Happy fall, beauty! I’ve always been a big fan of the fall season. Something about leaves changing color, pumpkin and apple scents, and sweater weather just makes my heart happy. Another thing I think a lot of us love is the tasty treats this time of year!
But did you know some fall favorites are also good for your hair? Fall brings an array of nutrient-rich food that we often only get to enjoy late in the year. Let’s take a look at some top foods you can add into your diet to get the fall festivities started!
What Nutrients, Minerals, and Vitamins Are Good for Hair?
When it comes to healthy hair, we can’t talk about nutrition enough! What we eat directly influences the growth, texture, and strength of our hair. Hair follicles require a steady supply of nutrients, and a deficiency can lead to hair thinning or even hair loss. That’s why a well-balanced diet is so important in your hair growth journey.
Key Nutrients for Healthy Hair
- Minerals: Minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc add to your luscious locks. Calcium is essential for healthy hair follicles, iron carries oxygen to hair follicles, magnesium supports overall scalp health, and zinc aids in hair tissue growth and repair. Foods like dairy, leafy greens, nuts, red meat, and seeds can help fulfill your mineral needs.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats support scalp health and hair growth. Plus, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, facilitate blood circulation to the hair and scalp, and overall help nourish hair follicles. Include chia seeds, fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts in your diet to boost your omega-3 intake.
- Protein: Fun fact — hair is primarily made of a protein called keratin. You may have heard of keratin, since it’s the main structure of hair, nails, and the outer layer of skin. Keratin is created from a complex process involving various amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. A diet rich in protein contributes to strong and healthy hair. Include sources like dairy, eggs, fish, lean meats, and plant-based options like legumes and nuts in your meals.
- Vitamins: Various vitamins — like vitamins A, B, C, D, and E — play an important part in healthy hair. Vitamins promote cell growth, sebum (oil) production, and antioxidant protection. Eat more dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to meet your daily vitamin requirements.
9 Mouth-Watering Fall Foods for Hair Growth
“An apple a day” keeps the hair loss away! Vitamin A, found abundantly in apples, is essential for cell growth, including the cells in hair follicles. Apples are also rich in vitamin C, which supports collagen production, a protein vital for hair structure. And these two vitamins work together for sebum production, which is basically your hair’s natural conditioner for a nourished scalp.
Check out this recipe from Ina Garten for delicious Homemade Applesauce
- Brussel sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a popular Thanksgiving side, but you could benefit from them all season long. They are packed with vitamins A and C, which boost production of sebum for a healthy scalp. Plus, these veggies are iron-rich. As I highlighted earlier, iron promotes proper blood circulation to the hair follicles for hair growth. Iron deficiency, common in many hair loss cases, can be reversed by adding iron-rich foods like brussel sprouts into your diet.
Check out this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats for a fall-inspired Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad!
Cranberries are a fall staple and a great addition to your healthy hair goals! Being high in antioxidants, cranberries help protect hair follicles from free radicals that can weaken hair. Antioxidants play a vital role in hair health by neutralizing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Ultimately, this leads to stronger and more resilient hair.
Check out this recipe from Taste of Home for an antioxidant-rich Festive Cranberry Fruit Salad!
There’s “so much room” for mushrooms in your nutrition plan! Mushrooms contain selenium, an important mineral to support a healthy scalp and promote hair health. Selenium helps regulate the production of sebum and prevent scalp infections or an itchy, inflamed scalp. This mineral offers an ideal environment for hair growth.
Check out this recipe from the Oregonian for a decadent Mushroom Chia Risotto!
Pomegranates are only in season from October to January, so once fall hits, you must act quickly to enjoy this fruit! Packed with antioxidants and vitamins A and C, pomegranates prevent damage to hair follicles and promote improved hair quality. Antioxidants protect hair from oxidative stress, which can weaken hair. Meanwhile, vitamins A and C support a healthy scalp and hair for stronger, shinier hair.
Check out this recipe from How Sweet Eats for a sweet and savory Pomegranate Jeweled Cheeseball!
What’s fall without pumpkins? Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice drinks, and pumpkin seeds are just a few of many fall favorites. On the plus side, pumpkins also support healthy hair! Pumpkins are rich in vitamins A and C, which help out a dry, flaky scalp. Vitamin A especially promotes sebum production, keeping the scalp moisturized and providing the best conditions for hair growth. Vitamin C aids in collagen production, essential for hair structure and strength.
Check out this recipe from Shinta Simon for a wholesome Roasted Pumpkin Soup!
- Sweet potatoes
Nothing sounds more hearty this time of year than sweet potatoes! What you may not know is sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene — that’s what gives sweet potatoes their vibrant orange color. Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which in turn supports healthy scalp cells and hair growth. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes and fluids in hair cells.
Check out this recipe from Tyler Florence for flavor-packed Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon!
Walnuts are a key ingredient for fun fall recipes, but also offer major benefits for your hair. Walnuts are rich in biotin and omega-3 fatty acids. Biotin, a B-vitamin, is essential for hair growth, texture, and strength, while omega-3 fatty acids nourish hair follicles. These two nutrients together minimize hair breakage and enhance the natural shine of your hair.
Check out this recipe from Culinary Ginger for heavenly Pumpkin Walnut Muffins!
- Winter squash
The last standout fall food is winter squash. Winter squash are a great source of vitamins A and C, key nutrients for a healthy scalp and hair growth. Vitamin A aids in the production of sebum, keeping the scalp moisturized to set the stage for healthy hair growth. Vitamin C boosts collagen production to strengthen hair and lessen hair breakage.
Check out this recipe from the Clean Eating Couple for tasty Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash!
Eating nutrient-rich food nourishes your hair from the inside out and is one of the best ways to show love to your locks. Flavorful foods like apples, cranberries, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes can help you on your healthy hair journey while getting you in the autumn spirit.
Hope you savor these yummy foods and have a fabulous fall season!