Saturday, February 16, 2013

You know all those things you put in your hair? Here's why you should eat them too!

Hi beauties,

You know I'm not recommending drizzling your favorite store-bought conditioner over a salad! Why not? Because that's crazy, that's why not.

But there are certain staples I use in my hair, like olive oil for example, that could do some good in my tummy as well. Some naturals even put bananas and avocados in their hair as a deep conditioner. I hear the clean-up is messy and we all know...

Sweet Brown said it, so it's true!
If banana/avocado deep conditioner clean ups don't scare you, (and, more importantly, if they work for you), by all means do not let me discourage you. But just know there are also benefits to eating those and other things we put in our hair too:

I'm going to be completely honest and say that bananas are my second-most hated fruit. (Apples are #1, in case you were wondering.) Anyway, everyone knows that bananas are high in potassium. But did you know that a potassium deficiency can actually cause your hair to fall out?? EEK! For those of you who also hate bananas, there are a ton of other potassium-rich foods. The USDA lists tomato paste, orange juice, beet greens, white beans, and potatoes as good dietary sources of potassium, and hey, they have more potassium than bananas! In case you were wondering, when used topically, bananas moisturize the hair, improve shine, and help prevent and control dandruff.

When used on hair, avocados make your hair soft and shiny, and it's excellent for hydrating the hair. Avocados contain B vitamins (thiamine, biotin, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin), beta-carotene, copper, vitamin E, vitamin C, and healthy fats, that also do your hair some good when eaten. All of these nutrients are essential for hair growth, so get to snacking! Added bonus: certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. A study found that when participants ate salad that had avocados, they absorbed FIVE TIMES the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene) than those who didn't eat the avocados.

Step 1: add a sprinkle of salt. Step 2: nosh.
Olive Oil
At this point, I'm sure you've heard allll about the benefits of olive oil, so I won't bore you. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, the number one cause of death. I put this stuff in my hair constantly, but cooking with it more can do me some good!

Aloe Vera Juice
It's very common for naturals, myself included, to add a bit of aloe vera juice or gel to water as a daily spritz. But it's also really good for you when ingested. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I'm sipping aloe vera juice diluted in water. I'm not going to lie--it's not the best tasting thing in the world. So why am I torturing myself? Aloe vera juice contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, folic acid (B9) and niacin (B3). I know what you're thinking-- sounds a lot like the nutrients you can get from eating avocados, so why bother? The thing is, aloe vera juice also has a number of awesome health benefits, including: detox, healthy digestion, natural immune support, and helps regulate weight and energy levels. In a nutshell, it's really awesome for your health!

This is the brand I drink and use in my hair.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Every now and then (maybe once a month?), I do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse in my hair. I use about two thirds water and one  third ACV. I just dump it on my hair after I wash and condition and it adds shine and makes my hair feel strong. I've actually used the refined and raw versions of ACV for my hair and haven't really noticed a difference between the two. But for ingesting, make sure you buy the raw, unfiltered, unrefined, undiluted kind with the "mother." I just pour about a tablespoon or two (I never measure) into a bottle of water and drink. I actually kind of like the taste. It's obviously vinegar-y, but it's also sweet. I know I said I hate apples earlier, but this doesn't count.

This is the brand I drink.
Anyway, apple cider vinegar is great for detoxing as it helps remove toxins from your body more quickly, and also helps the body break down fats so you can use them rather than store them. It also makes your skin look great!

You think I have this glow just 'cause?
Last, but certainly not least, is WATER! Water is literally the best moisturizer for your hair AND it's free! I spray my hair with water day and night, especially in the winter months when my hair can feel more dry. We all know drinking water is good for us, but here's why: drinking water helps keep your body hydrated--that is your hair and skin too. This means that drinking lots of water makes your hair naturally soft. It also helps you maintain a beautiful glow because it helps clear and tone your skin.

What are you going to start eating/drinking for a healthier body and hair? Which foods will you eat or drink more of now that you've read this?

1 comment: