By Brittany Gatson
These days it seems and though any ailment, be it mental health or cancer, can somehow be traced back to what you eat. Is this true for dandruff as well? Though much evidence doesn’t exist by way of medical studies, some experts say that a connection between diet and dandruff might be emerging. It seems as though the same diet principles that are good for the rest of you may also make a difference to, if not completely cure, your dandruff.
When you’re making big changes in your diet, it might help to consult a nutrition-savvy doctor or registered dietitian to break down exactly what you need.
Let’s take a look at the diet, dandruff connection:
Most Americans eat too much sugar. Cutting back may reduce inflammation, minimizing the appearance of flakes. Sugars and simple carbs might promote more inflammation in our bodies, so it makes sense that eating a low-sugar, antioxidant-rich diet could help control dandruff flares.
There may also be a hormonal link.
Diets high in sugar, processed food, and ‘bad’ fats lead to insulin spikes, which in turn lead to stimulation of hormone surges that can trigger the output of oil. Overall restriction of fatty foods, fried foods, refined sugar, processed food, and gluten may lead to a reduction in flaking. Those changes haven’t been studied to see if they stop dandruff, but there’s no question that they’re good for you.
As Usual…Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is another good move. They’re loaded with nutrition and fiber.
The standard American diet is low in fiber and high in foods with a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. That promotes poor digestion, which can lead to many problems, including skin issues like dandruff. [To help,] eat lots of vegetables and some fruit, raw and cooked.
One theory links yeast in your diet to dandruff. Is it true?
Yeast overgrowth is a topic of hot debate and has been implicated in many conditions, including dandruff. Sweets and yeast-containing foods like beer, bread and wine encourage fungal growth.
Some experts recommend cutting back on (but not eliminating) bread and alcohol.
Eat more “Healthy Fats”
Essential fatty acids, including foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, have not been studied specifically for dandruff, but they help support healthy hair and skin in general.
They play a critical role in normal skin function and appearance [and] have anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon, tuna fish, peanut butter, flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, avocado, walnuts, and fortified eggs are great options.
Some people believe that adding coconut oil to your diet an improve dandruff, since it’s often applied to the scalp as a dandruff home remedy. But check with your doctor before taking coconut oil regularly, since it’s rich in saturated fat.
Choose Biotin and Zinc
Zinc, an essential mineral, and biotin, a B vitamin, may also improve dandruff.
Soaps and shampoos made for dandruff contain zinc pyrithone, and there have been reports of oral zinc supplementation helping to decrease flares. One thing that has been shown in research is that babies low in biotin tend to have more baby seborrheic dermatitis [dandruff or cradle cap].
Food sources of biotin include eggs, yogurt, tomatoes, and carrots. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, crab, and pumpkin seeds. Peanuts and dark chocolate are high in both nutrients.