A poor diet, deficient in certain nutrients that support skin health, can contribute to dry scalp problems. Following a healthy diet can help control dry scalp and dandruff, and some people have found relief by reducing their intake of foods containing sugar and yeast and eating a diet high in certain vitamins, minerals and other skin-friendly nutrients.
Ensuring that there is enough zinc in your diet can help scalp health, as this mineral is essential to skin health. According to the Mineral Information Institute, hair, skin, teeth and nails cannot grow without zinc, and zinc is required for the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. Foods rich in zinc include whole grains, seafood, meats, poultry and nuts.
Foods Rich in Iron
Scalp and skin health requires plenty of oxygen and nutrients to be available to the cells, substances that are carried throughout the body by the blood. Iron is essential to that process, as it is involved in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Adding more iron-rich foods, such as meats, poultry, beans, nuts and tofu, to your diet can help promote healthy skin and scalp, helping to relieve dry scalp symptoms.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Dry scalp can be a sign that you are not getting enough essential fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are the ones most likely to be in short supply, as most people eating a western diet get plenty of omega-6 fatty acids. Among the many symptoms of omega-3 deficiency are dry skin and poor circulation, which can contribute to dry scalp. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring. Vegetable sources include flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Ensuring that plenty of vitamin A is included in your daily diet may help alleviate dry scalp. Vitamin A supports the maintenance and function of skin cells, as well as playing essential roles in the immune and circulatory systems. Foods that are good sources of vitamin A include liver, eggs, dairy products, and yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, peaches and papaya.
B-complex vitamins play many essential roles in the body that support skin health. Circulation and metabolism are supported by B-vitamins, as are the creation and growth of new cells, all factors that contribute to skin health. Foods rich in B-complex vitamins include meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Whole grains are a good source of B-vitamins, as are beans and green leafy vegetables.