5 unlikely foods you should be eating to stop your hair turning grey

Walnuts, prawns and cheese – here's a shopping list of foods to help ward off the white.

While some people embrace their grey hair - it’s entirely natural and sometimes, it can look really good - most people do everything they can to try and get rid of it and end up spending a lot of money on hair dye.

But could there be cheaper and easier ways to be banishing the dreaded grey? The answer, thankfully, is yes. Here are five foods that can ward off white hair.

[Read more: 9 tricks to stop thinning hair]

1. Walnuts

Stock image of woman holding walnut halves. Photo credit: Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock

“Eating walnuts, which are rich in copper, stops hair going grey,” says Marisa Peer, therapist and author of You Can Be Younger. It’s all about copper being crucial in melanin production, and melanin giving hair its pigment.

2. Prawns

Experts also say high levels of zinc are important in keeping colour in your hair, which means including zinc-rich foods like prawns, other shellfish, seeds and cheese.

3. More prawns

Prawns in a frying pan. Photo credit: WestEnd61/REX/Shutterstock

That miraculous Omega 3 isn’t just good for your heart, it’s important to keep your hair strong too. Good sources are fish (again), seeds (again), and green leafy veg (another health-food stalwart).

4. Chicken

Low levels of Vitamin B12 can lead to dry, thinning and prematurely greying hair (as well as a whole host of other health problems like fatigue and shortness of breath). Keep your levels – and hair colour – topped up by consuming lots of poultry, eggs, cheese, milk and (yes, once again) seafood.

[Read more: Why is my hair colour fading? 8 ways to stop the fade]

“We know that stress uses up vitamin B and some studies have shown that taking large doses of certain B vitamins (B6, B12, folic acid) have begun to reverse the process of greying in 3 months,” says trichologist Sara Allison. “The hairs revert to white when the vitamins are stopped.”

5. Broccoli

The need for folic acid is commonly linked to pregnant women, but it can also be linked to better hair health – lack of it can cause premature greying. Get yourself stocked up and eat lots of broccoli, asparagus, beans, peas and lentils.

And the don’ts…

Don’t eat refined sugar

It’s bad for pretty much everything else so it’s no real surprise eating refined sugar has an added ‘bonus’ of speeding the ageing process and making your hair greyer quicker too.

Don’t smoke

As above. Bad for everything else, also bad for the ageing process – research a couple of years ago in Chicago found a direct link between smoking and going grey before 30.

Don’t forget to get some sunshine

Hair follicles have Vitamin D in them, “therefore, it's no surprise if Vitamin D reverses grey hair,” says Sara. “Get some sunshine on bare skin for 20 mins per day to increase vitamin D.”

[Read more: 8 major causes of hair loss in women]

More from BT