Skin health and diet are closely associated. A healthy diet offers adequate nutrients, the skin requires to look hydrated, younger, acne-free and glowing.
Eating more plant-based foods vastly increases your nutritional profile. All the fruits and veggies inclusive of a plant-based diet offer the vital micronutrients your skin, as well as your body, requires. Take your minerals and vitamins in the form of real and natural, plant-based food items, while avoiding inflammatory food items believed to trigger skin issues.
Antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, and E are extremely beneficial for your skin.
Vitamin A in the form of retinol and beta-carotene are present in food items like mango, spinach, canned pumpkin, cantaloupe, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A present in these foods, slows the process of ageing, alleviates wrinkles, safeguards the skin from the UV light and heals wounds.
Vitamin C is present in sweet red peppers, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, and potatoes. It helps in improving collagen to tighten and rejuvenating skin. As an antioxidant, it improves the immune system and aids in fighting diseases and infections while neutralizing free radicals that are responsible for making your skin look tired and dull.
Vitamin E is present in turnips, mangoes, apples, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach, avocados, and sweet potatoes. It prevents damage from the sun and protects the skin against free radicals. Vitamin E is present in only plant-based foods and supplements and is twice as effective as synthetic vitamin E.
Benefits of a vegan diet (or plant-based diet) for curing eczema
Vegan diets or plant-based diets are helpful for people suffering from stubborn eczema and a diet that comprises of veggies and fruits is not only believed to prevent diseases and illness but also can effectively treat asthma and eczema.
A diet rich in minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients like phytochemicals is important for strong nails, glowing skin, and lustrous healthy hair. These nutrients can be best achieved by consuming meals comprising of an abundance of colourful veggies, nuts, fruits, legumes, and seeds – also termed as a “plant-based diet.” The optimal nutrients offered by these food items perform amazing functions and keep our skin, hair and body looking healthy. Since skin eczema is technically an allergic reaction, there is no cure-all diet for treating it. There are some food items that aggravate breakouts and there are some that are known to reduce symptoms (Tuso et al, 2013).
Food items such as sugar, soy, shellfish, eggs, dairy, meat, peanuts, and wheat trigger eczema. When these triggers are eliminated, you will see the skin condition disappear. Vegetarians and vegans typically eat more veggies and fruits in comparison to their carnivorous counterparts, who tend to eat more of meat, dairy and processed snacks.
The natural antioxidants present in a plant-based diet is very beneficial for the skin as it consists of low fat and has no pore-clogging saturated fats that lead to various skin conditions.
Since eczema triggers inflammatory symptoms (itchy and red blotches on skin) it is imperative to reduce inflammation for getting relief. A plant-based diet rife with fruits, vegetables and whole grains is naturally anti-inflammatory. Plant-based diets offer all the important fats, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals for optimal health, and contain higher concentrations of phytonutrients and fibre.
Animal proteins derived from meat and dairy are quite hard to digest and offer lesser time to the body to heal. Less the healing, more the condition of eczema hangs around. Veggies and fruits are easier to digest and hence eating them offer freed-up energy so that the body can repair the damage.
Probiotic foods like kimchi, miso soup, sauerkraut and pickles keep the gut flora (microbiome) healthy and this healthy microbiome accelerates the healing of the body, helps boost immunity and fights inflammation. Eventually, all this reduces the symptoms of eczema (Lea & Worsley, 2006).
The bottom line
There are many potential causes of eczema outbreaks and eczema-related symptoms, including what food items are eaten. There does not exist any single food item or diet plan that could treat eczema in everyone’s case, but a good rule of thumb is not to eat food items that you feel could make the eczema symptoms worse.
Emphasize on a healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This definitely may help to stave off some — or all — of the eczema flare-ups.
Lea, E. J., Crawford, D., & Worsley, A. (2006). Public views of the benefits and barriers to the consumption of a plant-based diet. European journal of clinical nutrition, 60(7), 828.
Tuso, P. J., Ismail, M. H., Ha, B. P., & Bartolotto, C. (2013). Nutritional update for physicians: plant-based diets. The Permanente Journal, 17(2), 61.