There’s no specific diet for eczema. However, certain nutrients may help you find relief from skin symptoms. Try adding these seasonal foods to your eczema eating plan this winter.
If you live with eczema, you know that it can flare at any time of the year. And each season comes with its own challenges.
Some people find that the cold, dry air of winter can be a trigger. On a windy day, exposed skin can lose moisture. Taking a hot bath or shower to warm up on a cold day can also dry out your skin, causing more irritation.
There’s no specific diet for eczema, but there is research into the nutrients and foods that may help promote skin health.
For starters, because eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, eating anti-inflammatory foods could be helpful as part of eczema management.
Some research has investigated the role of free radicals in eczema. Free radicals can damage cells, causing inflammation in your skin. Eating foods high in antioxidants can help reduce the effects of free radicals.
Here are some foods to add to your winter meals as part of your eczema management plan.
Beets are a root vegetable packed with nutrients. An antioxidant called betalain gives them their vibrant purple color.
Beets can be roasted and added to salads. They pair nicely with citrus fruits, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, leafy greens, and nuts or seeds. Beets can also be juiced or added to smoothies.
When squash starts showing up in the fields and the store, it’s a sure sign of cooler weather ahead. Squash is a diverse group that includes acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and so many more varieties.
Squash is a source of many antioxidants.
It’s also a great source of soluble fiber, which helps feed the healthy bacteria that live in your digestive tract.
Squash is wonderful when roasted, made into soups, or added to curries.
Pears are another cool-weather food packed with beneficial nutrients.
They’re high in soluble fiber, which supports gut health, and rich in vitamin C, which may help reduce inflammation in your skin.
Pears are excellent when eaten fresh. A pear is ripe when the neck of the pear is slightly soft. Pears can also be sliced and added to a salad. Pear sauce is a nice side dish or can be added to oatmeal or used in baked goods.
Kale is a type of leafy green related to cabbage and broccoli.
It’s high in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant. Your body can use beta carotene to make vitamin A, which is associated with better skin health.
Kale is also high in vitamin C, another antioxidant that
You can use kale to make a salad or add shredded kale to stir-fries, rice bowls, or scrambled eggs.
Sweet potatoes are a source of soluble fiber, which helps support a healthy gut microbiome.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta carotene, the antioxidant that gives them their beautiful orange hue.
Your body can use beta carotene to meet your vitamin A needs. As with vitamin C, people with eczema have been shown to have
You can prepare sweet potatoes in many of the same ways as white potatoes — they can be roasted, mashed, or baked with toppings added.
Another form of leafy greens, Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is another nutrient involved in skin health.
Skin typically contains high levels of vitamin C, but people with eczema have lower vitamin C levels.
If you’re having flashbacks of boiled Brussels sprouts, don’t despair! Try shredding Brussels sprouts into a salad. You can also roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, or even with some brown sugar for a hint of sweetness.
If you’re carving a pumpkin for Halloween, make sure to save those seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc.
Zinc is a nutrient found throughout your body. And some research has shown that low serum levels of zinc are
Once you’ve taken the seeds out of the pumpkin, rinsed them, and dried them, add olive oil and some spices, and then roast them in the oven. You can also buy pumpkin seeds that are ready to eat. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten on their own, enjoyed in a trail mix, or sprinkled onto soups, salads, or stir-fries.
Mushrooms are one potential source of vitamin D. In a
Wild mushrooms can be a quality source of vitamin D. Commercial mushrooms are sometimes grown under UV lights to boost their vitamin D content — because mushrooms create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, just like humans.
You can check the nutrition facts panel on a pack of mushrooms to find out their vitamin D content.
Mushrooms can be roasted or sauteed and added to sandwiches, pasta, or rice dishes or served as a side on their own.
While there’s no exact diet for eczema management, certain nutrients — including vitamins A, C, and D; soluble fiber; and zinc — may help relieve skin symptoms. And there are many fresh food sources of these nutrients to enjoy in the cooler winter weather.