10 Foods to Avoid Over Christmas for Eczema Management
The holiday season is synonymous with feasts and treats, but for individuals managing eczema, indulging in certain festive foods can lead to uncomfortable flare-ups. As you’ll be aware, eczema flare ups can be triggered by specific foods.
This article delves into the foods to avoid over Christmas to help those with eczema enjoy the festivities while minimising the risk of exacerbating their symptoms. This is not to say that all of these foods or even any of these foods will lead to a flare up in your symptoms. Eczema can be unpredictable and what triggers you differs from person to person. Chances are that you will be mostly familiar with what types of foods cause your flare ups but still, it can be useful to know what potential triggers to be careful of or to avoid overindulging in this festive season.
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and butter, are common triggers for eczema. Many holiday favourites, like creamy desserts and cheese platters, can be laden with dairy. Opt for dairy-free alternatives or choose desserts that use substitutes like almond milk or coconut cream to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your skin health. You could also try fermented dairy products such as yoghurt which are good sources of probiotics which can help with reducing eczema symptoms.
Eggs are another potential trigger for eczema in some individuals. While most dishes over the season are going to feature some egg, watch out for dishes that heavily feature them. This includes Boxing Day favourites such as custards, quiches, and certain baked goods. Explore egg-free recipes or seek alternatives, like flaxseed or applesauce, in baking to maintain the texture of your favourite treats.
Nuts, especially peanuts and tree nuts, can be culprits for eczema flare-ups. Many holiday recipes incorporate nuts for flavour and texture. Be cautious when indulging in nutty treats like cookies, cakes, and nut-based sauces. Consider nut-free recipes or alternative ingredients to enjoy festive flavours without the risk of triggering eczema symptoms.
Wheat and gluten-containing foods, such as bread, pasta, and pastries, are known to aggravate eczema in some individuals. During the holiday season, be mindful of the wheat-based items on the table. Explore gluten-free alternatives or recipes that use alternative flours like almond, coconut, or rice flour.
While spices add zest to holiday dishes, certain spices can be potential triggers for eczema. Keep an eye out for dishes heavy on spices like cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Opt for milder alternatives or explore herb-based seasonings that add flavour without causing skin irritation.
Sugary Sweets and Desserts
High-sugar foods can contribute to inflammation and worsen eczema symptoms. Be cautious with sugary treats such as candies, cakes, and cookies. Explore recipes that use natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup in moderation. Incorporate fruits for sweetness and choose desserts with lower sugar content.
We all enjoy a little tipple over the festive season and in moderation, a drink with loved ones is something many look forward to. However, it is true for some that alcohol, particularly certain types like red wine and beer, can be dehydrating and may trigger eczema flare-ups. Additionally, some individuals may be sensitive to the sulphites present in certain alcoholic beverages. Stay hydrated by alternating alcoholic drinks with water, and consider opting for spirits with fewer additives.
As the festive season approaches, don’t be scared of your festive feast triggering flare ups. You can still partake in the joy of holiday feasts by being mindful of dietary choices. By steering clear of potential trigger foods like dairy, sugary sweets, and excessive alcohol, individuals can enjoy a flare-up-free Christmas while savouring delicious alternatives. Remember, moderation and awareness are key to maintaining eczema management during the holidays.
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