For children and adults, eczema can make life miserable with its thick, dry, red, dry, and scaly constantly itching skin. For a lot of individuals, eczema can be set off by an allergic reaction to certain foods and the symptoms can only be alleviated by avoiding these foods. Chinese nutritional therapy is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that views diet in an entirely different way from the typical Western diets. This article will provide the reader with Six Chinese Foods tips that will help treat their eczema.
1. Avoid damp forming foods – Stay away from foods such as sugar, bananas, orange juice, peanuts, wheat, and dairy products like cheese and cow’s milk as they are extremely damp forming foods. Eczema can be triggered in children who drink cow’s milk. By nature, cow’s milk is extremely damp and if the digestive system of your child is compromised, it can lead to skin rashes, weeping lesions, oozing, and itchy skin. In a Chinese diet, milk is very rarely used. In Western cultures, however, people widely drink milk which is the reason a growing number of people are getting an allergic reaction to it. You need to look for a better alternative if your baby is suffering with eczema. Goat or soy milk that less damp forming are safer replacements.
2. Eat more nourishing and cooling foods – If you have eczema, you need to clear excess heat in your body by decreasing skin itching, inflammation, and redness to treat your condition. You also need to strengthen your blood and vital energy (qi) and moisten dryness. Moistening and cooling foods are recommended and they include tomatoes, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberry, pears, tofu (beancurd), barley, celery, cucumber, watermelon, seaweed, lettuce, and grapefruit.
Blueberries; aduki and kidney beans; beetroot; dark red vegetables and fruits; and dark, leafy green vegetable are ideal foods that strengthen blood and qi. Blood and qi strengtheners include meats such as chicken, kidneys, and liver. For breakfast, you can eat a bowl of oat porridge added with some dates.
3. Stay away from ice cold and raw foods – Your digestive system can be injured when you eat too many chilled foods (not the same as cooling foods) and raw foods. The digestive system needs digestive fire or warmth in order to work efficiently and too much and/or extended intake of ice-cold or raw foods will eventually extinguish this digestive fire. Because of this, you may have noticed that the Chinese do not eat a lot of ice-cold or raw foods.
4. Avoid greasy foods – By nature, greasy, fried foods are warm and very damp forming. Inherently, eczema is warm (yang), which implies that if your body has too much heat within, it will bring about symptoms such as thirst, inflammation, and redness. Avoid yang cooking methods such as sautéing, stir frying, deep-frying, baking, grilling, and roasting. Yin cooking techniques such as steam, braise, stew, simmer, or boil is much more preferable if you have eczema. Your skin and body are nourished and cooled more when foods are cooked this way.
5. Balance your flavors – Even in Chinese nutritional therapy, the idea of “too much of one thing is bad” also applies. In most Chinese diets, there is a balance of flavors – pungent, sweet, bitter, sour, and salty. Salty foods such as fish, pork, and seaweed, for example, stimulate digestion, reduce excess moisture, and regulate moisture balance. However, when you eat too much salt, it will cause dryness in your body and make you dehydrated. Milk, bananas, and sugar are sweet foods that gently stimulate the flow of blood and qi, benefiting and moistening dryness. Eating too much sweet foods, however, can result in the buildup of heat and damp that can lead to eczema. A balanced diet that includes all flavors, therefore, is beneficial. Depending on your needs, you can reduce or increase a specific flavor.
6. Enjoy your food and chew slowly – Eczema is usually set off and even caused by emotional stress. We either do not enjoy what we’re eating, under-eat, or overeat when we are stressed. Avoid eating when you’re angry as it can affect the circulation of qi in your body and can cause it to stagnate. Over time, stagnation of energy can lead to an accumulation of heat that can visibly appear as inflammation and skin rashes.
Focus on your food while eating. Do not read or watch TV while you’re eating. Chewing your food thoroughly can help our digestive system to work more efficiently.
When you integrate these Six Chinese food tips as part of your eczema food therapy, besides keeping your eczema at bay, you also get to enjoy your food.
Ni Nan Healing Art Center is an acupuncture clinic in Bellmore, NY providing Chinese medicine treatments for many health conditions.