The word vegan has become a buzzword these last couple of years. There is a lot of controversy around it, why people are trying it, the benefits and possible health detriments.
But the real reason you are here is to find out the benefits of the vegan diet for eczema and whether it’s real or just a marketing ploy to sell more beyond meat burgers!
1. Higher Nutrient Density
When you are on a journey to heal yourself, your mind and body needs all the nutrients it can get to start healing. You can not heal yourself when you are still on the diet that may have got you here in the first place.
I’m looking at you Standard American Diet…
When replacing animal products like eggs, dairy, chicken, beef, and so forth, you automatically increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. We all know that fruits and vegetables have a higher nutrition complex than animal foods. These vitamins and minerals that are not found in animal products are actually the keys to healing.
One of the essential vitamins that is found in fruits and veggies, is actually not found in useful amounts in animal products. Vitamin C! We all know Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins to healing.
Another essential mineral that is hard to source from meat, is Magnesium. This mineral is needed for more than 300 biological functions in the body. Most of us have a magnesium deficiency without even knowing about it because many of our foods no longer contain high amounts of it.
Magnesium helps the body to reduce inflammation which is one of the main symptoms of eczema. Magnesium also plays a key role in decreasing stress and anxiety, which is a known trigger for eczema flare ups.
That’s why your momma wanted you to eat your greens!
Research has found that compounds that occur in fruits and vegetables foods such as carotenoids and flavonoids seem to regulate our immune and inflammatory response. Studies have shown that an increase of fruit, vegetables and whole wheat has been associated with the decrease of inflammation.
Not only is this great news for your skin, but your overall body. When you are healing from eczema and topical steroid withdrawal, we must look deeper beyond the skin and the entire body.
You need to ask yourself, how can I help my body overall which in turn will reflect on my skin?
3. Reduced intake of chemicals, toxins, steroids, and antibiotics
The amount of chemicals, toxins, steroids, and antibiotics in our environment and foods is continually increasing every day. We don’t realize this but our entire body is constantly working to process and filter our these for you. This is where our liver, kidney, digestive system, and skin play a crucial part.
As we continue to consume foods with chemicals, toxins, steroids and antibiotics, after a certain time, your body can no longer filter these out effectively. What ends up happening is that other organs need to work hard to pick up the slack.
It is said that, when someone has skin issues, it is because their liver, kidney and digestive system is not functioning optimally. This results in our body using our skin to eliminate these toxins.
This is not to say fruits and vegetables don’t have their fair share of chemicals and toxins. These days, our produce is sprayed with chemicals to make them grow faster, larger, and last longer on its commute to your local grocery store, to make it shiny and look fancy.
The soil in our produce is growing in is also decreasing in quality. This in turn makes our produce less nutrient dense than 10-15-20 years ago.
But it still has a lot less chemicals and toxins compared to mass produced meat.
Can a Vegan Diet Cure Eczema?
It’s not going to 100% cure your eczema.
But it can make a huge difference in your healing journey.
For some, like me, the vegan diet wasn’t a long term lifestyle.
I did it for 1.5 year and after progress stalled, I eventually added back in chicken and fish, once a week.
I found that this balance worked for me.
When adding back meat into your lifestyle, it’s important to buy them as close to organic as possible. Free range, pasture raised, antibiotic, hormone free is what you need to be looking for.
For fish, buying them wild caught is always better than farm fished.
One thing I want to make clear is, going vegan does not mean you go out and buy fake meat.
It does not mean you still consume packaged and processed foods.
When going vegan, the purpose is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Save the fake meat for times you want to eat out.
Which diet is best for Eczema?
There is no best diet. Don’t believe the marketing tactics. Be wary of social media.
These stories highlight that it worked for some.
The vegan diet for eczema is one of the many diets out there.
So it’s worth it to try and see if it works for you.
The best diet is when you eat in moderation. Primarily whole foods plant based. Sourcing your meat from reputable shops and farms which use humane practices.
Don’t be so caught up on all the different diets. I’ve tried the paleo diet, the eczema diet, vegan, vegetarian and more.
What worked for me was a balance of all these actually.
I focused on increasing my protein, carbs, fats, fruits and vegetables from raw and cooked items.
Less on packaged, processed, canned foods.
Can plant-based diet reverse eczema?
It definitely can. Which is why I’m even writing about it and you are still here.
It can work so well that your eczema is basically minimal. Like me.
It’s going to take time for your body to adjust and for you to adjust mentally.
Sooner or later, it becomes second nature.
My “cheat” meals are saved for when I go out.
What Are The Best Vegan Foods for Eczema?
Anything that’s whole foods, plant based, minus your allergies, packaged, processed and fast foods.
But here are my favourite ones below:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wild Rice
- Sweet peppers
There are so many guides and resources to making the switch.
Two great YouTubers to follow are:
Don’t overhaul your lifestyle overnight. Make it a gradual switch so you don’t get overwhelmed. Maybe try an entire day of vegan meals once a week. Or make it one meal a day. Or every other day. That way it’s waaaaaay easier to manage.
Vegan Diet Downfalls
So there must be a con to the vegan diet for eczema right?!
Yes there are a few.
The first thing you need to know is that the vegan diet lacks in the vitamin B12.
The B group of vitamins is important for so many different functions of the body.
B12 is known for providing energy.
This vitamin is mainly found in meat. Which is what we are cutting out…
So what can you do? This is where supplements come into play.
You can supplement with B12 on its own. But I prefer supplementing with a B complex so I get the full range of B vitamins.
You don’t need to take both on its own because the B complex will already have B12 in it.
Check out this amazing infographic created by Dr Axe on the benefits of Vitamin B.
Making The Switch to the Vegan Diet for Eczema
I’ve tried a lot of treatments and diets in the past, so I decided why not give the vegan diet a try. The key is to keep trying something until it works!
I highly recommend staying on the vegan diet for at least 3-6 months to start seeing the benefits.
It’s going to be tough at first but push through because it’s worth it.
However, sometimes you need help. You need some to hold you accountable. You need that extra push. You just need someone in your corner.
That’s why I created the XZMA Healing Program to help you get back on you feet and feel comfortable in your own skin.
It’s going to look soooo good that we don’t need those Instagram/Snapchat/Tiktok filters my friend.
Au naturale, baby!
PS. Feel free to a book 30min call with me! Booking is soooo easy that it’ll be done by the time you pop that pizza pocket in the microwave for that next Netflix binge you got lined up.
Everything Eczema was created by Kishok (Certified Nutritional Practitioner, 2023) to help the millions of people around the world who are suffering from atopic dermatitis (eczema) and topical steroid withdrawal (TSW). Our goal is to educate and empower you on how to manage your eczema so you can live your greatest life!Learn more