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10 Foods to Eat When You Have Vitiligo

Foods in Vitiligo

Diet is a huge part of our lifestyle. You must have heard this phrase: “80% diet and 20% exercise and activity.” Well, it’s not just a catchphrase. Much of our physiological (and psychological) well-being depends on the food we put into our bodies.

So, does the type of diet and the foods you eat influence the condition of vitiligo? While vitiligo’s exact cause remains elusive, growing evidence suggests that diet plays a crucial role in managing this condition. Remember that your diet might not “cure” vitiligo but can support your immune system so it doesn’t spread further.

This article will look into the list of the best foods you should include in your vitiligo diet today.

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Understanding the Correlation Between Vitiligo and Diet

Before we delve into the foods beneficial for vitiligo, let’s understand how diet influences this condition.

Melanocytes, the “pigment-producing cells” in the body, are responsible for producing melanin, which gives our skin and hair the colour we have. The immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys these melanocytes in vitiligo, leading to the characteristic white patches.

Besides the fact that vitiligo is primarily an autoimmune condition, research also indicates that there are varying triggers that further worsen the condition of vitiligo.

Among them, oxidative stress and inflammation are the most common factors. Not only do they significantly contribute to the development of vitiligo, they also play a role in its spread. This is where a regulated diet steps into the game.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements can mitigate these triggers effectively, thereby reducing the spread and eventually reducing the appearance of depigmentation when paired with effective treatment options as prescribed by our specialists at Kayakalp Global.

Related Blog: How to Cure Vitiligo in 30 days at Home

Top 10 Foods to Include in Your Diet to Keep Vitiligo in Check

Simply understanding the correlation between vitiligo and diet won’t help if we don’t know about the vitiligo cure diet and the kinds of food that you need to add to your day-to-day dietary habits.

Let’s explore the top 10 scientifically-backed foods to incorporate into your diet when you have vitiligo.

1. Leafy greens

Although not everyone’s favourite kind of vegetable, leafy greens like spinach, kale and even chard are great if you suffer from vitiligo. These vegetables are loaded with various vitamins like Vitamin C and E and antioxidants, which reduce the risks and impacts of oxidative stress on the body.

Not only do they reduce the risks and spread of vitiligo, but some leafy greens have essential minerals like copper, which can be a natural trigger for melanin production in the melanocytes.

Related Blog: Top 10 Foods to Avoid in Vitiligo

2. Berries

While we are on the topic of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compound-rich foods, berries are cut without question. When discussing the best food for vitiligo, including strawberries, blueberries, etc., your diet can somewhat combat oxidative stress.

Active compounds like anthocyanins and quercetin reduce inflammation in the body and have melanocyte-protecting properties, preventing further spread of the white patches on the skin.

3. Citrus fruits

You can’t go wrong with a healthy load of Vitamin C in your diet; getting it directly from natural sources like citrus fruits makes the whole process even better. Including Vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc., in your diet is thus considered a healthy choice if you suffer from vitiligo.

Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis and acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralise free radicals that can harm melanocytes. Regular consumption of citrus fruits can support skin health and reduce the progression of vitiligo.

4. Nuts and seeds

Regularly eating a healthy serving of nuts and seeds is also a great way to switch up your diet to favour your struggle with vitiligo. Most nuts and seeds contain a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the spread of vitiligo symptoms.

Additionally, nuts contain a healthy amount of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects the skin against sun damage, which becomes an elevated risk for patients with vitiligo.

| Also Read: Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Vitiligo |

5. Fish

While we are on the topic of including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, one that deserves special mention is fish. Including fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines in your diet can be an effective way to benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties.

These fish variants are known for keeping inflammation to a minimum, optimising cardiovascular health and reducing the rise of free radical damage in the body, which is one of the triggers behind the spread of vitiligo. Omega-3 fatty acids are also immunomodulatory, keeping your immunity in check and reducing the destruction of the melanocytes, which cause depigmentation.

6. Turmeric

Next up on the list of vitiligo diet is turmeric. This is one of those staples in the Indian diet known for its significant antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

The active compound in turmeric, Curcumin, is quite beneficial in reducing the autoimmune responses, which are often heightened in patients with Vitiligo. What this does, in turn, is reduce the spread of the white patches on the skin and slow down the progression of the disease.

7. Green tea

Many people have mixed opinions about green tea and its effectiveness in managing vitiligo. But, the principle is the same. Green tea contains polyphenols (antioxidants) like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has dual benefits – antioxidative and anti-inflammatory.

Consuming green tea regularly will energise you and protect the melanocytes against oxidative damage and inflammation, thereby arresting or slowing down the spread of vitiligo.

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Related Blog: Early Stages of Vitiligo: Steps to Cure

8. Carrots

When you struggle with vitiligo, management doesn’t only involve slowing down the progression. It also involves taking care of your skin, especially the depigmented parts, since they are at heightened risk of sun damage.

Carrots are high in beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A that has promising benefits in optimising skin health and protecting your skin against environmental damage. Incorporating carrots into your diet can support melanocyte function and reduce the severity of vitiligo.

9. Probiotic-rich foods

This one is a bit of a twisted connection. We have discussed from the beginning that vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder. Some studies indicate a direct connection between gut health and autoimmune disorders.

Eating probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, etc., can be a great way to support and boost your gut microbiome, reducing the further degradation of autoimmune disorders like vitiligo. More research on this is required. Probiotics help maintain a balanced immune system, potentially reducing the autoimmune response that targets melanocytes.

10. Legumes or whole grain foods

Last on the list are whole grain foods and legumes, some of the most holistic food groups you can add to your diet. They contain a decent amount of protein and fibre and are also loaded with essential minerals like zinc and copper, which support melanin production in the body.

Not just that, eating a diet rich in whole-grain foods also reduces the risks of inflammation, thereby reducing the autoimmune response and protecting the melanocytes in the body.

Related Blog: Successful Vitiligo Treatment in Delhi

What are some Foods to Avoid with Vitiligo?

Besides the list of good foods to add, let us familiarise you with some vitiligo foods to avoid. Your aim, when managing vitiligo with diet is to avoid foods that will trigger inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to worsening of the condition.

These include:

  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Processed foods
  • Fast food
  • Sugar
  • Processed meat
  • Fried food
  • Candy and dessert
  • Alcohol
  • Margarine, butter
  • Red meat

Remember that our intention is not to restrict your diet but to align it healthily so it doesn’t exacerbate your vitiligo symptoms.

Related Blog: Is Vitiligo Related to Heredity Or Is It Genetic?

Conclusion

At Kayakalp Global, our specialists believe that around 5-10% of the treatment plan relies on the food you consume. In hindsight, that number might seem small, but it has some promising benefits in regulating the symptoms of vitiligo and reducing the spread of the white patches on the skin.

If you are struggling with vitiligo and have been looking for holistic treatment routes tailored to your unique needs that blend the power of Ayurveda and the convenience of Modern Science, Kayakalp Global is the place to be.

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