There is an old saying “you are what you eat”, but does the food that you eat has anything to do with your flaky, itchy, irritable dandruff? While there’s no compelling data from medical studies, some experts suggest changing the diet can improve your dandruff. Let’s first understand the causes of dandruff. Also Read – Easy ways to bid adieu to dandruff during summers
The cause of dandruff is too much oil on the scalp, which causes skin cells to build up and then shed. Often, a fungus called Malassezia that lives on your scalp triggers dandruff as it causes skin cells to multiply more quickly than usual. Some people may have too much of this fugus on their scalp, leading to dandruff. Also Read – COVID-19 stress may aggravate your dandruff problem: Try these tricks to drive it away
While foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, zinc and biotin would help maintain proper scalp and healthy hair, there are foods that can cause a dandruff flare-up. Below we have listed some foods that you should avoid to prevent or reduce dandruff. Also Read – Natural remedies to deal with dry scalp this winter
Cutting down on sugar intake may lower inflammation and minimize the appearance of those white flakes.
Diets high in sugar and processed food can lead to insulin spikes, which in turn triggers the output of oil, resulting in unhealthy, dry and flaky scalp. Excess consumption of sugar can also promote inflammation in our bodies that can increase dandruff flares. It is therefore advisable to cut down on your sugar intake to reduce the side effects.
Full-fat dairy products
If you have dandruff, stay away from cheese platter, cheese-burst pizza, cheesy sandwich, and creamy items. Such full-fat dairy products can worsen dandruff, particularly cheese. Because it is hard to digest, cheese can contribute to body inflammation which in turn can trigger flare-ups of dandruff. So, if you’re prone to a flaky scalp, avoid or limit full-fat dairy products – including cheese and cream.
White Wine and Champagne
A glass of white wine may be a great way to relax after a tiring day at work, but it can also promote the flakes on your scalp. White wine is sweet and that can disrupt your body’s blood sugar level, resulting in increased dandruff flare-ups. Champagne is bad for the same reason. So, think twice before you pour that wine or pop the champagne if you’re susceptible to flaking on the scalp.
Caffeine in coffee and tea
Drinking coffee can help you feel more alert and less sleepy at work. But excessive caffeine intake can aggravate your dandruff problem. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can cause the body to expel water. Too much excretion of water from your body may lead to dry skin, which can cause flaking on the scalp similar to dandruff. Caffeine is also present in tea, soda and energy drinks.
Foods to have when you have dandruff
Essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, play a critical role in normal skin function and also have anti-inflammatory properties. While they have not been studied for dandruff, some experts suggest they may be beneficial for those with flaky scalps. Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include salmon, tuna fish, peanut butter, flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, avocado, walnuts, and fortified eggs.
Protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry, and quinoa are best known at reducing dandruff symptoms.
Foods rich in zinc and biotin are also recommended for treating dandruff. Good sources of biotin include eggs, yogurt, tomatoes and carrots, while zinc-rich foods include oysters, crab, and pumpkin seeds. If you want both nutrients in one go, eat peanuts or dark chocolate.