Eat Your Way to Better Skin

It's no secret that I use diet as a method of treating my eczema in the journey towards better skin health.  You may suffer from eczema or another skin condition, or simply want to improve the appearance of your skin.  I have spoken about the foods and food groups I have identified as triggers and therefore avoid, but it’s not all about control and restriction.  There are many foods that I try to eat in abundance as they can improve skin health and appearance.

When I first began this journey, I trawled the Internet and read every eczema diet book going.  My brain frazzled and I couldn’t see the wood for the trees - I just wanted to find a concise list of foods that I could refer to whenever I needed, making sure I had most or all of the foods in my kitchen at any given time.  Here is the list that I have come to know and love (which takes into account the foods I avoid), along with further details on the what’s and why’s..

THE LIST:

Almonds
Anchovies
Asparagus
Avocado
Basil
Beef
Beetroot
Blueberries
Brazil nuts
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cacao
Carrots
Celery
Chard
Chia seeds
Chick peas
Chives
Cod
Collards
Coriander
Cucumber
Cumin
Dark leafy greens
Fennel
Garlic
Ginger
Green beans
Halibut
Hemp seeds
Kale
Kiwi
Lamb
Leeks
Linseeds/Flaxseeds
Mackerel
Mango
Onions
Parsley
Pine nuts
Pumpkin
Pumpkin seeds
Rhubarb
Romaine lettuce
Rosemary
Salmon (wild where possible)
Sardines
Sauerkraut
Spinach
Sprouted/soaked seeds & nuts
Strawberries
Sunflower seeds
Sweet potato
Swiss chard
Thyme
Tuna
Turkey
Turmeric
Walnuts
Whole Grains (gluten free)
Winter Squash 

THE DETAILS:

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HERBS & SPICES

Cumin 
Fennel 
Garlic
Ginger
Rosemary
Turmeric

BETA-CAROTENE
Promotes cell turnover and ensures developing skin has enough moisture.  Important because eczema sufferers have a cell turnover which is slower than normal, caused by reduced internal moisture.

Beetroot
Carrots
Pumpkin
Pumpkin seeds
Sweet potato 

BIOTIN
Regulates fatty acid metabolism (so important when consuming omega-3 FA). Protects against cell damage and water loss.

Almonds
Romaine lettuce
Swiss chard
Walnuts

NIACIN/VITAMIN B3
Integral in the process of new cell formation and plays a key role in the formation of body tissue, especially skin

Green leafy veg
Poultry 
Salmon
Seeds
Tuna

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Anti-inflammatory.  If you are getting Omega-3 from other sources, pay attention to the ratio of 3 to 6 (you should aim to eat at least double the quantity of 3 to 6)

Chia Seeds
Cold-water fatty fish – sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, anchovies
Hemp seeds
Linseeds/Flaxseeds
Winter Squash

PROBIOTICS
Gut health is really important in achieving healthy skin.  Probiotics increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut, thus improving gut health.

Sauerkraut

SELENIUM
Helps the skin maintain firmness and elasticity.  Anti-inflammatory.

Brazil nuts
Cod
Halibut
Lamb
Salmon
Sardines
Tuna
Turkey

SILICA
Maintains health of connective tissue, including collagen, resulting in improved skin elasticity and therefore reduced wrinkles.  

Asparagus
Celery
Chickpeas
Cucumber
Green beans
Leeks
Mango
Rhubarb
Strawberries

SULPHUR
Necessary for the production of collagen.

Asparagus
Brussels sprouts
Garlic
Kale
Onions
Sauerkraut

VITAMIN C
Plays a role in the regulation of collagen, which results in a better skin appearance and less wrinkling – think of collagen being to skin what bricks are to mortar.  
Decreases dry skin and supports proper wound healing.

Basil
Blueberries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Chives
Coriander
Dark leafy greens
Kiwi
Parsley
Strawberries
Sweet potato
Thyme

VITAMIN E
Anti-inflammatory & protects the skin’s surface.  It’s fat soluble, meaning it needs fat in order to be digested by our bodies, so eat plenty of good fats at the same time if the food itself has little fat content, such as spinach.

Almonds
Asparagus
Avocado
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Chard
Kale
Pine nuts
Spinach
Sunflower seeds

ZINC
Assists in proper skin formation and wound healing.  It is also anti-inflammatory.  Anyone with eczema knows that wounds can take a long time to heal, increasing the risk of infection.  Anything anti-inflammatory is gold.

Cacao
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Whole grains (GF)

NB:  These are the foods I eat to help with my skin, not all may suit you due to allergies or intolerances.  Please use trial, error and your better judgment to determine which ones best suit you.


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...