Going on a few months now, I noticed my face was burning and painful more than usual. I have Rosacea, an auto-immune skin disorder that makes the skin red, bumpy, rash and painful. Since food is so much more expensive in San Juan Island County than other parts of the Puget Sound/Salish Sea area, I’d been going to a food bank. Food banks are great, and have healthful options for those on a budget. The local one offers a plethora of beans, legumes and pulses. And I’m allergic to all of them. Which is too bad, because they are chock full of minerals, vitamins, protein and so on. They’re cheap, easy to make and healthy. But when my face had a 7+ pain factor, I had to reexamine my food options.
Dairy and all wheat products had to go as well. All acidic, citrus foods had to go. Rosacea feels like a cross between Poison Ivy and a bad Sunburn. All the time. Out was milk, hard cheeses, all cow cheeses, dairy yogurts-sour cream-cream cheese. All these were triggers for the Rosacea. All wheat products had to go as well, any type of wheat flour (white, whole wheat, etc), all wheat-based pastas, all wheat-based breads. Also the next to go were my all-time favorite Mediterranean vegetables–eggplant, mushroom and tomatoes all had to go. All Rosacea triggers. Which is a big thing, as all my cookbooks include all these foods I now am allergic to. Don’t get me wrong, I still stand behind all my recipes, they’re heart and diabetic friendly, just not Rosacea friendly.
Salads are a dieters best friend (other than soup). And I love eating great big salads, 3+ cups worth. Guess what? That much salad is a trigger for Rosacea. Any citrus-dairy-vinegar based dressing is out as well. All triggers for Rosacea. At least for me. What can I have? Olive oil, walnut or any plant-based oil with herbs and non-acidic spice. Spinach is a great diabetic and heart friendly green, but also a big Rosacea trigger. A great substitute is any type of kale, thankfully. Also any other type of greens are a go.
So what can I and others with Rosacea have? Here is the list I created for me. I did the same thing when I was on Dialysis years ago. I created a list of approved foods and shopped from that list, looking for sales and generally doing a good job.
Foods to help Rosacea:
- Sweet Potatoes (also diabetic friendly)
- All Leafy Greens (except Spinach)
- Pumpkins, gourds and Marrow
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
- Beets and Greens
- Cottage Cheese
- Goat Cheeses
- Dairy Free Cheeses
Non-Wheat Grains and Non-Wheat Flours:
- Brown Rice
- Spaghetti Squash
- Shirataki Noodles (0 calories, 0 carbs–order online)
- Make your own from a flour of the above grains
- Any non-citrus water: plain, sparkling, mineral, distilled, tap, carbonated, seltzer, club soda
- Cold or room temperature coffee
- Cold or room temperature tea–Green, white, any flower type, blueberry