Foods That Cause And Cure Dandruff

A spoonful of sugar being added to a cupThese days it seems as 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:

The Sugar – Dandruff Connection

Most Americans eat too much sugar. We eat, we drink it, it’s everywhere. 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.

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Yeast Connection?

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.


Here’s what we know can help stop the flakes from coming back:

From A to Zinc: Clinical trials have shown zinc supplementation to be effective at controlling sebum production. Zinc requires vitamin B6 for proper absorption in the intestines, and is found in a variety of food like oysters, red meat, poultry, legumes, nuts, and grains.

Go All In For Allicin: Allicin is a potent health promoting compound found in garlic, onions and scallions, when these items are crushed or chopped. It has been shown to promote heart and cardiovascular health, prevent and treat cancer, and reduce high blood pressure, but it also helpful for people with dandruff due to its anti-fungal properties.

Step Up Your B Vitamins: If you are struggling with dandruff, eat plenty of foods rich in B vitamins. Evidence shows that B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 (riboflavin), can help reduce dandruff. It has been suggested that inefficient metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids could be one of the underlying causes of dandruff, and B-complex vitamins are known to play a crucial role in metabolic processes. Vitamin B6 can be found in a variety of foods like beans, meat, poultry, fish, and some fruits & vegetables.

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.