Eczema and food have a sometimes confusing and complicated relationship. Foods do not cause eczema, but sometimes might trigger an eczema flare up and once confirmed by your doctor should be avoided. Other foods however might improve your child’s eczema symptoms. Encouraging an eczema friendly diet for your child might help with your overall eczema management. Remember that foods which are thought to be eczema friendly should not be eaten by people who are allergic to them and always speak to your doctor before deciding on any significant changes to your child’s diet.
What is an eczema friendly diet?
Inflammation is a big part of eczema. With children who have eczema the skin becomes inflamed as a response to something which the body thinks is a threat. Inflamed skin is red, itchy, irritated and often warm to touch. In eczema these threats are called allergens. Allergens can trigger an eczema flare up by alerting the body’s immune response. A diet which has natural anti-inflammatory properties can reduce eczema flare ups and should be included in a diet to help manage eczema. This is because the body’s anti-inflammatory response can be lessened by these foods.
What foods can help eczema?
- Fatty fish
Salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acid which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Regularly Including salmon in your child’s diet might help reduce eczema flare ups. As your child gets older you might consider giving them an omega-3 supplement.
- Probiotic foods
Probiotics including supplementation is being considered more and more for children with eczema and allergies. Probiotic rich foods can help build a strong and healthy immune system that can better withstand eczema triggers and allergies.
The most well-known probiotic rich food is yogurt which contains live cultures. Other common foods which are naturally high in probiotics are sourdough bread, miso soup, soft cheeses, naturally fermented pickles.
- Prebiotics foods
There is less currently research into eczema diets high in prebiotics. While probiotics add bacteria to the gut, prebiotics help to grow the bacteria already in the gut. Prebiotics are asparagus, bananas, honey, oatmeal and some beans.
- Foods high in quercetin
Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory as well as anti-histamine. Histamine is released into the body as part of an allergic reaction. Quercetin lessens the amount of histamine produced by the body. Foods which contain quercetin are broccoli, cherries, apples, blueberries, spinach and kale.
- Anti-oxidant rich foods
No surprises here, fruit and vegetables are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body to prevent infection and fight off disease. With fussy eaters you might consider supplementing your child’s diet with a multivitamin to make sure their nutritional requirements are being met.
- High Vitamin C foods
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine as well as an antioxidant. Strawberries, rockmelon, citrus fruits, kiwi and leafy greens are high in vitamin C.
A reminder of what foods can trigger eczema…
Food allergies are more common in children who also have eczema. If your child has eczema, food allergies can trigger eczema symptoms but are not the cause of eczema.
Allergies which are common in eczema are; dairy proteins, eggs, soy products, nuts, peanuts, gluten, fish, shellfish.
This blog post was brought to you and your bub with love and care by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only and you should always consult your medical professional.