Hippocrates once declared, “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” The foods we eat everyday maintain our health and is fundamental to healing illnesses. Eczema in fact, is no exception. When it comes to eczema, diet may be a determining factor of the frequency and severity of flare-ups. The great news is modifying your diet for the better can be easily achieved by identifying/eliminating food allergies, maintaining an alkaline/acid balance, eating fresh whole foods, and limiting your consumption of processed foods.
Identifying and Eliminating Food Allergies: The Eczema and Diet Relationship
You can customize your own diet for eczema by identifying and eliminating the aggravating foods. Food allergies are known to commonly lead to eczema outbreaks, affecting roughly 1/3 of individuals with eczema. Foods such as dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, and peanuts are among the most common eczema offenders , although anyone may experience adverse reactions to a variety of other foods. Undergoing a food allergy screening is the best way of identifying food allergens. In addition to a screening, keeping track of what you eat in a food diary may also help to pinpoint allergens..
Please note that eczema may occur due to a variety of factors, and avoiding food allergens alone may not always be enough to eliminate symptoms.
Maintaining An Alkaline/ Acid Balanced Diet to Cure Eczema
One alternative medicine principle argues that acid-producing food is the reason for food allergies leading to eczema. Reducing acid foods from your diet and increasing alkaline foods may lessen food allergies as well as eczema symptoms. But what are acid and alkaline foods?
All foods are either alkaline or acid. This refers to the “ash residue” that is left behind after the digestion process, and eating these type of foods affect the body’s natural pH. The body in its optimal state has an internal environment is slightly alkaline–a pH just above 7. When the internal environment is more acid, the body attempts to prevent the blood from getting acidic by neutralizing the acid with alkaline minerals. If there isn’t enough alkaline substances in the body to neutralize the acid, the body compensates by taking alkaline minerals from the cells. The cells then become acidic, and the body becomes vulnerable to disease.
Ideally, an eczema diet treatment should consist of more alkalizing foods than acidifying foods, proportioned at 75-80% alkalizing foods and acid foods between 20-25%. Here is a chart of typical alkaline and acid forming foods found:
Parsnips (high glycemic)
Banana (high glycemic)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh Fruit Juice
Alkaline Antioxidant Water
|FATS & OILS|
Hemp Seed Oil
|NUTS & BUTTERS|
Other Eczema Diet Tips:
- The quality food you eat is just as important as the type of food you eat. The more whole, raw fresh foods you can incorporate into your eczema diet plan the better. If possible, eat fresh organic locally grown foods that are in season.
- Eliminate or reduce your intake of pre-packaged foods. Packaged foods are highly processed with little to no valuable nutrients, and may create toxic by-products in the body.
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda), and saccharine (Sweet ‘n Low). A rtificial sweeteners are man-made chemicals that your body doesn’t recognize and can be detrimental to your overall health. If you need a low glycemic, low calorie alternative to sugar, try using Stevia. Stevia naturally comes from the juice of the stevia plant and is 30-40 times sweeter than sugar.
- Add essential fatty acids to your diet. Essential fatty acids are essential for healthy skin, and are abundant in oily fish, avocados, and flaxseeds.
- Take whole food supplements daily. A healthy diet should include the necessary 20 or 21 minerals, 13 vitamins, 8 to 11 essential amino acids, 2 essential fatty acids to function properly. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get all the nutrients needed even with the healthiest diet. Taking a food-based supplement can help you get all of the needed nutrients.
You don’t have to restrict yourself from eating delicious foods you enjoy with an eczema diet. You can have a healthier and satisfying diet that will not only help to reverse eczema, but can also help to improve your overall health.