Think you need pricey pills, supplements or lotions to prevent thinning hair or baldness? Think again! Research shows that the 20 foods on this list can all help to stop hair loss, and even reverse it, owing to the abundance of one or more of these four follicle-boosting nutrients: iron, zinc, lysine and dietary antioxidants.
As well as being the world’s most common nutritional deficiency, a lack of iron is a well-known cause of hair loss. What may be less well-known is the fact that canned clams are among the richest food sources of iron.
Vegetarians and vegans looking to get more hair-saving iron and zinc into their diets can snack on pumpkin seeds, which contain around 4.2 mg of iron and 2.9 mg of zinc per 28-gram (one-ounce) serving.
Dried and salted cod
Dried and salted cod leads the way when it comes to lysine content, with 85 g (three ounces) of it containing about 5 g of the hair-helping nutrient. It also contains a solid dose of iron and zinc.
This exotic edible is absolutely jammed with antioxidants: 261.5 millimoles per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving when dried. Oxidative stress has been linked to hair loss, and because antioxidants prevent this type of stress these compounds are likewise seen as helping to keep your hair on your head.
Another all-round hair-booster, walnuts are a solid source of iron and zinc, and are near the top of the antioxidant chart with 21.9 mmol per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving.
Baked beans may be good for your heart, as the rhyme says, but they’re also good for preventing hair loss thanks to nearly 4 mg of iron and 2.2 mg of zinc per 85-gram (three-ounce) serving.
Another vegetarian and vegan option for boosting iron intake, cooked spinach contains about 3 mg of the nutrient per 85-gram (three-ounce) serving.
Another iron standby for vegetarians, lentils contain about 6 mg per 85-gram (three-ounce) serving, as well as notable amounts of zinc, lysine and antioxidants.
Since mint is rich in antioxidants—116.4 mmol per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving—muddling the herb together with some white rum, soda water, fresh lime juice and sugar can actually be a recipe for hair regrowth.
Vegans, meanwhile, can turn to soybeans for a lysine boost, as they contain 0.8 grams per 85-gram (three-ounce) serving—the highest amount among non-meat options. Iron and zinc are also abundant in soybean-based foods like tofu.