Whatever the season might be, dandruff seems like an evergreen problem for some. Most of us depend on anti-dandruff shampoos, hair masks and expensive hair treatments to deal with this white, flaky irritating monsters that rob your hair of its sheen and health. But it always seems to come back with vengeance, because what many may not know is that the problem could be the food that we eat. Diet plays an important role in determining our scalp health. Nutritionist Kavita Devgan, and hair specialist and dermatologist Vandana Punjabi explain how a good diet is imperative to prevent dandruff:
Focus on zinc intake
Our scalp has a high concentration of sebaceous glands that produces skin oils (sebum) to protect the scalp. However, excessive production of sebum can cause dandruff. Experts suggest that consuming zinc can help control sebum production. But remember that zinc requires Vitamin B6 for proper digestion. Therefore, include legumes, nuts and grains in your diet.
One needs to restrict consumption of sugar if one has dandruff issues as it can worsen the problem. Dandruff is often attributed to the Candida yeast, and sugary foods promote the overgrowth of this yeast. Sugar also depletes the body of vitamin B, which is an essential component of an anti-dandruff diet. Reduce your sugar intake and avoid processed foods high in sugar content.
A healthy digestive system
An unhealthy, improper digestive system is also a reason for dandruff woes. Include garlic, onions and scallions in your diet, for they contain allicin. Allicin is a health compound that is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It can help combat dandruff.
One of the most unknown reasons that cause dandruff is food allergies. Experts suggest using an elimination diet with the help of a nutritionist to figure out which foods cause dandruff in an individual.
Here’s your anti-dandruff diet
Opt for food rich in probiotics (fermented food) such as kanji, idli, home made pickles, dhokla, miso and home-made curd. Include fish, flaxseeds and walnuts in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids keep your scalp hydrated. Biotin (Vitamin B7) also helps combat dandruff. Foods such as salmon, sweet potatoes, egg yolks and almonds are a good source of biotin.