We know antioxidants are good for our bodies. But are they good for our hair too? To understand the role antioxidants play in hair growth, we must first understand what they are and how they work.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants fight free radicals which are created as the body turns food into energy. Free radicals are dangerous due to their potential to damage human cells and in particular, genes.
There are many forms of antioxidants. The most common are found in food and are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and magnesium.
Some scientific studies suggest that antioxidants found and consumed naturally through food may promote hair growth. This is believed to be because of antioxidants’ natural nutrient properties that are necessary for healthy body functioning. When the body is healthy and functioning properly, hair follicles are able to flourish and grow healthy, strong hair.
Below is a list of the best natural food sources of antioxidants.
Vitamin A – beef, chicken, eggs, dairy
Vitamin C – cantaloupe, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, papaya, mango, berries, watermelon, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, cabbage, turnips, spinach
Vitamin E – vegetable oil, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, leafy green veggies, fortified breakfast cereals
Beta-carotene – leafy green veggies, sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, pumpkin
Selenium – butter, liver, shellfish, tuna, halibut, sunflower seeds, whole grains, brazil nuts, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast
Magnesium – leafy green veggies, bananas, avocados, dried apricots, almonds, cashews, peas, beans, seeds, whole grains
Incorporating more antioxidants into your diet through natural food sources will likely improve your overall health. When bodies are happy, healthy, and getting all the nutrients they need, they are able to nourish and promote secondary functions like soft skin and hair growth.