SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 10 (UPI) -- Hair isn't essential for life so those with a poor diet may ingest enough nutrients for vital organs, but not enough for good hair, a U.S. food expert says.
Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said how healthy and luxurious hair is depends on a person's health. Legumes such as lentils, lima beans and black beans provide protein as well as essential hair building nutrients like iron, zinc, and biotin -- which is especially necessary for luxurious locks, Lempert said.
"Omega -3 rich foods like salmon and sardines, which are also rich in protein, B12 and iron are all important for getting nutrients to cells including hair follicles, as well as freshly ground flax seeds and walnuts, rich in essential fatty acids are key to strong shiny hair," Lempert said in a statement.
"Green leafy vegetables are key to long healthy locks. Lightly steamed or sauteed spinach, broccoli and kale, are all excellent sources of vitamin A precursors, and vitamin C, needed to produce sebum; the oily substance that acts as our hair and scalp's natural conditioner. Carrots are also a great source of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A."
Healthy protein sources like eggs, chicken, and turkey contain the building blocks for healthy hair.
A low-protein diet can lead to weak, brittle hair, Lempert said. Eggs also contain biotin and vitamin B 12, which are both beauty nutrients, he said.