Uncontrollably itchy skin, rashes covering your body, for the love of... You can't for the life of you figure out what's causing it. You've tried it all.
Prescription skin creams and medications
'Clean' skin care products
Baths and soaks
Coconut oil (it fixes everything right?)
The list goes on and none of it works...
The connection to gut health may be why. If you suffer with skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis (among others), you more than likely have impaired gut health.
You might be surprised to know that there are a variety of healthy foods that can cause problems. Many fruits and vegetables are triggers for eczema because they contain natural 'chemicals' that some people react to, often because they have impaired gut health. The list of these triggers is long!
Here are 3 of the 10 categories of food triggers for skin rashes like eczema and the common foods they are found in. This is not a complete list.
Salicylate sensitivity can cause skin rash flares in some people. Some people have an allergy to them, and need to avoid them. Other people have a sensitivity or intolerance to them. If it’s a sensitivity, then we need to explore gut health (leaky gut), and an intolerance, then we need to look at why the body isn’t processing them. There’s a detoxification pathway in the body that uses sulfur, and the pathway is responsible for processing certain toxins called phenols. Phenols are found in all sorts of healthy plant foods and some foods have more of them than others. If someone has a problem with this pathway, they may not be able to process out phenols fast enough so they back up and cause symptoms like eczema and other skin conditions (and a variety of other symptoms). Salicylates are a subset of phenols. Removing all salicylates foods isn’t really the answer, there are tons of them, and they are otherwise healthy foods. Removing very high salicylate foods might be helpful if you eat them often (there’s a tolerance level, so smaller quantities less often may be fine), and then supporting detoxification can help too. Supporting detoxification means giving your body the nutrients it needs for detoxification to work (certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids), and NOT a detoxification ‘cleanse.’
Examples of vegetables high in salicylates include (1):
Fruits high in salicylates (1):
Dates and dried figs
Oranges and grapefruit
Granny smith apples
Nuts high in salicylates (2):
Nut chips, crackers and other products made from these nuts
High salicylate herbs (1):
Many products are high in salicylates (3):
Mints, peppermints, chewing gum
Acne products (salicylic acid)
Aspirin (salicylic acid) (4)
Shampoo and conditioners
Razors with aloe strips near the blade
Some pharmaceutical medication
Histamine (biogenic amines)
Foods high in histamine include (5):
Fermented alcoholic beverages
Vinegar and foods that contain vinegar
Luncheon meats, hot dogs
Most citrus fruits and grapes
Aged cheese including goat cheese
Walnuts, cashews and peanuts
Avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
Smoked fish and certain species of fish
Some foods release histamine (5):
Artificial preservatives and dyes
Histamine levels in your body can be increased when there is a deficiency of an enzyme that breaks down histamine called diamine oxidase (DAO) (6). There are foods that can interfere with this enzyme (7):
Black tea, mate tea, green tea
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate
Whey protein, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate
Anything protein fortified
Protease, protease enzymes, enzymes
Examples of nightshades include (8):
Potatoes (white, red, yellow, blue skinned)
Sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshades
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not a suggestion to remove all of these foods from your diet! Doing that could lead to nutrient deficiency. Rather, we need to ferret out underlying causes and address them in order to tame your skin problems. This is why eczema and other skin conditions needs to be addressed from the inside out.
For more information about all 10 triggers, and how to address your skin problems from the inside out, check out the eBook “Skin Rash Food Triggers - Addressing Skin Health from the Inside Out”.
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