Most people don’t think of their skin as an organ, but it is! Like all other organs in the body, your skin is made up of tons of cells that get directly impacted by what we eat. Most people, with or without eczema, can see a direct relationship between the food that they eat and the quality of their skin! This is why it’s crucial for children with eczema that they are eating a diet that is rich in nutrients that support healthy skin.
Take a look below at the nutrients that support skin health and consider incorporating them into your little one’s diet!
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
You’ve probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. What you might not have heard is that the ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s is crucial in order for your body to take advantage of these anti-inflammatory benefits! For the average Joe in America, their ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is about 10 to 1. Because the ratio is so much higher than ideal (4:1) , it is believed that this has a link to inflammatory skin conditions.
Sources of omega 3 fatty acids: mackerel, salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, egg yolks, etc.
The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene (aka provitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Beta-carotene, or provitamin A, is the red and orange pigment found in fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene gets converted into vitamin A in the body, which is important because we need vitamin A for healthy skin! You can find beta-carotene in delicious fruits and veggies like apricots, asparagus, kale, peas, plums, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc.
Vitamin C is also important for skin health because it plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen. You can incorporate yummy foods like oranges, brussels sprouts, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, mango, broccoli, and cauliflower to increase Vitamin C in your little one’s diet!
You’ve probably heard that Vitamin E protects your body from excessive oxidative stress and free radicals. Your skin is no exception! You can find vitamin E in sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, tomatoes, spinach, peanut butter, avocados, etc.
Biotin helps regulate fatty acid metabolism and proper fat production is plays a critical role when it comes to skin health. When you are not consuming enough biotin, your fat production is impacted. Remember when your newborn had that pesky cradle cap? That was probably from a lack of biotin many newborns go through! Same with your own scalp when you notice it’s a bit flaky.
You can find biotin in egg yolks, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, salmon, avocados, sweet potatoes, etc.
What do you do now?
Start making small changes! Make a commitment to adding 1-3 new foods per week to your little one’s diet to support their healthy skin. Choose foods that have more than one beneficial nutrient too! You’ll notice that avocados have Vitamin E and biotin. Kill two birds with one stone! And don’t forget to have fun with it. Use this as an excuse to experiment in the kitchen at dinner time or shake up snack time!