Whether you suffer from eczema, or dry skin, what happens inside can impact what happens on the outside. So, yes essentially diet can impact your skin issues. Today, the consensus is that eating healthily can indeed only be a positive. Upping your antioxidant intake and cutting out nefarious ingredients will help your skin.
So how does it all work?
Eczema specialist Dr Carla Stanton (www.drcarlastanton.com) says “Hippocrates said ‘all disease starts in the gut’ so there’s no doubt that to a certain extent we are what we eat.
Here are her simple 5 step advice to dealing with skin issues thanks to your diet.
1. Cut out foods that trigger your flare ups
Keeping a food diary will help to identify which foods might be problematic. Cut out foods for 2-3 weeks before reintroducing them one by one so you can easily identify the culprit. Start with those that are the most common including the much vilified gluten and dairy. Try switching for coconut or almond milk and cutting out gluten to see if you notice a difference. Also high on the hit-list are peanuts and eggs, especially for children.
2. Increase the healthy foods
Avoid ready-made meals that are usually very rich in sugars and salts. Try to go for the meals made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Aim for items rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C (the body’s natural ‘antihistamine’) found in citrus fruit, red and green peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
3. Add supplements to your diet
Omega 3 (found in oily fish) and vitamin D are top of the list. Consider fermented foods (like kefir and sauerkraut) and probiotic supplements for friendly bacteria.
4. Avoid the usual suspects
Dr Stanton adds “Refined sugar can disrupt your insulin secretion patterns, and can be pro-inflammatory and encourage overgrowth of unwanted bugs. As for the liver, it’s a chemical factory and helps you to detoxify. Try to avoid any of the big 3 ‘liver blockers’ in excess. These are alcohol, caffeine and transfats (these include cakes, biscuits, fast foods).”
5. Talk to an expert!
Consulting your doctor before you make any changes to your diet is always a good idea, especially for any changes in children’s routines. Try a nutritional therapist, nutritionist or a dietician as a first port of call. They can set up a food sensitivity test, and also check for any bacterial imbalances, yeast or parasite infections.