- Home Page
- Eczema & I
- Eczema Solutions
ECZEMA, NUTRITION and WHOLE FOOD THERAPY
Nature ... helping us to Nurture!
Eczema and Nutrition are bedfellows. Nutritional support of the immune system is the most important step in alleviating the symptoms of eczema and the one that is most often overlooked.
Unfortunately, in our modern society the word nutrition is heard as a scary negative. Many people seem frightened or overwhelmed by this word and what it may require of them. They may feel worried that nutrition and healthy whole food eating requires from them more of their time and effort into food preparation or perhaps learning how to cook; Some may feel that they have to go without life's little yummies or give up sweet things etc . Not so. Nature provides so many of life's little yummies; sweet and juicy and ready to eat. Foods that comes packaged in its biodegradable, recyclable and unique skins. All we have to do is learn to combine a few of those whole foods and make our taste buds sing.
With a little knowledge, a splash of time, a pinch of love and a few good recipe books, you can create very tasty nutritious meals and snacks using virgin ingredients from Nature's pantry. Just because you have food allergies does not mean that you can't enjoy restaurant worthy meals at home.
I won't try to coverup the fact that yes ... it does require of you more input as far as time and effort are concerned. However, this does not mean spending endless hours in the kitchen at all. With a little food planning and preparation you will barely notice the extra time and effort you're putting in. As you start to feel healthier and feel more vitality, you'll find it won't be an effort at all, it will simply become your lifestyle.
Always be on the look out for tips on food uses, preparation and storage etc. Start collecting recipe books and recipes from family and friends. It's up to you to tweak the recipes according to your food allergies and sensitivites. For instance, when a Recipe calls for flour, subsitute it with flour from another grain, such as brown rice, or buckwheat, quinoa or amaranth relative to what your using it for. We live in the age of Information Technology so information about food and nutrition is at our fingertips; there are plenty of cooking and lifestlye programs on TV these days with loads of information you can apply to your own specific dietary needs.
OUR INSTANT SOCIETY
The ‘Industrial Revolutions' have had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of our times. With it's beginnings in the early 1700's through to the 1900's, it was when we shifted from being agriculturally based to large scale manufacturing. It started in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world. The Second Industrial Revolution' is dated from 1875 - 1905 and known for Electricity and Chemicals. This major shift had an incredible influence on the way we eat and helped to create a society of ‘instant' addicts.
This 'instant' society wants the end product right now. If we want soup, all we have to do is tear open a paper package, pour some powder into a cup and add hot water voilà... instant soup! You can have a roast dinner on your plate in minutes by simply placing a frozen 'TV dinner' - a plastic container with a cellophane cover, containing highly processed food products with very little nutritional value - into a microwave oven and zap it for a few minutes ... again voilà ... instant roast dinner.
I question the nutritional value of these products and remain acutely aware of the ‘hidden' dangers of these powdered and processed foods. I know I am not the only one! There are many of you who question these instant foods. How nutritious are they? How do these foods affect my child's behaviour? How do the preservatives and other additives affect my general health and well being? How do these foods affect my skin and allergies? The answer to these questions is becoming more and more obvious and the answer is not good! There are regular segments on all the current affairs and news programs every other week about the issue of food additives and chemicals; the nutritional quality of the food we are being sold; the ill effects that it has on our health and the health and behaviour of our children. We regularly see a story about a child or adult who is suffering horrendous eczema/allergies/chemical sensitivity/unexplained illness and other immuno-disorders and the medical profession has run out of drugs and ideas. We see these stories more and more. Every time I watch one, whilst my heart breaks for the person suffering, my mind clearly understands the damage to our collective immune system at the hands of the modern highly processed and chemically soaked diet.
THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY
Try not to shop blindly by product name, reputation or advertising tricks. Take a stand, be an individual and demand quality from the suppliers of the foods you buy. Stop buying these 'dangerous goods' and choose to spend your hard earned money on quality whole foods; foods that have been minimally processed and packaged without the use of dangerous chemicals and additives; 'clean foods' that have been grown and prepared with their customers health in mind, the health of the local community and the health of our planet.
