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Dandruff Prevention: 7 Anti-Dandruff Foods to Eat

Anti-Dandruff Foods

Discover healthy eats that help prevent dandruff! The food list below includes some of the very best anti-dandruff foods Mother Nature has to offer. No pills, just pure, healthy foods with dandruff-fighting properties.

Note that this section focuses on foods that may help prevent and cure dandruff. If you are interested in more general information about nutrition and dandruff, visit the diet section of this guide.

#1: Ginger

Ginger improves digestion which in turn may help prevent dandruff.

Ginger, one of the oldest spices in the world, is known to have been used in China as early as 400 B.C. For thousands of years, ginger has been used to aid in the digestion of dietary fats and protein, and to calm and soothe the digestive tract. These effects may prove particularly beneficial to people whose dandruff is caused by improper digestion. In addition, ginger may help fight dandruff due to its strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Fresh ginger, which is said to be the most effective form of ginger, is available year round in the produce section of supermarkets.

#2: Chickpeas

Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans) are a wonderfully versatile food with a rich nut-like flavor and an appealing, buttery consistency. They are a staple in the Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines and a key ingredient in dishes like falafels and hummus. They are also a great food to add to your food repertoire if you suffer from dandruff as they contain two of the key nutrients needed for fighting dandruff: vitamin B6 and zinc. In some parts of the world, a paste made of chickpea flour, water, and curd is applied directly on the scalp to reduce dandruff.

Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin B6 and zinc which can help fend off dandruff.

#3: Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are one of the best foods you can add to your diet if you are concerned about dandruff. These mild nutty tasting seeds are packed with nutrients that contribute to healthy, dandruff-free hair. Sunflower seeds are a great source of zinc which helps control sebum production. They are also an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), with one cup providing 31% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin B6 is crucial for the proper absorption of zinc from the intestines, but it also thought to have some dandruff fighting properties of its own: vitamin B6, together with other B complex vitamins (also abundant in sunflower seeds), plays a crucial role in metabolic processes. It has been hypothesized that inefficient metabolism may be one of the underlying causes of dandruff.

#4: Papaya

Termed as the "fruit of the angels" by Christopher Columbus, papaya is a true nutritional powerhouse and a great food to include in your diet if you want to give yourself a health boost. Papaya also contains papain, a unique enzyme known to aid in the digestion of proteins. This is great news to people whose dandruff is linked to poor digestion. Papain is more concentrated in green unripe papaya than in ripe papaya. Green papaya, which is often more readily available in Asian food stores, makes a nice addition to salads.

Garlic contains allicin which has anti-fungal properties.

#5: Garlic

Since ancient times, garlic has been used as a remedy for a vast range of ailments. It has been shown to be effective at promoting cardiovascular health and preventing cancer, but there is also some evidence that it could also be helpful for people with dandruff due to its high concentration of allicin. Allicin is a natural anti-fungal compound that is found in garlic — and other members of the Allium family such as onions and shallots — when the plant is crushed or chopped. For details, read the article Use of Garlic as a Dandruff Treatment.

#6: Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is a great food to include in your diet if you have dandruff. Wheat germ is a concentrated source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), with a mere cup of crude wheat germ providing a whopping 75% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B6! It is also an excellent source of other B vitamins as well as zinc. Try adding wheat germ to breads, cereals, muesli, milk shakes, or pancakes — it makes a highly nutritious, yet undetectable addition! When storing wheat germ, keep in mind that it goes rancid fast because of its unsaturated fat content. To optimize the shelf life of this nutritional powerhouse food, store it in a sealed container in a cool, dry place away from exposure to the sun.

#7: Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, goes the old adage. But according to many naturopaths, apples can also keep dandruff at bay. Enjoy apples plain as a simple snack, slice into oatmeal, or toss in a fruit salad (for even more ideas, see 10 Ways to Use Up Apples) But be sure to buy organically grown fruit: together with peaches, apples top the list of fruits that contain the highest levels of pesticides and other harmful chemicals (when conventionally grown).

For further information related to dandruff and diet, see the other main sections of this guide: