Foods To Eat With Eczema: 7 Healthy Foods to Include in Your Diet

Eczema

Vicious snow falls, icy, cold weather, and the common cold are notorious with the winter season.

Winter can also be a difficult season for those suffering with eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis). When the humidity decreases, it increases eczema symptoms, which include severe itchiness, and dry, red, and thickened skin.

In two thirds of people with eczema, there is a family history, and the condition affects about two to seven percent of people worldwide.

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The major causes of eczema are allergic reactions to food or environmental allergens, and a deficiency in essential fatty acids omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) and omega-6. Deficiencies in vitamin A and zinc can also cause itchy flaky skin and other skin problems.

Other underlying causes of eczema include immune system abnormalities such as mast cells (specialized white blood cells) which can be found on the skin of those with eczema. They release higher amounts of histamine and other allergy-related compounds. The inability to kill bacteria is another immune system defect, which can lead to increased weakness of severe staph skin infections.

Things won’t be itchy forever. There are natural ways to reduce your inflammation from eczema.

Improve Eczema With Allergy Elimination

People with eczema have positive allergy tests and the allergy-related antibody IgE can be elevated in up to 80% of people with eczema because of increased activation of certain white blood cells (type 2 T helper cells).

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It is best to receive a diagnosis of your food allergy before eliminating food allergens from the diet. The approach can be used for anyone but is especially useful for children with eczema. There has been increased improvement in at least 75% of eczema cases by eliminating milk products, eggs, peanuts, tomatoes, artificial colors and preservatives. Some foods can be added back into your diet after six to 12 months, whereas other foods must be avoided indefinitely. After a year, 26% of eczema patients eliminate outbreaks to the five major allergens: peanut, soy, wheat, milk, and egg.

Why Do Infants Get Eczema?

Are you wondering why your baby or young child has eczema? Eczema conditions can arise on a child’s body because baby foods contain very little or even no essential fatty acids and they don’t get enough when mother’s milk is removed from the diet.

Mother’s milk contains eight percent of essential fatty acids. You can eliminate an eczema-like rash by rubbing essential fatty acid rubbing oils on the child’s skin.

Foods to Eat with Eczema

To help expel your case of eczema, treating the cause is important. If you lack the essential fatty acids, adding more nut and seed oils to your diet will help treat eczema.

Oils that contain amounts of both essential fatty acids include flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, kukui (candlenut) oil, and pumpkin seed oil. Soybean oil and canola oil can also be used, although they are a highly GMO food and should be purchased organic. Supplementing with these oils is an effective way to get rid of eczema. Also supplementing with evening primrose oil and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) are helpful in some cases of eczema.

Other healthy foods that contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can also help get rid of eczema symptoms.

Here are some essential healthy foods you can include in your eczema-fighting diet.

1. Flaxseed

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are great sources of essential fatty acids. The composition of the oil contains 58% omega-3 and 14% omega-6. Both essential fatty acids work together to help regulate inflammation. Flaxseed compounds can also block other inflammation-producing agents in the body such as interleukin-1 beta and TNF-alpha.

Flaxseed oil can help reduce inflammation and enhance immune system function through series 3 prostaglandins (PG3s). Flaxseed or flaxseed oil gives your body the essential fatty acids it needs to help treat eczema.

2. Salmon

Salmon and other fish are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which help reduce skin inflammation and also help the body grow new skin. These are essential to help treat eczema.

Farm-raised salmon also contain significantly higher amounts of omega-6 than wild salmon. The problem is farm-raised salmon also contain antibiotics. It is recommended that wild salmon are used whenever possible. Varieties include king salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, silver salmon, and dog salmon. A four ounce serving of these salmons contain between 1-2.1 g of omega-3.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the very interesting healthy foods to treat eczema because it contains three nutrients which help the condition.

It is an excellent source of vitamin A with 45.6% of your daily value intake in one cup. It is also a good source of omega-3 and zinc, which are also nutrient deficiencies that can lead to eczema and other skin issues.

4. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is often used as a grain, although it is actually a flower. Healthy foods like gluten-free whole grains can help reduce eczema symptoms because they are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and they won’t cause any gluten allergic reactions.

Buckwheat is known to help lower histamine with its quercetin and it is an effective anti-inflammatory. Other effective gluten-free grains include quinoa, brown rice, and amaranth. To avoid eczema symptoms, be sure to avoid gluten grains such as whole wheat, white flour, spelt, oatmeal, or kamut.

5. Carrots

Carrots can help prevent eczema because they contain beta carotene. Besides helping with your vision, beta carotene protects your skin. One cup of carrots contain 7,390.7 mcg of beta carotene. Other main nutrients in carrots include antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and can help reduce your eczema symptoms. Turmeric can be eczema-fighting when added to flavor salmon, fish, or other seafood.

Turmeric is a spice used for centuries within ancient holistic healing practices, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, and it is also a desired spice among the Indian culture.

7. Tofu

Soybeans are the primary ingredients used to make tofu. Soybeans are a good source of omega-3, with one cup containing 41.2% of your daily value intake. Tofu is better nutritionally if made with organic soybeans. Tofu is a great protein option for vegetarians as well.

If you want to know how to get rid of eczema symptoms, essential fatty acids are usually the way to go. There definitely is a reason they are called “essential” fatty acids and healthy foods containing them will help ward off the itchy, persistent eczema symptoms.


Sources:
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Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 128, 231, 476-477, 594, 784, 802.
Murray, M., N.D., et al, The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Third Edition (New York: First Atria Paperback, 2012), 662-664. 15-151, 582-585.
Maier, K., “The Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil for Eczema,” LIVESTRONG.com web site, July 2, 2011; http://www.livestrong.com/article/483742-the-health-benefits-of-flaxseed-oil-for-eczema/.
“3 Foods To Treat Eczema,” Reader’s Digest web site; http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/diet-nutrition/3-foods-treat-eczema, last accessed Jan. 14, 2014.