Eczema is associated with excessive inflammation in the body and basing your diet around anti-inflammatory foods can help to replace any inflammatory foods you are currently eating, whilst adding in essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. These foods include the following:
· Omega 3 fatty acids – found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring) and seeds, including flaxseeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds.
· Avocado, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil also contain beneficial anti-inflammatory fats.
· Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables – the bright colours indicate that the fruit or vegetable contains substances known as antioxidants, which help support healthy cells. Try different types of berries, cherries, citrus fruits, pineapple, mango, green vegetables, carrots, butternut squash, yellow and red peppers, tomatoes and beetroot.
· A number of herbs and spices are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, rosemary, cloves and cayenne pepper – add them to food wherever possible or drink them as a tea.
· Vitamin D is considered to be anti-inflammatory and can be found in eggs and salmon – although exposing skin to sunshine is the best way of producing vitamin D in our bodies.
· Bone broth – contains glucosamine and amino acids that are both anti-inflammatory and support skin health.
·Cocoa and dark chocolate also contain anti-inflammatory compounds known as flavanols – great news, but only applies to dark chocolate
Finally, fermented foods contain friendly bacteria and help support a balanced gut microbiome, which in turn supports immunity and reduces inflammation. Examples of fermented foods include kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha.
At the same time as introducing as many of the above foods as possible, remove (or at least reduce) potentially pro-inflammatory foods, such as gluten, corn, soy, dairy, highly processed carbohydrates, fried foods and sugar.