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Do fast foods contribute to eczema?

Scientists have discovered children who eat fast food three or more times a week are significantly more likely than other children to develop severe eczema. The researchers from Auckland University in New Zealand used international data compiled from almost two million children and adolescents. They also discovered that young children who consumed at least three fast food meals a week were 27 percent more likely to develop severe asthma, and teenagers were 39 percent more likely than other children who ate fewer or no fast food meals a week.

It is believed that the high content of fats, refined salts and sugars, trans fatty acids, chemical preservatives and other artificial additives in take away foods contribute to the appearance of eczema, asthma and hay fever.

On the other hand, the same researchers found eating three or more servings of fruits and vegetables a week reduced symptoms of these conditions among all age groups. According to the data, teenagers who ate three or more servings of fruits and vegetables saw an 11 percent symptom reduction, while young children saw a 14 percent reduction.

It’s little wonder, as vegetables and fruits such as papaya are rich in vitamin C, a natural antihistamine.

 

Why papaya is on the cover

 

I have just returned from Auckland, New Zealand where I completed a three day book tour for The Eczema Diet. During one of the interviews (I think it was the Saturday Breakfast TV interview with gorgeous host Tamati) I was asked why papaya featured on the cover of The Eczema Diet. I briefly answered the question but there are several more reasons why papaya was singled out for the cover…

Papaya is one of many eczema-safe ingredients detailed in the book but it made the cover because it is not only low in natural chemicals (the ones that can make your skin itchier) but because it’s also packed with nutrients that protect the skin and improve digestion.

Papaya provides…

  • a range of carotenoids, which are potent antioxidants that can modulate gene activity to protect against inflammatory damage and tumour growth
  • antioxidant lycopene to protect the skin from sun damage (there is no lycopene in pawpaw)
  • vitamin C, which is a natural anti-histamine to help manage allergy symptoms
  • digestive enzyme papain, which kills parasites in the gut – and after antibiotic use or a bout of illness you can eat a serve of papaya daily to promote recolonisation of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract

Tip: If papaya is not available, use pawpaw in The Eczema Diet recipes instead.

Health and happiness,
Karen Fischer