The Great-Hair Diet: Best Foods to Eat for Strong, Healthy Hair

As a new mom, I didn’t really have time to spare sourcing meals that represented every color of the rainbow. I barely had time to shower — I certainly wasn’t going to forage in a mushroom glen — so I decided to sign up for a meal-delivery service. One in particular, Sakara, delivers plant-based, high-protein, high-ORAC meals directly to your door. I would also make salmon as much as humanly possible for dinner, no matter how sick of it I got. And I would dump oregano on everything that wasn’t particularly antioxidant-friendly as a precautionary measure. Supermodels and other beautiful civilians take biotin supplements and report excellent hair as a result, but I was breastfeeding and cautious of pills. Instead, I would eat seeds and mushrooms I would forage from a glen called Whole Foods. I would also invest in styling lessons, for flourish. Soon my hair would resemble that of Gisele Bündchen, who has had two children and yet still boasts cartoonishly beautiful hair, probably because she eats only leaves and nuts. (I ate like Gisele and Tom Brady for four full days in 2016 and felt ravenously hungry, if marginally more like a human trophy, because of it.)

Week 1

Sakara meals come twice a week in a very nice black cooler bag that I wanted to save for a fun alfresco picnic, even though I have never gone on a picnic in my entire life. After I had accumulated three cooler bags, I started throwing them out. It is kind of against the ethos of the thing, but whatever. I know myself. I don’t like eating outside.

For breakfast, you either had some kind of parfait of avocado mixed with seeds, or granola made out of seeds, or some very seed-based thing that resembled a muffin. Muffins would be studded with pumpkin seeds instead of sugar. Breads would be so laden with chia that they were actually very heavy when I cut into them. If a “bread” is actually a mixture of seeds, is it really a bread? This is a philosophical question that I would like you to consider for the remainder of this story.

In the end, however, chia seeds are extremely high ORAC-value foods, and muffins in general are not, so I dealt with it. After all, I only had approximately 30 seconds to eat anything at all before the baby decided she needed a change of scenery, and I wasn’t going to waste my critical faculty parsing how it tasted. (It tasted like seeds.) After a couple of muffins, I even started to prefer the seed-based baked goods. They were much less labor-intensive than putting milk into the prepackaged granola.

The lunches were usually salads or bowls full of vegetables with a dressing-like sauce on them. These were full of high-ORAC green leafy vegetables. Eating them also kind of kept me awake, although I can’t really say why. Perhaps it was the bitter taste of all that uncooked spinach.

For dinners, I made salmon with a mustard glaze, salmon with four spices, and just regular old salmon. I ate chicken with lots of parsley on it — a high ORAC-value herb — and I had sides of sweet potato constantly (ORAC value: 2,115 per 100-gram serving, of which I ate thousands). By the end of the week, I was feeling pretty good, although I still hadn’t brushed my hair and thus could not see whether my diet was making any visible difference.

Week 2

My mother came to my apartment to visit the baby. I decided, although she had not asked me, to get even more prepared meals so that she too could live the Sakara life. Deranged with exhaustion, I was an evangelist by this point. Organic delivery food had become my religion.

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