September 2, 2019 | By: Lunah Life
Living With Eczema
Part 1 of 2 - Supplementation & Diet
‘Tis the season when anyone that suffers from skin imbalances such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, or super dry skin- starts to really feel it. We can’t tell you how many clients we have that come asking for relief from their itch! And we want to help. When it comes to skin conditions, natural is best as it will not aggravate the skin, and it acts as a long term healing agent, versus a bandaid. The chemicals found in store-bought products can cause more trouble on your already aching skin, than good.
From a Holistic Nutritionist stand-point, these imbalances almost always start on the inside, which is why at Lunah, we are big on asking about food, stress, sleep, and other lifestyle factors. There is no one single cause of eczema, but there are numerous underlying factors that can cause this condition to worsen.
Let’s go over a few major recommendations you can start to implement into your daily routine that will help give you relief. It’s not about ditching all of the “bad” at once. Let’s focus on adding in more good routines so there is less room for the ‘bad’.
We’re not big on supplementing unless it’s necessary. In this case, it usually is, at least for a short while, to start the journey of rebalancing your skin.
EFA’s: Essential fatty acids help keep the skin moisturized, fight systemic inflammation, and aid in nervous system homeostasis. Stress is a huge factor in this skin condition, and a good essential fatty acid is like giving your nervous system a big ol’ hug! When selecting a quality supplement from this category, please consult with your neighbourhood health store (they know so much!). Avoid high heat purified, molecularly distilled fish oils, and instead look for companies using the whole fish, which means you get all of the omegas plus naturally occurring vitamin D.
Probiotics: Research has shown that the more strains of healthy bacteria we have in our bellies, the better our bodies are at fighting disease, powering up our immune systems, and decreasing inflammation - which are three key factors in the development of eczema. Probiotics also help to create vitamins and minerals that develop in the gut.
Vitamin D: Supplementation with this vitamin is necessary for healing the skin from within. Research has shown that people who have eczema have lower levels of vitamin D; most of us are deficient here in Canada. Vitamin D helps the immune system reduce levels of inflammation and strengthens the skin barriers of protection.
Digestive Enzymes with HCL: A lack of one or both of these things can cause a lot of internal imbalances. If you do lack the factors to help break your foods down, then they are not being assimilated, absorbed, and used to their best abilities. There are a few options here to increase your stomach fire, which leads to fewer symptoms of indigestion, as well as decreased inflammation. You can pop over to your local health food store and enquire about which HCL supplements they carry to increase stomach acid. On the other hand, digestive enzymes will help break down either carbs, proteins or fats, thus allowing you to absorb all the good stuff.
You could also start with some affordable and easy solutions like the ones below:
1. Drink less fluid with meals. Fluid actually dilutes your digestive fire and can interfere with proper digestion and absorption.
2. Try adding about 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 1/4 a cup of water before each meal.
3. Wake your stomach acid up first thing in the a.m. with a cup of warm water and a squeeze of half a lemon. Take before consuming breakfast.
Research has shown that food allergies/intolerances are often at the root of the growing number of eczema cases. The best way to narrow down the foods that don’t work for you is to keep a food journal and try an elimination diet. Which means you’ll be eliminating the most common allergenic foods for a certain time period, and then re-introducing them one-by-one, afterwards. Here is a list of foods to think about, when trying to find the cause of your flare-ups.
• Dairy (includes milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
• Soy (a cheap filler in many dressings, sauces, etc., also includes tofu, soy sauce)
Keep a food journal and log how certain foods/meals make you feel. Our bodies are always talking to us and giving us clues. Remember, just because it’s considered healthy, does not mean it is a good fit for your body. For example, apples could be your best friend’s saviour, but maybe for you, they make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. At the same time, you will want to start including foods that support gut health. Improving your gut health will decrease inflammation, and create a soothing environment for good things to start happening! Like improved food breakdown, absorption and assimilation of nutrients, to improve your skin. Foods to Include:
1. Nettle Tea: This local herb is mega high in minerals and vitamins. We like to make a pot of this each day and sip until bedtime. Nettle will help soothe the itch from the inside
2. Flaxseed oil will moisturize skin from the inside out. Rich in inflammation-fighting Omega- 3s, 1/2 teaspoon per day is all you need. Drizzle on salads, stir-fry, or add to smoothies.
3. Cruciferous veggies are detox perfection: brussel sprouts, kale, arugula, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower.
4. Improve your gut health with probiotic-rich foods like homemade pickled vegetables, kimchi, organic tempeh, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kombucha, and miso soup.
5. Turmeric, ginger, black pepper, clove, cinnamon: these spices are the ultimate in fighting inflammation! Chop them, sprinkle them, blend them. Just get them in each day!
6. Fish: Loaded with anti- inflammatory omegas, this food is not one to miss in your weekly diet if you are looking for healthier skin. When inflammation decreases, so do your debilitating symptoms.
7. Greens like kale, swiss chard, arugula, and spinach. These babies’ main goal is to create alkalinity in the body. And the closer you can get to an alkaline body, the less disease can thrive. Blend it in smoothies, add to your morning eggs, your protein bars, and your dinners.
8. Water: your body needs this for so many functions. Your brain needs it to perform optimally, the skin needs it for lubrication, it assists nutrients to get from place to place in the body, and it’s needed to carry waste and other nasty things out.