I love food. There, I said it! I also love hair. Being on my natural hair journey has meant constant learning. We all know we are what we eat, but did you ever stop to consider your hair is also what you eat? What we put into our bodies is just as important, if not more, than the products we’re putting on our hair. Here is some helpful information, on three types of food, as well as a few of my favorite recipes, to keep your body and hair on a healthy track.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the fats our bodies can’t make. (Sure, we get all other kinds of fat, but can’t make the good stuff.) Anyway, because our bodies don’t make this fat, we can only get it through our diet. One place omega-3s are found are in cells that help hydrate our hair and scalp. That means shinier, healthier hair. Who doesn’t want that? Oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel or sardines are a great source of omega-3s. You can also find them in avocados, or even walnuts. Here is one of my favorite ways to eat salmon.
Beetroot Cured Salmon
- Salmon fillet 300 grams
- 1/4 cup of salt (we don’t like ours too salty, so we add
- 2 Peeled and grated beetroots
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
Place your fillet in a container or pan. Cover the salmon completely in your beetroot, salt and sugar mix. Let it sit for at least 2 days. Drain any excess water as the salmon is curing. The salt will make the salmon very firm. That is one way to know it’s ready. Remove salmon from the container and rinse it off with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels and it’s ready to eat. You should have a beautiful purple and pink salmon ready to be devoured. Your stomach will be happy and so will your hair! Here was our final result.
Hair is made up of protein, so naturally getting enough protein is going to be important to the health of your hair. In fact, not getting enough protein could lead to dry and brittle hair. Even hair loss could be a symptom of very low protein intake. For strong, healthy hair, make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein. From chicken to fish, to dairy products and nuts, there are so many ways to incorporate protein into your diet. You can even do your own protein treatments with eggs or yogurt. I love meat, I do, but one of my favorite sources of protein is through legumes. Here is one of my most favorite dishes in the world.
- 350 grams of dry chick peas
- juice of one lemon
- 1 ½ cups of cilantro
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 medium deseeded chili pepper
- 3 tablespoons of toasted and ground cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup of za’atar (optional)
- oil for shallow frying (we like coconut oil)
Soak your peas for at least 24 hours. Once soaked, drain them and put them in a food processor with your cilantro, garlic, lemon, chili pepper and herbs. Blend until it turns into small grains. You DON’T want paste. There should be a nice grainy texture. Now, you simply form balls, or discs and fry them for a couple of minutes on each side. They’re ready when they are golden brown. We fill our pitas with sautéed eggplant, yogurt sauce and pickled purple cabbage, but they’re also great on their own. Bon appetit!
Good ol’ vitamin A is needed to create sebum. What is sebum you ask? Sebum is an oily substance created by glands that give our scalp, hair and skin a natural lubricant. It is important for moisture retention. You can experience a dry and itchy scalp if no sebum is present. If you massage your scalp for only a few seconds, you should be able to feel an oily substance on your fingertips, that’s sebum. Foods high in beta-carotene (which makes vitamin A) are an important part of our diet. Yellow and orange vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, are just a few great sources of vitamin A. Just in time for fall, here is a recipe to warm your belly and moisturize your hair.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Cream and Mushroom Soup
- 1 medium size pumpkin (any pumpkin, or squash, will do)
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of mushrooms of your choice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A handful of chopped parsley
Cut the top off your pumpkin, and clean out the inside. In a pot, put your stock and heavy cream. Add your chopped mushrooms, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Fill your pumpkin with the soup mixture and let cook in the oven for an hour or until your pumpkin is tender. Let it sit for a few minutes and then scoop out the pumpkin and soup, put it in a bowl and enjoy.