Drapin’! Well, maybe not so much, but I’m on my way. I’ve been on a healthy hair journey for about 4 years now. I started with 80% texturized hair in 2012, and rather than do ANOTHER big chop (I’ve done 2), I decided to transition. Aside from the usual routine of moisturizing and sealing, growth aids, and protective styling there is one thing that I have noticed contributes to my hair growth: nutrition. There are certain nutrients that our bodies need to produce strong hair and nails and glowing skin. There are some who swear by vitamins, and personally, I do believe supplements are important when taken as directed. I also believe that sourcing vitamins from raw foods is even more beneficial. it’s not just about growing long hair, but STRONG, shiny hair. Check out one of my many green smoothie recipes with a brief explanation of each ingredient.
- 2 Handfuls of greens. This can be spinach or kale or a mix of the two. Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C, K, B1, B2, B6, various minerals and antioxidants. The “super food” kale boasts the same benefits, including omega-3 fatty acid, in even higher amounts and is a good source of iron. Iron is essential to keeping hair growing healthy. Did you know that signs of an iron deficiency include thinning, brittle hair and nails? I could go on and on about the benefit of dark leafy greens, but you get the idea.
- 1/2-1 cup of Strawberries. These little red beauties can have as much or more vitamin C than oranges! Vitamin C-rich foods aids the body in absorbing that much needed iron we talked about above.
- 1 Banana. Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, manganese (for collagen production and antioxidant protection), and even vitamin C. They are an excellent source of potassium. A potassium deficiency can result in hair loss. Potassium helps keep sodium levels in check which, in excessive amounts, can accumulate around hair follicles, blocking vital nutrients necessary for growth from being absorbed.
- 1/2-1 cup Blueberries. Blueberries have some of the best antioxidant properties in any fruit. These small berries pack quite a punch of vitamin c and manganese (remember collagen for tight, but supple skin). Not to mention, they are a good source of dietary fiber–necessary to keep things moving regularly!
- 1/2 cup of Pineapple. Vitamin c and manganese are stealing the show, and pineapples are packed full of both! You will not only get immune support and antioxidant protection, but the B vitamins that pineapples contain help give you a boost of much needed energy to get through the day.
- 1-2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- 2 cups of Water. Now what’s a smoothie without a good base? Water is the best moisturizer. Period. It’s important to moisturize hair and skin from the inside out, so I start the day with at least 16 oz in my smoothie.
Optional: 1 Scoop of Protein Powder. Well, hair and nails are composed of protein, after all. While many of the smoothie ingredients contain some protein, adding a supplement will help ensure you receive the recommended serving per day (a whopping 56 gram per day for men and 46 grams per day for women!). This is especially important if you do not eat meat.
So there you have it. Again, this is just one of many recipes that I use–it’s good to rotate greens and experiment with different fruit. The main thing is to pack your smoothie full of hair, skin and nail-loving vitamins and nutrients. Feeding your body responsibly will yield a host of overall internal health benefits, which will no doubt radiate on the outside.
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