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Eczema- food for thought….

It seems that people are more aware of how what one eats plays a role in overall health. We all know about weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, but what about how food effects our skin. Recently I have had some clients with Eczema so I thought I would share some info.
Eczema causes the top layer of the skin to become inflamed or irritated. Food allergies may cause eczema flair ups. Dietary elements that have been reported to trigger eczema include dairy, coffee, soy, eggs, nuts, wheat, and corn but will vary so it is suggested one get tested for specific allergies. Diet can also play a role in helping alleviate eczema symptoms.
Consuming foods that will boost your immune system can be helpful with eczema. These include foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, avocados, and nuts including almonds. Some brands of eggs are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. Foods which contain beta-carotene with orange pigmentation including squash, carrots, and yams are beneficial. Raw vegetables and fruits have been shown to help avoid itching, especially dark green vegetables.
Overall, it is best to consume foods that have been minimally processed because those that have been processed have synthetic compounds and substances in them that are essentially toxins in our bodies and may induce an eczema flare-up. These include foods with partially hydrogenated oils and simple, reduced sugars, such as candy and processed snack foods. Other foods to possibly avoid would be acidic foods such as tomato products, chocolate, citrus fruits and drinks, coffee, soda, and alcohol.

Following is a list of foods that are great to eat to help avoid flare-ups.
• Brown rice with vegetables
• Juices made with fruits and vegetables such as celery, parsley, carrots, cilantro, kale, cucumber, beets, zucchini, bell peppers, bok choy, or anything you like.
• Unsalted seeds and nuts
• Salmon or halibut with vegetables
• Boiled eggs
• Sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, and yams
• Sprouted whole grain bread with avocado, cilantro, tomato, and olives

Aside from food, try the following tips to avoid flare-ups of eczema or help relieve it. And remember, there are many factors that affect eczema cases.
• Moisturize frequently
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to help flush toxins out of your body
• Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
• Avoid sweating or overheating
• Reduce stress
• Avoid scratchy materials, such as wool
• Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, and solvents
• Wear gloves when you clean
• Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies (for example, pollen, mold, dust mites, and animal dander)

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Sharon Richter, RD
200 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.977.7779

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