If you are looking for thick, shiny, vibrant, healthy hair and a healthy scalp, then making sure you get the nutrients you need every day is going to provide the foundation and maintenance for this.
Hair and the scalp need vitamins, minerals, fats and antioxidants working together in synergy for optimum health. Juicing for hair health and juicing for scalp health can help provide this nutritional foundation.
Here we will look at some important nutrients and their food sources so that we can make sure that our hair and scalp health become a part of our juicing routine.
It's also important to note that most of the nutrition required for healthy, shiny hair and a well-lubricated scalp overlap strongly with the nutrition required for healthy skin and nails too. So drinking juice for healthy hair and scalp will be of benefit to the skin and nails and a lot more. Enjoy!
Click here to jump straight to the juice recipes.
This vitamin is super important to overall hair health. All cells in the body need vitamin A for growth, whether it be skin, nails or hair. Since hair is the tissue in the human body that grows the fastest, it's vital that we meet (at minimum) the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A to keep our hair growing.
Equally as important, vitamin A is essential for skin glands to create sebum, the oily substance that moisturizes the scalp and maintains healthy hair.
Foods to juice for Vitamin A. Generally all orange-colored fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamin A. Well technically they are a source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that provides the orange hue and is converted in the body to vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, cantaloupe melon, red or orange bell peppers, watermelon and apricots are excellent choices for your juices for hair health.
Note that dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, bok choy and Swiss chard are great sources of beta-carotene also.
So how come these leafy greens are not orange-hued if they are high in beta-carotene? A good question. It's simply because the extremely high chlorophyll content in these leafy greens outweighs the amount of beta-carotene. Chlorophyll provides the green hue in plants.
This is also the reason that tree leaves in autumn start turning an orange color. Once the leaves begin to die, they no longer make chlorophyll via photosynthesis and the beta-carotene orange hues start to come through instead. Interesting stuff.
Famous for boosting the immune system and helping protect us from colds, vitamin C is also crucial for the health of skin, nails and hair.
First and foremost, this vitamin is an essential component of collagen, the structural glue that holds skin, nails and hair cells together.
Vitamin C deficiency is not common these days, but it does lead to scurvy, a disease in which the skin starts to break down and basically fall apart. The same applies to hair and nails. Dry and splitting hair is a symptom of vitamin C deficiency.
Hair follicles, just like the skin, are subject to aging. Premature hair loss, premature loss of thickness and premature graying are shown to be caused by oxidative stress. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that combats oxidative stress and can therefore be an integral part of keeping our hair younger for longer.
Another important role of Vitamin C in hair health is iron absorption. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, a nutrient essential for hair growth.
Foods to Juice for Vitamin C. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C to varying degrees. However, those highest in this nutrient are citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, cantaloupe melon, mango, pineapple, berries, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, bok choy, turnip greens), sweet potatoes, tomatoes and winter squash.
Vitamin E has long been known for its powerful antioxidant properties that protect cells from free radical damage. This has made vitamin E a staple ingredient in many skin creams and dermatological topical treatments since the 1950s.
However, it has become popular more recently as a treatment for damaged, frizzy and unmanageable hair. Let's look more closely into vitamin E's hair and scalp health benefits.
There is some evidence that vitamin E may help with scalp health through its ability to improve blood flow throughout the body. A study in 1999 found that high doses of vitamin E improved blood flow into the eyes of participants with type 1 diabetes.
Another study discovered that improved blood supply increased hair follicle quality and size and promoted hair growth in mice. There are no direct studies on human subjects at this point.
Evidence does point however to improved blood circulation helping deliver more nutrients to cells around the body, including the scalp and hair. It makes sense.
Vitamin E may also help prevent hair loss. A small-scale study in 2010 discovered that vitamin E supplementation improves hair growth in those with hair loss. It is believed that the antioxidant qualities of this vitamin reduce oxidative damage to the cells of the scalp and oxidative stress is linked to hair loss.
Foods to Juice for Vitamin E. Red bell pepper, mango, turnip greens, spinach, Swiss chard, butternut squash, beet greens and kiwifruit.
This B vitamin contributes to hair flexibility, hair strength and luster. B5 also helps prevent hair loss and retains melanin which helps prevent hair from turning grey.
