Use the following checklist of foods and hair dietary habits to assess how nourishing your daily hair diet is for your skin, hair, and nails.
• Two to three servings of protein foods, such as fish, poultry, lean meat, dried beans, and dried peas.
• One tablespoon of polyunsaturated oil, such as safflower, sunflower, corn, or soy.
• Six or more servings of whole grain breads, cereals, and grains.
• Six to eight glasses of water or other non-diuretic fluids, such as juices, herbal tea, or roasted grain beverages.
• Adequate calorie intake to maintain ideal body weight (1,600 to 2,100 calories for an adult woman; at least 1,200 calories for a woman on a hair diet; 2,300 to 3,100 calories for a man; at least 1,500 calories for a man on a*hair diet.)
• One to two servings of vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, apricots, cantaloupe melon, spinach, or romaine lettuce.
• A vitamin E source, such as one table-spoon cold pressed oil, wheat germ, or dark green leafy vegetables.
• One to two servings of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, cabbage, potatoes, green pepper, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, broccoli, or dark green leafy vegetables.
• Several servings of vitamin B-rich foods, such as whole grain breads and cereals, dried beans and peas, lean meat, nonfat milk, tuna, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, or wheat germ.
• One to two servings of folic acid-rich foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, dried beans and peas, asparagus, or broccoli.
• Weekly exposure to sunlight or a daily serving of vitamin D fortified milk or supplement.
• Two or more servings of iron-rich foods, such as lean meat, dark turkey, dried beans and peas, raisins, dried prunes, or potatoes.
• Two to four servings of low-fat or nonfat milk or milk products, such as low-fat or nonfat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, part skimmed milk cheeses, yoghurt, or other calcium-rich sources, such as dark green leafy vegetables, or calcium supplements.
• Two or more servings of zinc-rich foods, such as lean meat, seafood, poultry, or whole grain breads and cereals.
• Low sodium intake. Limit processed and canned foods, condiments, pickles, canned soups, baking mixes, and salt.
• Limit intake of alcohol, coffee, black tea, and caffeine-containing soft drinks.
• Limit sugar intake.