Many ailments are caused by a nutritional imbalance. Eat too much of the bad stuff and it accumulates in your body, manifesting into a unhealthy condition. Sarah Brewer, a nutritionist, shares her knowledge on a few of the more common ones that plague our society today, which foods can help relieve their symptoms, and which foods to avoid.
Acne – Acne is not directly caused by poor diet, but following one can worsen its symptoms. In order to improve acne, eat foods that contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, such as oily fish and dark chocolate. Meanwhile, limit eating sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods as they stimulate the release of insulin that cause skin cell generation to increase. Replace cow's milk with goat's milk; the former contains more sugar, growth factors, and hormones. Avoid processed foods and vegetable oils and limit red meat consumption.
Eczema – Eczema is a disease that is linked with dietary allergens. Consume at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day; dairy, nuts, seeds, and green, leafy vegetables for a good calcium intake; and supplements such as omega-3 fish oils, probiotics, and antioxidants to improve immunity and lessen flare-ups. On the other hand, avoid food additives, and be aware of dietary allergens linked with eczema such as milk, eggs, wheat, corn, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, chocolate, finfish/shellfish, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and berries.
Bad breath – Bad breath can be caused by dissolved tooth enamel, lack of saliva, and infected gums. Avoid acidic foods and drinks to prevent enamel dissolving and protein-rich diets that cause mouth odor. Drink water regularly. Eat foods rich in calcium to prevent acid erosion, and peppermints or parsley to mask odors.
Psoriasis – Psoriasis speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. Eat more oily fish and turmeric, while avoid processed foods, sunflower, safflower, and corn oils, red meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, alcohol, coffee, and refined sugar.
Painful periods – Painful periods can be overcome by reducing red meat, dairy, and saturated fats intake. Avoid caffeine, sugar, fried, and processed foods. Eat more omega-3 and take magnesium-rich foods like beans, nuts, and whole grains, and eating ginger.
Cold and flu – Cold and flu can be relieved by eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, increasing omega-3 and selenium intake, eating apple and elderberries, cooking with onions and garlic, ensuring enough vitamin D and zinc intake, and taking probiotics.
Candida – Candida, a yeast that affects the stomach and vagina, can be treated by eating anti-fungal foods and iron-rich foods with a vitamin C source. Meanwhile, it can be prevented by avoiding products that contain brewer's or baker's yeast and those that stimulate yeast growth.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – Foods that can help CFS include organic foods and foods rich in B vitamins. Excessive caffeine should be avoided.
Rosacea – Fruits, vegetables, salads, honey, maple syrup, and lots of water can help rosacea sufferers. Avoid spicy foods, coffee, tea, sodas, and foods with additives.
Insomnia – This can be helped by eating tryptophan-rich foods and supplements such as magnesium, chamomile, and lavender, and avoid caffeine, nicotine, excessive alcohol.