Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is an inflammatory skin condition that causes itchy rashes, blisters, skin irritation, and even results in leathery skin patches over time. While this condition is more common in kids aged less than two years, it can also affect older children and adults. Many people who suffer from eczema also tend to develop food allergies. So, it is important to discover one’s personal food needs for minimizing issues with eczema and the resulting allergies. Some of the common food allergies associated with eczema include:
- Soy products
- Cow’s milk
However, not everyone may have the same flare ups or reactions to the same foods. Listed below are foods that contain properties that could help in decreasing eczema flare-ups, so that one can get to know their body and what foods works best for them.
Foods to eat
- Fatty fish: One might be able to reduce their symptoms of eczema by eating fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, trout, and salmon. These fish include high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which leads to it having anti–inflammatory properties. One might also consider taking omega-3 supplements.
- Foods containing quercetin: The plant-based flavonoid quercetin helps give many veggies, fruits, and flowers their vibrant, rich colors. Quercetin also happens to be a powerful antihistamine and antioxidant which helps in reducing inflammation as well as histamine levels in the body. Foods that are rich in quercetin include kale, spinach, broccoli, cherries, blueberries, and apples.
- Foods containing probiotics: Probiotic food items like yogurt contain live culture that help in supporting a strong immune system, which could help lessen allergic reactions or flare-ups. Foods rich in probiotics include tempeh, kefir, unpasteurized sauerkraut, soft cheeses like Gouda, naturally fermented pickles, miso soup, and sourdough bread.
Foods to avoid
While what one eats might not directly cause eczema, it can be a trigger for a lot of symptoms. This is particularly true if one eats a food item that they’re otherwise sensitive or allergic to. Some of the common foods to avoid for people with eczema include:
- Foods with high amounts of sugar could result in triggering eczema flare-ups. Sugar causes a spike in insulin levels, which results in inflammation. Some food items which have high sugar and should be avoided include fast food such as burgers and chips, smoothies, sodas, coffee drinks that are sweet, and cakes.
- Food items that contain artificial ingredients and preservatives could end up increasing eczema flare-ups and symptoms. Such food items include foods that contain high amounts of trans fats such as fast food, processed food, tinned or canned food, and margarine.
- Other food items that could increase the risk of eczema flare-ups include nuts, soy, eggs, and dairy products.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet for eczema, one must aim to follow a diet that is rich in antioxidants, which could go a long way in helping reduce the symptoms of eczema. Following diet plans upon consultation with your doctor, such as the Mediterranean diet, that emphasizes on eating veggies, fruits, healthy fats like olive oil, and fish is probably the best thing to follow.