Rosacea can have many triggers, including heat, cold, stress, anxiety, embarrassment, certain beverages and of course certain food. While stress, anxiety and temperature can have an almost immediate effect on our facial flushing, it is a little harder to figure out what food ingredients trigger rosacea, in particular when you have been just diagnosed with rosacea.
In order to determine what food triggers aggravate your rosacea, you need to pay close attention to your diet and write down everything you eat for at least a week. Then, try to correlate increased facial redness with a particular food you ate the day before. You will then look for any improvements in your rosacea symptoms after you have eliminated the suspect food from your diet.
The list of potential rosacea food triggers can be extremely long and not all rosacea sufferers react the same. Frequently, rosacea sufferers have to avoid any aged foods that are high in histamine and tyramine (a breakdown product of the amino acid tyrosine). Foods such as chocolate, hot peppers, tomatoes, red (bell) peppers, raspberries, lettuce, certain cabbages etc. can often trigger rosacea flare-ups.
However, simply eliminating food ingredients will not always work. This is because many rosacea food triggers are “hidden”. What do I mean with “hidden”? For example, you may be sensitive to paprika. There are many food items that contain paprika, sometimes without it being mentioned on the ingredient label. This includes barbecue sauces, steak sauces, certain chips etc.
Another example is citrus rind. You may not react to orange juice, but some brands of orange juice may contain large amounts of orange peel, which is a potential rosacea food trigger. The cheaper (store) brands often contain more orange peel.
Finally, there are some foods that increase the amount of nitric oxide (NO) in the blood, which acts as a vasodilator. Which foods can increase NO levels in our blood?
- Arginine-rich foods, such as nuts, chocolate, soy (tofu).
- Foods that are preserved or cured with nitrite or nitrates (cured meats for example)
If you know of some food item that is a rosacea trigger for you, feel free to share it with our readers and leave a comment.
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