The holidays are a wonderful time of year where we spend time with friends and family, eat lots of decadent foods and sweets, and attend festive social events that allow us to let loose a bit. But if you read our last blog post, you learned that there are many unhealthy habits that we fall into during the holidays which can affect the health of our scalp, hair, and skin. One habit that can truly harm your hair is alcohol and, for many, the holidays mean a few more drinks than normal with all of the holiday parties and social events. As we mentioned last time, alcohol consumption slows down the amounts of zinc in the blood which may contribute to hair loss, a dry, flaky scalp, and brittle hair. Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for healthy hair and skin because it supports the production of new hair and skin cells, and helps maintain the oil-secreting glands on the scalp that give hair its shine and luster. There are many foods, however, that are rich in zinc, which can give your hair and scalp that boost of healthy nutrients it needs during the holidays. Here are some zinc-packed foods to add to your regular diet, and especially your holiday diet, to improve your scalp and hair.
Nuts and Seeds
There are many health benefits associated with eating nuts and seeds on a regular basis. Just one handful of nuts like cashews, pine nuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds gives you a healthy boost of vitamins, good fats, and minerals like zinc. These delicious snacks can improve your skin and hair while also supporting a healthy heart and brain.
While most fruits only provide a small amount of zinc, there are many others jam-packed with the mineral. Dates are the perfect snack food for getting a boost of zinc. Eating a cup of raspberries provides 0.5 milligrams of zinc, while one cup of blackberries offers 0.8 milligrams. Pomegranates are the richest source of zinc, followed closely by avocados (yes, yummy avocados are classified as a fruit).
Verdant, Leafy Veggies
Green vegetables are some of the most versatile superfoods that can be eaten raw or cooked. Leafy greens like spinach, radicchio, and Swiss chard all contain zinc that supports healthy, shiny hair. You might even make a sweet and savory salad with spinach, raspberries, avocados, and pine nuts topped with a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with cracked pepper to get your daily dose of zinc and healthy fats. Your hair and scalp will thank you!
Protein and Zinc-Rich Meats
For those who love eating a good cut of meat during the holidays, get your fill and feel good about it! Not only do meats like beef, lamb, pork, and chicken supply you with protein that supports hair growth and strong hair, these meats also give you the zinc your body needs for cell production to improve the texture and appearance of your hair. Trade in that Christmas ham for a lean lamb shoulder, beef short ribs, a pork shoulder, or baked chicken legs and thighs.
Cocoa and Chocolate
Our favorite holiday sweet treat—chocolate! Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that are nourishing for the skin and hair, while cocoa powder is an excellent source of zinc. Baking chocolate is also high in zinc, providing 85 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc in just one cup. So bake up!
Incorporate these and other zinc-packed foods into your holiday diet to help fight against the effects that unhealthy holiday foods and beverages have on your skin, scalp, and hair. If you’re looking for effective scalp care solutions and other hair treatment products, visit Pro|Gen Active Care today!