These days much is written about diet and health.
No doubt you’ve seen information on the following diets: paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, and anti-inflammatory. But what does science say? Can food make a difference if you are troubled by inflammation issues? As it turns out, a diet rich in unprocessed foods may help if you have inflammatory skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis, and acne. The idea is to prevent your body from producing an inflammatory response. There is a lot of scientific explanation behind this, as certain foods can quickly raise your glycemic index, which ultimately triggers inflammation in the digestive tract. The key to stopping it is eating a lot of fresh organic vegetables, some fruit, lean proteins, nuts & seeds, probiotic foods, and healthy fats such as olive oil. Everyone in your family can benefit from this type of diet, not just a patient with inflammatory skin diseases. If you currently eat a typical American diet, the following can trigger a skin episode:
-Too much-processed food (daily intake can include everything from fast food, packaged foods in your grocery store, bakery items, processed meats, candies, chips, soda, and reheat microwave meals)
-Too much sugar
-Too much alcohol
-Gluten for celiac patients or those with a sensitivity
Seeing a pattern here? Moderation. We are not saying you can never eat french fries, but depending on the seriousness of your condition, it should be restricted. The other thing to consider is for some people, even wholly natural foods can cause issues. For example, some have an adverse reaction to nightshade vegetables such as eggplant and peppers. Others may find ingesting tomatoes or even citrus causes a negative response. Some doctors recommend an “elimination” diet, meaning you start with a fundamental diet and gradually add in foods to find out what is triggering symptoms. Food allergy testing might be beneficial for specific patients, particularly those who have difficulty with gluten. Some people can’t tolerate milk but seem to do ok with Greek yogurt.
A recent study showed that a Mediterranean diet does help with psoriasis symptoms.
If you are not familiar with the Mediterranean diet, it consists of the foods people eat in Greece and around the Mediterranean region. The menu is high in fish, fresh vegetables, fruits, olive oil, and grains. The people of the Mediterranean eat some sugar and dairy, but in minimal quantities. Desserts are usually sweetened with honey; only a small percentage is deep-fried, which can trigger an inflammatory response. If you keep overeating food that causes inflammation, you may end up with what is theorized as “leaky gut syndrome.” The inflammation breaks downs your digestive system to the point where toxins can infiltrate and cause disease.
Eating a healthy diet is not as convenient as many of us are accustomed to consuming. It’s best to avoid fruits and vegetables that are treated with pesticides and herbicides. Look for organic whenever possible. You will be doing a lot of cooking and meal planning. But the benefits may result in clearer skin and improved health.
I want to end this post by pointing out dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, so enjoy—in moderation!