Jamie, from Flagstaff, AZ asks:
Are there any foods that help or foods to avoid with
children with eczema problems?
Answer: Eczema can be such a frustrating problem! The dryness and itchiness can be bothersome, especially for children. So, if your child suffers from that, then I am sorry to hear that.
First, for those readers who don’t know, eczema is a type of skin rash that is characterized by itchiness, redness and scaliness.
I, personally, don’t have a lot of experience with this condition, but I do know that diet does play a big role.
Many times, eczema can be triggered by food allergies. So the first thing I would recommend to you, if you haven’t already done so, is to order a blood test for the major allergens, such as wheat, corn, soy and eggs.
If you don’t want to go the testing route, you could always do an elimination diet for one month. You could either completely eliminate all the possible offending foods at once, and then slowly add them back in, one week at a time, or you could eliminate one food at a time. It’s important to stay consistent with this and to jot down and changes, either positive or negative, especially once the food is introduced back into the diet.
Also, dairy can be a major culprit, either in triggering eczema, or in making it worse. Many people have found relief once they eliminate dairy from their diet. My personal belief is that cow’s milk is not necessary for anyone’s diet, regardless of age or condition.
If you do eliminate dairy and are wondering about calcium intake, rest assured that there are many other ways to get calcium, such as leafy greens, (especially kale), sunflower seeds, and oranges. There are many great alternative milks that contain added calcium, such as almond milk and coconut milk. (I don’t recommend soy milk on a daily basis, as it can mess with your hormones and possibly cause early puberty for girls, or breast cancer for women). Speaking of hormones… cow’s milk does the same thing!
Based on my research…. it seems like the general consensus is to eliminate or at least greatly reduce fried foods and processed foods, to help eczema. Basically, having a diet that is as close to 100% whole food as much as possible, is ideal… for anyone, but more so, for those who suffer from certain conditions, such as eczema, as the preservatives and additives could worsen it.
As far as what to take to help with it, studies show that many are deficient in certain vitamins, such as magnesium and vitamin B6. In this case, supplementation may help. (look for a whole food supplement, such as Juice Plus+)
Taking omega 3 supplements have also been shown to work, as well as a good quality probiotic, to help heal the gut.
Let me know if you need recommendations for children’s products!
As far as actual foods that could help:
1. Salmon– contains loads of omega 3s which are great for the skin. Aim to serve fish once or twice a week (but no more than that because of the mercury content)
2. Foods that contain quercetin, which is a bio-flavonoid that contains antioxidant, antihistamine, and ant-inflammatory properties. Foods that contain this are, apples, broccoli, red grapes, cherries and cranberries.
3. Foods that contain zinc, such as eggs (if not allergic) and oats and pumpkin seeds. (oysters are highest in zinc, but most kids don’t normally eat them!)
I would also say to try adding avocados, and coconut oil to your child’s (and the whole family’s) diet.
Foods rich in monounsaturated fats, such as these, are great for skin health.
Coconut oil is a fabulous, all natural moisturizer!!
It hardens in the refrigerator, so if you need it in liquid form, make sure and keep it out on the counter, in a cool, dry place. Just a little dab will do ya!
Of course, making sure to drink plenty of fresh water will help too!!
I hope this helps. Please let me know what you try and if it works!
Have a great Labor Day!
Nourished And New
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