DO NOT BELIEVE THE ADVERTISING ON THE FRONT OF THE PACKAGING or even the media advertising about the product - it is often misleading. Really, that's all that packaging is ...advertising. It is designed to draw you in to buy the product. It does not tell you the whole truth of the food or cosmetic product you are buying. What does a cartoon character or talking animals and plants really have to do with a breakfast cereal?
These characters, the advertising companies, the food and beverage corporations and the chemical manufacturers behind these products DO NOT love your children and your families; they DO NOT work hard to protect and feed them; they are NOT the ones paying the medical bills when someone you love becomes chronically ill. THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY!
The choice is Yours ... It's up to you to decide what you and your family eat. You be the judge of what is right and healthy for yourself and your family. You can make an educated decision about what is a healthy breakfast or snack; or what are suitable and nutritious foods for you and your family. This responsibility belongs to you, not some ludicrous singing, swinging, made-up, fake character! As a life-experienced adult, I find it objectionable to see fictional characters, animated animals or even young children telling me what to eat, what is good for me or even how much insurance I need!
YOU are your own best judge of that.
FICTION vs FACT
When you next go grocery shopping and pick up what has been advertised as a healthy product, turn it over and read the labeling on the back. That's where you will find the real information about the product. This is where you will find an ingredients list and nutritional statement. The ingredients list will tell you more about the product than the label on the front. The label on the front is the lure. Sadly, even the ingredients list is not giving you the whole story either. Most food additives have a number, which is used on the labels. If you don't know what the numbers refer to, then reading the label probably means nothing to you? check out my report on additives that affect eczema for a small sample of the poisons being added to your foods.
Many ingredients are listed on the packaging by their chemical name which is often hard to read or even pronounce. When you don't know what Ethylenediamine Tetraacetic Acid is, or you have trouble even saying it, it is easy to give up on reading labels. I don't know how this stuff is made or what it is made of, but I do know that it has the potential to cause asthma, abdominal pain, skin rashes, skin & eye irritation, kidney damage and teratogen. I also know that it is used in hair dyes, shower gel and shampoo as well as metal plating, dishwashing liquid and as an agricultural chemical spray. I know this through my own research not 'advertising'.
Once you know and understand what the numbers refer to and what these long chemical names hide, you may find yourself diligent in reading ingredients labels so as to be sure you are not poisoning yourself or your family. A great place to start is by educating yourself about the numbers listed on the ingredients list.
The Chemical Maze by Bill Stratham is a comprehensive look at these poisons and their potentially harmful effects; and it is the perfect size to take shopping with you.
CONSUMERISM AT ITS BEST or AT ITS WORST?
We are a society of consumers; there is a lot of pressure on our time and high demand for quick and easy products - advertising fills the gap between the consumer and the manufacturer. The ‘industrial revolutions' heralded the birth of the food processing plant and many whole foods made their way to these processing lines. By the time these once whole foods have passed through the factory machinery they may have been dried out, squeezed out, reconstituted, chemically preserved, pickled and bleached; broken down, stripped bare of nutrition then synthetically pumped up again, packaged, boxed up by the truck load and then shipped off to supermarkets around the world in wrapped in colourful packaging that is often misleading.
Many products advertise product with the added goodness of vitamins, minerals, or other important nutritional aids. Many of theses added vitamins and minerals are synthetic, that is, made in a lab, rather than naturally sourced from whole foods.
These synthetic additives have no more nutritional value than adding talcum powder to your gravy. Some are even thought to interfere with the body's ability to uptake real nutrition from food. Don't be fooled by a manufacturers attempt to jump on the Healthy band wagon.
As a result of highly processed foods we seem to have lost the taste for nature at its finest and purist. Instead we feed our bodies on highly processed consumables, some that don't even look like the original food any more than taste like it; colours and flavours are tampered with and are often overstated so as to trick your senses with false colour, sweetness or tastiness to encourage you to buy the product again.
