We're "Nuts" For Healthy Hair, Here's the Best For You.

Nuts are a perfect addition to your diet for healthy hair thanks to the large amounts of protein they contain that your body uses to produce and grow hair, and the antioxidants that protect your scalp and hair follicles. Some nuts also contain contain iron and zinc which can help with hair loss and growth.

And there’s more that these favorite snack foods can do, it all depends on the variety, how much you consume, and what your hair needs are.

Fun fact: most of the “nuts” we eat aren’t actually nuts, they’re seeds of different fruits or legumes.

Different nuts have different nutritional content, so here are the key stats of 6 popular snacking nuts*. 

  Almond Brazil Cashew Pecan Pistachio Walnut
Calories (g) 579 659 553 691 560 654
Protein (g) 21.2 14.32 18.2 9.17 20.2 15.2
Total Fat (g) 49.9 67.1 43.8 72 45.3 65.2
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (g) 0.006 0.02 0.062 0.986 .254 9.079
Fiber (g) 12.5 7.5 3.3 9.6 10.6 6.7
Zinc (mg) 3.12 4.06 5.78 4.53 2.2 3.09
Folate (ug) 44 22 25 22 51 98
Vitamin E (mg) 25.6 5.65 0.9 1.4 2.86 0.7
Iron (mg) 3.71 2.43 6.68 2.53 3.92 2.91
Vitamin A (ug) 0 0 0 3 26 1

All of these popular nuts are a good source of protein, a critical nutrient that your body needs to grow hair since your hair strands are mostly made up of a protein called keratin.

Also, all of the nuts are also a great source of healthy fats, which your body uses to produce a natural lubricant called sebum.  Sebum is the oil that moisturizes and protects your hair.

When it comes to foods for shiny hair, walnuts stand out from the pack with their high Omega-3 content, which also makes them a great choice to protect against female pattern hair loss (additional reading).

If you're looking for fiber content, almonds take the top spot.  While fiber doesn’t directly impact your hair, it helps you feel full, which quashes your cravings that cause you to eat excess sugar which is bad for your hair.

For the best dose of iron and zinc, cashews are king (although the other nuts are also good sources). Without iron, you’re at risk of hair loss because your blood needs iron to carry oxygen to your hair follicles for a regular hair growth cycle.

Zinc is also crucial for hair growth as it helps your cells proliferate and grow, like helping keratinocytes multiply and combine into long and strong hair strands.

Folate (folic acid) is another important mineral for hair growth that you’ll find in nuts, especially in walnuts. Folate is the food form of vitamin B9 and plays a key role in DNA synthesis, plus as a bonus it may help fight some types of cancer and helps keep your skin (including your scalp) firm.

Then, when your hair has grown long, the antioxidants Vitamin A and Vitamin E in nuts help protect your hair from the damaging effects of the environment like drying and burning UV rays, pollution, and oxidative damage.

Now that you know how these 6 popular nuts help grow and protect your hair, grab a handful for a snack, enjoy some with your salad, or blend them up with other hair superfoods in a smoothie. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the TELETIMES blog for more just like it!

*Statistics are from the USDA, NIH, and Wikipedia on 4/19/2024

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