A strong immune system is crucial to healing eczema. The important key to a strong immune system is through a healthy diet. This basic information regarding the importance of a nutritious diet is something that each dermatologist or physician should discuss with their eczema patients. It’s not that the body needs to be medicated; but rather, that it needs to be fed the nutrients for which it is deficient.
These are some food groups which are absolutely essential in healing eczema. This does not mean that you must eat everything listed here all at once. However, try to make sure that these essential nutrients become a part of you or your child’s daily diet.
(1) Vitamin A
Commonly we associated Vitamin A with good eyesight and skin. Not many of us realize that this is an immune boosting nutrient as well. Because eczema is an immuno-disorder, you can understand the importance of this essential nutrient towards the healing process. In other words, an eczema flare up signifies a deficiency in Vitamin A (especially beta carotene which is a major contributing factor in eczema healing). As a matter of fact, and if I had to do order of importance, replenishing this nutrient would be my first focus.
There are two forms of vitamin A: beta carotene & retinol. You want to focus your attention on the beta carotene form. Some of the foods that contain this essential nutrient are green vegetables (like broccoli, collard, kale, mustard, & spinach), green & romaine lettuce, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and pink grapefruit (to name a little more than a few). Daily servings of one or more of these vegetables will begin the healing process. Green vegetables are especially important as they play the dual role of providing both the beta carotene and the fiber which are critical to healing eczema.
A word of caution here, just as vitamin A deficiencies can cause disease, so can over-dosage. This is why you need to be careful when supplementing this vitamin, as in the form of pills. I would prefer consuming this essential nutrient through whole food consumption which is the safest way.
(2) Vitamin B
B2 (riboflavin) helps the body cells to use oxygen and promotes tissue repair/healthy skin. B3 (niacin) is essential for cell metabolism and the absorption of carbohydrates which also helps to maintain healthy skin. Whole food sources for vitamin B2/riboflavin are milk, cheese, liver, fish, & poultry. A major whole food source for B3/niacin is liver.
(3) Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine which regulates histamine release in a healthy manner without promoting the harmful side effects as those created by steroid and other eczema medications. And, of course, Vitamin C is essential for boosting the immune system. You must make sure your body gets a constant daily supply of Vitamin C as it is not stored in the body.
Fiber is especially important for good digestive health. Fiber promotes good digestion. This will not only help rid the constipation problem; but it will also remove candida. Candida is a yeast like parasite that promotes eczema. Fiber promotes healthy digestive flow and helps in ridding the body of the candida that promotes eczema flare ups.
(5) Essential fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, GLA) and Vitamin E
The essential fatty acids and vitamin E addresses the skin and cells moisture levels. EFA’s are responsible for maintaining the cells moisture. This is important because the skin’s moisture barrier serves as a protective barrier against the elements (free radicals). Some of the food sources of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), soya oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, hemp oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.
EFA deficiency is definitely a factor that has to be addressed in eczema sufferers; however, it is not the only deficiency an eczema manifestation represents. As a result, people who focus solely on replenishing EFA deficiency, (at the exclusion of the other deficiencies), end up frustrated in the healing process. In their frustration, they then reject the importance of EFA replenishment regarding eczema treatment. EFA replenishment is still essential to eczema healing; it just needs to be done in conjunction with nutritional replenishment of the various other vitamin/mineral deficiencies eczema represents.
From the list of food sources that I have given you, there are probably others that I’ve overlooked. Nonetheless, becoming familiar with the nutrients that food provides the human body goes a long way in making us more health conscious and aware of the benefits, (or lack of benefits in some cases), of the foods we consume. Feeding the right food to our body is the first step to healing eczema.