Foods to juice for Vitamin B5. Sweet potatoes and cauliflower. 1 cup of cauliflower provides 0.7 mg of vitamin B5 (7% of the recommended daily allowance) and 1 cup of sweet potato cubes provides 1.1 mg (11% of the recommended daily allowance).
Note that while cauliflower and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin B5, sunflower seeds are an excellent source. 3 oz of sunflower seeds provide 6 mg of vitamin B5 - 60% of the recommended daily allowance. Throw them in a smoothie or add them to salads to get a high dose of this vitamin.
Biotin is a nutrient that belongs to the B-vitamin complex family and is sometimes referred to as vitamin H. There have been several studies that have linked biotin supplementation helps improve hair growth in women with thinning hair.
A study in 2012 and a study in 2015 gave women MPS (oral marine protein supplement) that contained biotin or a placebo. In both studies, a noticeable increase in hair growth was perceived.
Researchers are not completely sure why biotin shows improvement in hair growth other than it improves the keratin structure in the body. Keratin is a simple protein that composes nails, hair and skin.
Foods to Juice for Biotin. Cauliflower, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, strawberries and spinach.
Above we talked about the importance of vitamin E as an antioxidant and protecting scalp cells. As with most things in nutrition within the body, synergy is more important than any singular nutrient. They work together.
This is the case for selenium, when combined with Vitamin E the antioxidant effects are greatly increased, especially in the case of reducing peroxide concentration within cells.
In addition to its antioxidant abilities, selenium is essential to iodine metabolism and iodine is essential to the proper function of the thyroid gland.
Selenium deficiency leads to poor hair growth and more concerning is a risk factor for heart disease and cancer.
Foods to Juice for Selenium. Juicing is not actually the best way to get enough selenium into our diets. Leafy greens will provide a little selenium and dark leafy greens should be the foundation of a juicing program, but adding just a few brazil nuts a day is the way to go. Just a handful of these nuts provide almost 10,000% of the recommended daily dose of selenium. Enjoy!
Calcium has many essential roles in the body (including bone health and proper muscle function) and that includes stimulating cell mediators that act upon cell-membrane phospholipids within hair-follicle cells.
Since this important mineral is one that many Americans fail to get enough of each day, we should make sure we are at least meeting the daily recommended allowance of 100-200 mg.
Foods to Juice for Calcium. Some dark leafy greens are a good source of calcium: spinach, kale and collard greens. Note though that spinach is also high in oxalates, a compound that inhibits calcium absorption into the body.
Collard greens on the other hand a very low in oxalates and are therefore a much better choice. Still, one cup of collard greens only gets you about 5% of the RDI.
To really increase your intake of calcium, add yogurt and poppy seeds to your diet, both are great sources of calcium
If you look through the recommended food sources for each of the nutrients above, you will find some foods that show up often: sweet potatoes, butternut squash and red bell pepper. While these are not the most commonly juiced vegetables, they are excellent options for hair and scalp health and thus will be the foundation of many of the juice recipes here.
This juice is going to provide a mega-dose of carotenoid antioxidants, including the hair healthy beta-carotene.
Carotenoids are a family of antioxidants of which beta-carotene is just one and they provide a plethora of health benefits. You can learn more about these amazing antioxidants at LiveScience, but just now that you are get a wide variety of them and a large quantity of them with a mix of sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots.
This hair healthy juice recipe brings together one of each of the best food sources for each of the nutrients listed above. Sweet potato for Vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin B5, biotin and vitamin C; Swiss chard for more Vitamin A and Vitamin C and also vitamin E, a little selenium & calcium; red bell pepper for vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Removing unwanted toxic material from our cells is equally as important to providing the nutrition we need for overall health and wellness. This applies to healthy hair and scalp too.
This recipe provides nutrition for healthy hair, scalp, skin and nails while also providing the powerful detoxification abilities of cruciferous vegetables - in this case, cauliflower and broccoli.
Here we are taking the classic V8 juice and adjusting it a little for greater hair and scalp support. Although it must be noted that the original ingredients of the V8 are no slouch either!
Here we enjoy the hair and scalp health benefits solely from the berry kingdom. Blueberries provide us with both hair-healthy vitamins A and E. Blackberries provide some selenium, calcium, plus vitamins A, C & E. Strawberries provide biotin. Raspberries are a decent source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).