Welcome dear reader to this post. I hope you are doing well and the New Year has started on a positive note. There’s been much hype in the media about various hair and nail supplements that promise stronger, thicker and longer tresses. Most supplements draw attention to their high levels of BIOTIN as the miracle hair wonder, and the celebrity endorsements makes us the general public flock out to buy them. My observation has been that in different countries the prices of these supplements tend to not be economical for most. There are also various reports that highlight the inconclusive elements of whether supplements in general work so I felt it may be more productive to focus on foods that we can add to our diet or even try for the first time. You may likely find that you already eat a lot of the foods on our list.
What is BIOTIN and what does it do anyway? Well BIOTIN is a vitamin of the B complex and is sometimes referred to as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H. Our bodies need BIOTIN to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, and improves and maintains the appearance and health of your hair and nails. It prevents them becoming brittle and dry and thus prone to breakage. Too much of it can cause side effects like acne, allergic reactions and in some cases miscarriages. If you therefore decide to go down the supplement route please look into it and speak to your Doctor before taking any supplement.
I promised you a list of foods that contain great levels of biotin so here goes:
1) Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, any berries in general. The bonus of these super foods is the also contain antioxidants
2) BANANA-bonus is they are full of potassium and fibre
3) SOYA BEANS or Tofu-full of protein and fibre so great for vegans and vegetarians
4) ALMONDS-this nut is full of healthy fats and high levels of calcium. Be aware though that they are very calorific so watch portion sizes. A handful is more than enough (preferably unsalted)
6) AVOCADO– also a great source of healthy fats and fibre as well as Vitamins K, C, E B5, B6, potassium and fibre. It also helps with the absorption of ‘fat soluble’ nutrients
7) RAW SUNFLOWER SEED– preferably organic if you can get them (the toasted ones tend to have a high salt content, you can always toast them yourself)
8) CAULIFLOWER-apparently it belongs to a family of plants known as ‘cruciferous’ and they help fight certain diseases. It can also be used as a substitute for rice and even to make pizza bases or ‘mash’.
9) SALMON AND SARDINES-think Omega3 protein and VitB12 (again moderate consumption is advised)
10) TURKEY-especially the skinless breast cooked in non-fatty recipes is great for building lean muscles (most body builders swear by it)
11) EGGS and MUSHROOMS-both are great sources of biotin and other nutrients
12) LEAN CUTS OF PORK will supply biotin and protein to your body but ensure its lean.
This list is not conclusive as even whole wheat bread and cow’s liver are good sources of biotin, but it’s just an example of how we can avoid a biotin deficiency by eating a varied diet. I hope this list also takes the pressure off needing to pop pills to have healthy strong hair. I suppose even men do want to have healthy looking hair too right? What other foods do you eat that you feel help your hair? Have you tried supplements? What was your experience of them? If you do make changes to your eating remember it will take a while to notice significant changes in your hair quality so be patient and happy hair loving.
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Afrotility is the founder of blieq.com , her focus is on natural hair care and styling. She is Passionate about afro hair in all its different degrees of curliness, and believes that “understanding your hair is the key to enjoying it and loving every single curly strand”. She also insists that “no styling without consultation” should be the new standard.
(Image by Susan Walker)