Introduction – Nuts For Your Hair: Eating Nuts For Hair Health
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios and walnuts as well as a wide range of other nuts provide fantastic hair, scalp and other beauty benefits.
Regularly eating nutrient rich nuts as part of your daily diet is very beneficial for your hair and scalp.
Nuts are bursting with unsaturated fatty acids as well as a range of other documented hair healthy nutrients. They offer lots of nutritional benefits packed into a small package.
Nuts are easy to eat, store and take along as a travel snack. Even better, they can easily be popped into a handbag, briefcase or backpack.
Although you will acquire benefits from consuming all types of nuts, some have more hair and scalp-healthy fats and nutrients than others.
Eating Nuts For Hair Health – How Do Nuts Help Your Hair?
What’s in nuts that’s hair and scalp healthy? Nuts contain high levels of hair healthy protein, along with selenium and omega-3 fatty acids which strengthen scalp health.
As an example, one cup of Brazil nuts contains as much as 19.05 g of protein and 2,549.6 mg of selenium according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Although it varies by nut, most nuts also contain at least some of the following hair-healthy substances:
Nuts are also an excellent source of l-arginine, an amino acid often used as a topical application to treat male pattern baldness as well as to encourage the growth of healthy hair.
L-arginine also helps improve the health of the artery walls, making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots which can block blood flow. Growing healthy hair and scalp requires a strong vibrant blood flow throughout the body and to the hair roots.
Nuts rich in L-arginine include hazelnuts, walnuts, cashes, almonds and pecans.
L-arginine is also found in wheat germ, oatmeal, peanuts (not technically a nut) buckwheat, wheat flour, sunflower seeds, granola, coconut, sesame seeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and chick peas.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Walnuts, Butternuts & Cashews
Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids which help with hair-healthy strands. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
The US FDA recommends up to 3 g of Omega-3s per day, which can be satisfied easily with nuts. Walnuts have more omega-3 than any other nut. A 1/4 cup of walnuts provides 2.5 g of the essential fatty acid.
Along with omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts contain ellagic acid. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has reported that ellagic acid contains antiviral and antibiotic properties and is thought to have anticancer properties as well.
Butternuts, known as white walnuts, are also high in Omega-3 fatty acid content. One ounce of dried butternuts contains 2.44 g. of Omega-3 fatty acid. A 1 oz serving of dry roasted cashews contain 0.221 g of Omega-3s.
Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and peanuts contain much less Omega-3 fatty acids. An approximate 1 oz serving of these various nuts contain less than 1 g of Omega-3.
Vitamin E – Eating Nuts For Hair Health
Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins which helps the overall health and appearance of hair. A deficiency in vitamin E may lead to brittle hair which easily breaks off or falls out.
Including the proper levels of vitamin E in your daily diet ensures that the scalp and hair roots roots receive a rich supply of this hair-healthy vitamin. When the roots and scalp are nourished with vitamin E the hair may grow to its maximum growth potential.
Some nuts such as almonds and pine nuts are a great source of vitamin E. Almonds provide 26.2mg (175% DV) of vitamin E in a 100g serving, 37.5mg (250% DV) per cup, and 0.3mg (2% DV) of vitamin E in an almond. Pine nuts provide 9.3mg (62 % DV) of vitamin-E in a 100g serving, 12.6mg (84% DV) per cup, and 0.2mg (1% DV) in 10 nuts.
Although not a nut, sunflower seeds provide 36.6mg (222% DV) of vitamin E in a 100g serving, or 36.5mg (310% DV) per cup.
Nuts For Your Hair: Eating Nuts For Hair Health
Even though nuts are a great hair-healthy option, they do contain a lot of fat. Yes, it’s healthy fat, but like other fats, they can be high in calories.
Nuts work fabulously as a substitute for eating unhealthy saturated fats. However, be sure to avoid overeating these hair-healthy options. Nuts should always be used in moderation and as a substitute for meats, eggs and dairy products.
Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts is good for your overall health. It’s also great for your hair.
The Kind Of Nuts You Eat
Most nuts appear to be healthy, though some are much more so than others. Walnuts are generally considered by many to be one of the best and healthiest of nuts for the scalp and hair.
Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans are other nuts which appear to be hair-healthy. Even peanuts, technically classified as a legume instead of a nut, seem to be relatively healthy. Of course nuts covered in sugar, salt, chocolate or related toppings lose their hair-healthy benefits.
Nutrition Information On Common Types of Nuts
Listed below is detailed nutrition information on the most common types of nuts.
All calorie and fat content measurements are for 1 ounce, 2 tablespoons, or 28.4 grams (g), of unsalted nuts.
|Nut||Calories||Total Fat – (saturated/unsaturated fat)*|
|Almonds, raw||163||14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)|
|Almonds, dry roasted||169||15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)|
|Brazil nuts, raw||186||19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)|
|Brazil nuts,dry roast||163||13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)|
|Chestnuts, roasted||69||0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)|
|Hazelnuts, raw||178||17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)|
|Hazelnuts, dry roast||183||17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)|
|Macadamia nuts, raw||204||21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)|
|Macadamia nuts, dry, roast||204||21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)|
|Peanuts, dry, roasted||166||14 g (2 g/11.4 g)|
|Pecans, dry, roasted||201||21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)|
|Pistachios, dry roast||161||12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5 g)|
|Walnuts, halved||185||18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)|
*The saturated and unsaturated fat contents in each nut may not add up to the total fat content because fat values may also include other non fatty acid materials such as sugars or phosphates.
Nut Oils – Nuts For Your Hair: Eating Nuts For Hair Health
Nut oils are also a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Walnut oil is the highest in omega-3s. Nut oils contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats.
Utilize nut oils drizzled over salads or in some recipes. Some of the nut oils respond differently to heat than do vegetable oils. Just like with nuts, use nut oil in moderation, as the oils are high in fat and calories.