Can the nutritional components found in food be your magic bullet for controlling eczema flare-ups? Fortunately, yes. Nutrients found in food can help manage nearly all degenerative diseases, including eczema.1 In addition, making a conscious effort to change your diet may also help alleviate eczema symptoms.
Although most individuals take their skin health for granted, people suffering from eczema would probably do anything to keep their flare-ups at bay. Here are some ways on how you can eat your way to a symptom-free life:
1. An Elimination Diet Helps Stave Off Food Sensitivities
If your eczema is associated with food allergy or sensitivity, then you should follow an elimination diet to identify “culprit foods” that may be triggering your eczema flare-up. The most common foods that can cause allergic reactions are eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, fish, corn, tomatoes, citrus and gluten products.
When you’re on an elimination diet, you must avoid all the possible trigger foods for a period of time, usually three to four weeks, and then gradually re-introduce each food group one at a time. This enables you to monitor your symptoms.
2. Alkalizing the Body Brings Eczema Relief
Balance, pH balance in particular, is key for dealing with eczema, as its symptoms often occur when the body’s pH balance is out of sorts. This means that a body too high in acid or too high in alkaline foods can cause eczema to flare.
Eczema sufferers are advised to aim for 80:20 balance, where 80 percent of your food is alkalizing, and 20 percent acidifying. Essentially, this means eating mainly vegetables and less meat, but make sure to choose organic sources since most produce are tainted with pesticides.2
3. Probiotics Give Your Immune System a Boost
Probiotics or "good bacteria" can help soothe inflammation and stimulate the body to produce antibodies and certain white blood cells that are vital for preventing the body from overreacting to allergens.3
Some studies suggest that babies whose mothers took probiotics during pregnancy and while breastfeeding were less likely to have eczema at up to 2 years of age. One study found that children who were given probiotics during their first 2 years of life were less likely to develop eczema than those who did not take probiotics.4
4. Fend Off Eczema Symptoms With Krill Oil
Dry flakey skin and eczema are often signs of a deficiency in omega-3 fats. Fortunately, the omega-3 found in krill oil is beneficial for eczema patients in two ways:
1. It can reduce dryness, redness, flaking and irritation associated with eczema.
2. It may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help calm irritated skin, giving you a clearer complexion.
5. Opt for Hypoallergenic Foods
Hypoallergenic or low allergenicity foods are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Hypoallergenic fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, apples, pears, squash, cucumbers, kale, Brussels sprouts, celery, lettuce, zucchini, beets, bananas, blueberries, apricots and turnips, are generally considered safe for people with eczema.5
6. Oolong Tea as an Eczema Remedy
A staple in Chinese pantries, oolong tea is made from the buds, leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant that is used to make green tea and black tea. The difference between the three is that green tea is unfermented, black tea is fully fermented and oolong tea is partially fermented.6
Oolong is rich in powerful antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids, which may account for its efficacy.7 Today, evidence continues to mount on oolong tea’s ability to ease eczema flare-ups. In a month-long study in Japan, people with eczema who drank 3 cups of oolong tea felt relief from their itching in just one week.8 Aside from eczema, oolong has also shown potential for helping treat diabetes and high cholesterol.9