The human body did not evolve on processed foods and chemical additives... Humans evolved eating red meats and whole foods; fish, raw vegetables, raw fruits, nuts, herbs, grains and pulses and animal products like milk, dairy and eggs. The human body is designed and needs to draw nutrients from the foods we eat. Our body draws vitamin C from citrus fruits, Vitamin A and Beta-carotene from carrots, iron from dark green veggies and calcium from an assortment of vegetables and grains as well as dairy; some of our whole foods come from the ocean such as fish, a great source of essential omega fatty acids and seaweed which contains useful amounts of minerals such as selenium, zinc and iodine.
Vine ripened fruits and vegetables contain natural sugars that are essential for the wellbeing and strength of our immune system. There are foods such as tomatoes, that contain the antioxidant Lycopene, which is useful in preventing prostate cancer and aids macular health; many berries are high in anti-oxidants and many more whole foods provide all important fibre.
Without these important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, natural sugars and fibres etc., the functions of the human body; the vital organs; endocrine, circulatory and immune systems, will all at some stage begin to deteriorate and fail which can result in health complications like auto-immune diseases including inflammatory conditions such as rhuematiod arthritis, eczema and allergies, even lupus; other major health issues such as cancers, heart disease and degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Osteoporosis.
It is my firm belief that the modern ‘western' diet of highly processed foods; the pesticides and herbicides, preservatives, colours, flavours; green harvesting and cold storage of fruits and vegetables , are huge contributors to these diseases. I believe that other modern health issues such as obesity and ADD/ADHD and even mental health problems have a direct correlation with the modern higly processed diet and lifestyle.
The human race may well eat itself into non-existence if we continue on this path of collective dietary self destruction.
Nutrition is food - food is energy for the body and the mind - energy is required for the whole body to function in a healthy way, so please, don't be scared, good healthy whole food is not something to be frightened of; moreover it is something to be embraced.
BUT FOOD CAN BE SCARY FOR SOME ...
Yes! I do know how scary food can be especially when it can create an allergic reaction so violent that it is life threatening and requires an ambulance trip to the hospital. This kind of reaction is called Anaphylaxis and is something i have experienced several times in my life.
Food can be scary when it creates any adverse affect in the body. So many people have sensitivities to different foods; someone may find that something like cucumber can give them very uncomfortable stomach aches and pains. The simple answer to that is to avoid eating cucumber. But when your food allergies and sensitivities become severe and in many cases become whole food groups such as dairy, simply avoiding that food or food group, is not the whole answer.
The nutrition from those foods or food groups you may be allergic or sensitive to, that is the vitamins, minerals and sugars etc., need to be replaced in your diet. How do you do that? Well it simply requires some effort and commitment on your part to find other nutritious foods to replace them and theses days there really are plenty of substitutes. Cow's milk can be substituted with goats, rice, soy, almond and even oat milk; and you can source calcium from other foods such as broccoli or sesame seeds.
ADDING NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT
However, it is not always possible to complete your nutritional needs this way so the very least you could do for yourself is take a multivitamin supplement which will help to support your diet.
My personal belief is that you'll get more out of taking your vitamins seperately than taking a multivitamin. I have a small regime of vitamins, minerals, oils, pro-biotic and antioxidants that my body requires on a daily basis to build up and support my immune system which in turn enables my body to fight off allergens, inflammation and infection; as well as assisting the health and healing of my skin. Check my report on Vitamin Therapy for some more info.
... YA GOTS TO 'AVE YUR GREENS
Plants are the building blocks of all medicine; even drugs are based upon chemical copies of our time tested botanical friends. In fact, before their common use as foods, many vegetables and fruits first gained notoriety as medicines. Plant based cures have underscored almost every culture and folklore.
Perhaps these 'old wives tales' are not really 'tales' at all. Perhaps these 'old wives' were more in tune with nature and the nurturing it provides.
For how many years were you told by your parents or grandparents, aunts and uncles to finish eating your fruits and vegetables so you would grow strong and healthy? I think they were on to something :)