also moisturise the scalp. Bananas are rich in Vitamin A (needed for sebum production in the scalp), magnesium, potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates, vitamins, and a great source of dietary fibre. They help soften your hair, keep them shiny and help protect their natural elasticity. Bananas are also used as part of topical hair treatments.
- Mangoes – An Indian favourite! It is packed with some great nutrients such as vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C, multiple minerals and selenium (along with zinc, it is key for scalp protection) along with phenolic compounds (antioxidants).
- Watermelons – a fruit that has remarkable water content and can help your hair follicles stay hydrated. It can reduce your body temperature and blood pressure. It is known to have perhaps the highest concentration of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which boosts your hair’s health. It contains key vitamins, A, C and B and minerals like potassium, calcium. It is also a good source of fibre. You can enjoy its juice or eat it raw.
- Cranberries – This is considered a superfood! It is a powerhouse of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals such as zinc, calcium & iron, antioxidants, dietary fibres, others like phytonutrients and polyphenols. Consume its juice, or use it as a hair mask ingredient – your hair stands to gain much needed of you wish for lustrous hair.
- Guava – Guava, a fruit commonly available around us, is recognised for its hair thickening properties. Vitamin B & C in it help nourish hair follicles and promotes hair growth.
Guava leaves are also known to have analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Its extract can hence be used as a hair care product, to promote scalp health.
- Gooseberry (Amla) – Amla and – a combination that you see everywhere! From hair oil to hair colours, and any other hair care product in your supermarket! And it is with due reason.As a fruit to consume, amla is rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. This helps in increasing scalp circulation and stimulating healthy growth. Vitamin C in amla produces collagen and this as you know helps in stimulating hair growth, both in terms of length and volume.
As an ingredient in hair care products, it is known to enrich hair pigmentation and overall health. It is hence used in many natural hair oils. It is recognised as a traditional element for fighting premature greying.
- Pomegranates – Juice, extract or oil, whichever the form, pomegranate offers many benefits to your hair. When used as an external applicant, it works great to tame unruly hair. The fresh extract is also used in treatments for hair loss. Its peel is known to hydrate and protects the scalp from common pollutants, providing relief from itchiness and also dandruff.When consumed it helps in stimulating hair growth, making hair stronger, thicker and healthier. The fruit also has properties that prevent ageing of skin and hair.
- Strawberry – This fruit is a good source of minerals such as copper, manganese and magnesium that help inhibit fungal growth on the scalp. It is rich in Vitamin C, B and a great source of silica, which helps keep a check on hair fall and promotes hair growth. Besides this, strawberry also protects the scalp from problems that can occur due to hard water.
- Avocado – Known as one of the best sources of vital nutrients such as Vitamin A, B, C, E, K and minerals like iron, copper, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, avocado is highly recommended for hair’s health. It promotes fast hair growth, adds shine and lustre to your hair and keeps them hydrated.
- Papaya – Papaya is not only rich in nutrients which help prevent baldness, but also boosts hair growth. It is also known to work greatly for treating & controlling dandruff. Proper use of products with this ingredient can turn hair that is dull, unruly, lifeless, to thick, strong, shiny and healthy hair!
- Apples – Apples are abundantly available and is recognised for its health benefits. It is not without reason that we say ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’! It is rich in Vitamin K, C, A, E, minerals like calcium, potassium, carbohydrates and soluble fibre, among others. They also contain polyphenols which offer various health and hair benefits. Apples are known to reduce dandruff, prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
- Pineapple – It is loaded with Vitamin C which is a nutrient known for good hair and skin. The antioxidants present in it help renew and repair tissues. Containing Vitamin A in good amount, pineapple also manufactures essential natural oils, that maintain the health of the scalp, thereby triggering hair growth. It also helps absorb iron better, which again has a direct impact on your hair’s health. Other nutrients it offers are vitamins B complex and minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium, folic acid and dietary fibres.
- Peach – Peach is best known to treat scalp concerns. It is loaded with beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A once in your body. As mentioned above, Vitamin A helps produce natural oils that are a must for your scalp. The natural hair growth steroid, Biotin, is present in peach. Besides this, peach extract and oil are also used in topical treatments for hair thinning.
- Plum – Seasonal yet one of the best sources to ensure strong, thick hair naturally. Plum effectively controls hair fall. It is a rich supplier of bioflavonoid, a necessary element to maintain connective tissue of the scalp and hair follicles. It is also rich in iron and helps improve blood circulation.
As we have mentioned above, most of these fruits come packed with antioxidants, a variety of vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients, that are beneficial to your hair in a myriad of ways.
Now speaking of how to include them in your diet, much has to do with their availability in your vicinity, ease of accessibility and how you can go about procuring them. While you may find some of these fruits in your street corner, some may not even be available in your city! And much of the availability has to do with seasons.
You may say, ‘But we now live in an age when everything is available all year round, irrespective of the seasons!’
True that. You walk into a supermarket in peak summer and you can find strawberries!
How do you think this is?
Fruits, and vegetables, that are non-seasonal, are brought to us with a lot of unnatural interventions – preservatives, artificial gloss, influencers and chemicals to make them look appealing and fresh. But all of this compromises the nutrition levels in them. Nature intends a balance, in terms of what is available to eat in which part of the world, for its inhabitants! Anytime we tinker around with nature, we know the consequences!
We hence recommend that while you stay aware of which fruits give your hair what benefits, eat those that are seasonal and locally available, naturally.
Let’s understand the importance of seasonal fruits and seasonal eating.
Seasonal eating is essentially consuming fresh fruits and vegetables that have not been processed, packaged and transported long distances! They are farm-produce that have been traditionally harvested, and available in your local markets at the given point of time.
Needless to say, naturally, each season offers a beautiful array of fresh produce which brings along with it, multiple health benefits. And you can derive their benefits best when they are ‘in season’. Here’s why and how.
- The right time – All fresh produce naturally have this point in time, when they are at their peak nutritionally. After a period of time, fruit and vegetables begin to go through senescence, the process that causes the membranes of plant cells to deteriorate, and release enzymes that break down vitamins and phytochemicals.
For instance, oranges contain three times their vitamin C content when at the peak of the harvest season. And as it ages, the nutrients go down in value.
When you eat seasonally, you are ensuring that you are consuming the fruits when their nutrient value is at its best.
- The right taste – This flows from the earlier point. Since naturally ripened and harvested at the right time, they are more flavourful, rich in nutrition and taste. Produce that has not been tampered with, with additives and preservatives, have their natural flavours intact and are better tasting any given day.
- The right price – Fruits that are in season and are available locally are clearly lighter on your wallet. ‘Cos you aren’t then paying for all those efforts taken to bring them to you from far when it’s not even in season. No warehousing and transportation costs to be borne!
- The right biological balance – Seasonal fruits prevent infections and offer immunity against existing climatic conditions. They protect us as well as energize our bodily process. As a result, thriving on fruits that are easily available and suitable to your surroundings support your metabolism and does not let any imbalance affect you.
Your diet plan should hence include fruits which are grown locally and suitable to the local climatic conditions in which you live, and at a time when these fruits are ‘in season’.
Eat the right fruits for your hair, when the time for them is right, and you will feel the benefits flow through your hair for sure!
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