When you suffer from eczema, you start to learn that certain environmental factors trigger flare-ups. You've probably learned to avoid chemicals which can cause a harsh reaction. For instance, many eczema sufferers use milder detergents in order to limit fragrance and common chemicals from touching their skin.
There are seasons during the year when you have to really up your skincare routine to help keep your eczema at bay. During the cold months, you use a humidifier and increase your moisturizing routine to offset the damage cold air and forced heat deals to your body. Of course, there may also be foods that are more likely to coincide with skin irritability.
The foods that trigger your eczema can vary. Some common foods that do tend to cause eczema flare-ups for some people include gluten, dairy, and wheat. Because triggers can be unique to the person, some common things that bother other eczema sufferers may not cause yours to flare up. The best way to tell what triggers you do have is by paying close attention to diet and environment during a time period when you're seeing more extensive eczema to narrow down common things that may be impacting your skin.
Knowing how to avoid things that trigger your eczema is one tool. Another way to help ease future flare-ups is by adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. There are certain foods that contain vitamins and nutrients that aid in combating inflammation — these foods also tend to be advantageous for your overall health which may also work to keep your eczema more controlled.
Top Twelve Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Help Battle Eczema
Note: these may not work for everyone since eczema triggers vary from person-to-person.
- Spinach. Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, are excellent sources of Vitamin K and iron. Adding spinach to your diet, boosts your overall health and provides anti-inflammatory properties which can stave off issues, such as eczema. Spinach is versatile and offers plenty of options for any type of taste. You can serve it raw in a salad to replace iceberg lettuce, which is less nutritious. You can serve it cooked and it's an integral part of dishes, such as spinach pie.
- Broccoli. Broccoli offers great nutritional value, containing Vitamin A and C, as well as potassium. It's considered a great antioxidant and studies show that it may be useful in fighting off certain types of cancer. Broccoli also has anti-inflammatory properties. This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Fish. Fish, especially those high in Omega-3, provide plenty of anti-inflammatory punch. Any type of fish promotes a healthy diet and it's recommended that you eat fish at least twice a week. Some types of fish contain more Omega-3 fatty acids. Those include anchovies, sardines, and salmon. For people who don't like those types of fish, adding an Omega-3 supplement can be especially helpful to boost your overall health and aid in alleviating inflammation.
- Almonds. Almonds and other types of nuts provide "good" fat, which helps overall to improve cardiovascular function. They are higher in calories and consumption should be limited to a small amount per serving. If you're taking any type of vitamin supplement, it's a good choice to eat a few almonds prior to taking your vitamins to help the body absorb them fully. Almonds also have great anti-inflammatory properties.
- Avocado. Avocados have healthy fats and are rich in antioxidants. You'll also find that they're a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and E — a powerful punch of great nutritional value. Avocados offer great nutritional and anti-inflammatory value to your diet. It can be eaten sliced in a salad, added to your favorite type of sandwich, or made into a tasty guacamole.
- Berries. Berries of all types offer a great nutritional and antioxidant punch for your diet. They're low in fat and calorie content, so you can eat as much as you like. Some varieties that are particularly useful to fight inflammation include strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and blackberries. There are a variety of ways to eat berries but fresh is probably best. Adding sugars to make pies or jams will increase the calorie content and make them less healthy.
- Grapes. Any fruits are essentially good for a healthy diet, though some citrus or tropical fruits can be higher in sugar. Grapes are specifically good for reducing inflammation and contain anthocyanins which have been shown in some studies to actually reduce gene markers for inflammation. Grapes can be eaten fresh as a snack or added to your favorite type of fruit salad.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes offer amazing vitamin and antioxidant properties. They are rich in lycopene which has inflammation fighting properties and may be beneficial in fighting off certain types of cancer. Tomatoes can be served in a variety of ways and added to many of your favorite recipes.
- Garlic. Garlic has long been touted as a fantastic cure all for pretty much any type of health condition. Recent studies have proven that the use of garlic for health is more than an old wive's tale. This commonly used spice has anti-inflammatory powers and can be excellent for overall health.
- Beans. There are a variety of beans that can be added to your diet which provide great nutritional value and plenty of fiber. This dietary addition can also be good to combat heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as offering amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Some types of beans that you can add to your diet include kidney beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas.
- Olive Oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is a much healthier option for heart health and cholesterol than butter or other oil options. Olive oil contains antioxidants with great anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice for those with eczema and other inflammatory conditions.
- Whole Wheat. Gluten, which is found in white and processed flours, tends to be a common trigger for those who suffer from eczema. It's difficult to limit all bread products from your diet but switching to whole wheat options can help to limit the irritation from bread consumption. Whole wheat offers far more nutritional value and can help stave off inflammation.
Avoiding triggers is one step you can take to ease eczema symptoms. Building nutritional options with anti-inflammatory properties into your diet offers a more proactive approach to limiting flare-ups. As a side benefit, most anti-inflammatory foods are also healthy for your overall diet.
As a means to supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle, check out our lineup of Eczema Relief products.
Thanks for this blog!
I also had a food allergy test done and found that I am allergic to wheat. If I eat wheat I become covered in eczema the next day. I was clear skinned for 6 years since then, but have been flaring lately and no idea what is happening now because I’m definitely not eating wheat :(! I am suspicious of onion being a trigger. Will have to re assess my diet again .
Strawberries are my daughter’s favorite fruit but unfortunately it’s a trigger for her eczema! 🙃
I agree on the gluten, I have just a bit and the next day I have breakout.
For the chick above me named Linda. I have a rare case of terrible eczema, I went to a dermatologist in Mexico and she taught me how to cope with everything about my skin and my flare ups have calmed down. If you have questions my insta is Notyourboo
Unfortunately I have to stay away from perfumes and when I started using free and clear products such as detergents, cleaners, hand soap, ect. my flare ups reduced tremendously. FYI
Great post! Unfortunately, tomatoes, almonds, and gluten trigger my eczema so I avoid them. Try to find what works best for you by experimenting and keeping a food journal.
I was able to ‘cure’ my eczema by taking a food allergy test, finding out I was allergic to mushrooms, and eliminating them from my diet. Now if I ever eat them (bc I’ll suffer every once in a while for them), I use my honey cream or if it’s really bad- my elocon steroid cream.
Stay away from GLUTEN!! It is a huge trigger for me+wheat is not what it used to be. It’s GMOs. Terrible for your health. Period. Avoid sugar, dairy when having a breakout as well. Helped me tremendously.. Martha
I am to the point of not knowing what to do about my eczema! I have tried all kinds of lotions, ointments, etc. Nothing helps and I do not know what to do.