Basics Print 10 Top Foods for Healthier Hair By Shereen Lehman, MS Updated August 21, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Basics Hot Topics Food Safety Beautiful, shiny hair requires more than a good shampoo and conditioner. It starts on the inside—with a healthy diet. Healthy hair relies on certain essential nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, biotin and vitamins A, C, E, and D. We know that sounds like a lot of vitamins and minerals, but if you currently eat a healthy, balanced diet, you should already be getting plenty of each. Just to be sure, read on for how certain healthy fats, lean proteins, and colorful fruits and vegetables can be especially beneficial in making your hair look as healthy as possible. 1 Fish Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Although salmon and tuna are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, they’re not high in total fats or calories. Add salmon or tuna to a fresh green salad or enjoy either as a sushi entree. Canned tuna and salmon can be kept on hand and used in a number of recipes, but herring, sardines, and trout are also good omega-3-rich choices. 2 Dark Leafy Greens Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A, iron, calcium and vitamin C—and low in calories. Use raw green as a base for your salads or sauté them with a little olive oil and garlic and serve as a healthy side to any dish. 3 Nuts Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are rich in plant proteins, biotin, minerals, and vitamin E. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat raw walnuts as a snack, top your salads with toasted pecans, or sprinkle some almonds on green beans or other cooked veggies. Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fats 4 Sweet Potatoes and Yams Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Sweet potatoes and yams are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Serve whipped sweet potatoes as a tasty side dish or bake sweet potatoes and top them with a small amount of molasses to add even more calcium. 5 Eggs Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Eggs are an excellent source of protein and biotin, and they contain vitamins A and E, plus some iron and calcium. Eggs produced by hens fed special diets, called "omega eggs" are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 6 Legumes Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Dry beans, lentils, and soy are all rich in protein, zinc, iron and biotin. Baked beans can be used as a topping for baked white or sweet potatoes. Or lentil soup pairs perfectly with a fresh green salad. How to Get More Legumes in Your Diet 7 Oysters Dapan Photography/Moment/Getty Images Oysters are extremely high in zinc, plus they’re a rich source of protein. Enjoy raw oysters on the half shell, prepared as Oysters Rockefeller, or make oyster stew for dinner. 8 Milk and Dairy Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Dairy products are high in protein, vitamin D, and calcium. Go with low or non-fat milk and cheese to cut back on some of the calories. Serve Greek yogurt with honey, berries, and nuts for a delicious breakfast or healthy dessert. Alternatively, milk made from almonds, soy or rice is also a good choice. 9 Red Bell Peppers Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Red bell peppers are high in vitamins A and C, plus they’re super low in calories. Top a salad with raw red pepper slices, roast them with an assortment of veggies or add them to a stir-fry. 10 Lean Beef Tim Hawley/Getty Images Beef is an excellent source of protein and zinc. It can be high in fats and calories, so choose a leaner cut like a filet mignon. Grass-fed beef has a better fatty acid profile. Add thin slices of steak to a salad or use lean cuts of beef in a stir-fry. Coconut Oil Benefits for Your Hair Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Looking to lose weight? Our nutrition guide can help you get on the right track. Sign up and get it free! Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28.