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Foods that heal Eczema - Eczema Diet

9 December 2019
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Foods that heal Eczema - Eczema Diet

 Eczema is a multifaceted condition with no single root cause.

It’s not simply a case of using just one cream, eating one certain food or taking one certain supplement to attain symptom-free clear skin.  

Successful treatment for Eczema will involve addressing a combination of causal factors which can include:

 

Food is and has always been the foundation for optimal health. When we change or tweak our nutrition, we generally see a marked improvement in our skin. We cannot out supplement or out medicate a poor diet.

Here are the top foods (Eczema Diet) that help reduce Eczema symptoms and alleviate dryness, itching, redness, cracking, and pain.

1) Ground Flax or Flaxseed Oil

One of flaxseed’s claims to fame is being a rich source of omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are important parts of cellular membranes and are also known for their anti-inflammatory effects.

Not only is flax one of the best sources of the essential omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (which makes up >50% of flax oil), but it contains the essential omega-6 fatty acid as well which is vital for skin integrity and suppleness.

Grinding the seeds (or purchasing them ground) means that your body can access the omega-3s found inside the seeds.

You only need about 1-2 tbsp/day. And the great thing about flax is that you can easily add it to just about anything you eat including baked goods, and even a daily protein shake.

2) Collagen

Collagen is a protein found in our skin, joints and bones. In fact, it’s the most abundant part of our skin cells’ extracellular matrix. The matrix essentially holds the skin cells together which is why it’s considered a “connective tissue”.

Ingesting collagen can help protect skin from connective tissue damage and help reduce water loss and increases the skin hydration that Eczema sufferers really need!

The most beneficial forms of Collagen for the skin (and your gut, coincidentally) are Types 1 and 3.

I recommend about 1-4 tbsp/day of collagen by Designs for Health. It can be added to hot and cold beverages, baked goods, yogurt, etc.

Be aware that if you have an-intolerance to histamine-rich foods, collagen (including bone broth) may not work for you.

3) Ghee

Our skin’s health is intimately linked to our gut health. And if we go a step further, research shows that our gut microbiota is intimately linked with three common skin disorders: acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Our gut microbes do a ton of things that affect our skin - from breaking down the food we eat (via fermentation), to producing vitamins and interacting with our immune system.

One of the key products made by fermenting resistant starches and dietary fibres is short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs protect against several inflammatory disorders like arthritis, allergy, and colitis.

One SCFA called butyrate is the main energy source for the cells that line your digestive tract and is thought to play a pivotal role in some of the skin’s microbiota. 

What do these have to do with ghee? Ghee naturally contains high levels of butyrate and is a great fat source for cooking – having a higher smoke point than butter.

I typically suggest 1-3 tbsp of ghee daily.  You can use it as a tasty spread (as you would butter), cook and bake with it, or even include it as your fat source in protein shakes.

Look for ghee that’s from grass-fed cows to get the richest source of nutrients.

4) Beetroot

Vitamin C helps maintain healthy skin and prevent damage in several ways. It promotes collagen formation in the skin. It also helps skin cells mature into the outer layer of keratin (keratinocyte differentiation).

Plus, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes damaging free radicals that are created from exposure to UV light and environmental pollutants. And, vitamin C is needed for effective wound healing to regenerate healthy skin after injury.

All of these roles make vitamin C-rich foods like beets some of the best foods for healthy skin.

5) Salmon

When it comes to Eczema and other allergy-related issues, the omega-3s EPA and DHA nutrients are key. These two fatty acids are incredibly anti-inflammatory.

Purchasing wild-caught sources of salmon are best. And don’t forget to eat the skin! adding it to your diet 2 to 3 times per week 

6) Gluten-free oats

Oatmeal is successfully used for a number of skin conditions: itching, irritation, atopic dermatitis, and acne.

Oatmeal contains beta-glucans which are heralded for their protective and moisturizing abilities. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like avenanthramides.

I recommend eating oatmeal as one of the best foods for healthy skin. You can easily make a dairy-free bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, bake with it, or add oats to your smoothies.

I prefer you use certified gluten-free oats. The reason is that gluten can increase gut permeability which is not helpful if you have an underlying or hidden gut issue. Ninety-five per cent of chronic skin clients do have gut issues, often without relatable symptoms.

In Summary:

Our skin needs to be nourished from the inside. By getting all our essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants from the foods we eat we are giving our body the nutrients it requires to repair and this is always the first step in healing our skin and our bodies. 

If you would like to know more about how an Eczema Diet can help treat Eczema book an appointment with our skin specialist Emily Segal.  Emily is trained and has years of experience in problematic treating skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne as well as many other skin conditions.  

 

This article was written by Emily SegalMelbourne Naturopath and Skin Specialist Therapist at Vital Chi Wellness