Can Your Diet Cure Psoriasis?

What you eat affects your overall health and well-being, it is no secret that specific diets focus on curing bodily ailments. This is especially true for people dealing with psoriasis and other chronic diseases. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that results in dry, itchy, flaky, and scaly skin. The more skin cells produced, the worse the flare-ups. Reducing flare-ups, and preventing them from occurring, can be done by regulating what you eat. There are certain foods that can worsen symptoms, while other foods that can relieve them.

African American man lifting his white shirt reveiling his stomach with a caucasian woman measuring it with yellow tape.
Weight plays a major role in psoriasis woes. The more you weigh, then the more flare-ups.

Weight Plays A Role

Obesity raises the chances of developing psoriasis, and triggering itsit’s symptoms. Metabolic syndrome, the build-up of fat-storing cells around the waist, triggers inflammation which promotes psoriasis. A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that a 20-week weight loss plan (involving diet and exercise) reduced the severity of psoriasis by 48% in overweight people who were resistant to psoriasis treatment.

Foods To Avoid

When you have conditions that are caused by inflammation, it is important to recognize the foods that can cause it, and stay away from them. These foods include:

  • Fatty red meats– Red meat contains higher levels of cholesterol and saturated fats. 
  • Gluten– People with psoriasis have been found to have increased gluten sensitivity. Avoid foods with wheat, rye, barley, and malt.
  • Refined sugars– Sugar increases inflammation in your body. It is high in calories and does nothing good for your body but pack on weight, which promotes psoriasis.
  • Dairy products– Eggs and dairy products contain arachidonic acid which plays a role in creating psoriatic lesions. 
  • Processed foods– Microwavable foods, packaged deli meats, and canned soups are all examples of processed foods. highly processed foods are high in sodium and sugars. Eating a lot of processed foods can lead to obesity, which is linked to psoriasis flare-ups.
White bowl filled with fruits and nuts surrounded by more fruit on the table, for psoriasis diet.
Eating a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables will help erudce inflammation, and psoriasis issues.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Eat

Eat a balanced diet primarily composed of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in order to prevent inflammation. This diet is sometimes referred to as the Mediterranean diet. Diets that contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can also help reduce inflammation, and improve symptoms of psoriasis. In order to remain healthy, eat a diet that includes:

  • Omega-3’s- Oily fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, trout, cod, and tuna;  fish oil; and nuts such as walnuts, soybeans, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds. 
  • Oils- Consider cooking with oils that have a high ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These oils are olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and safflower oil.
  • Fruits & Vegetables- Fruits that have antioxidants such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and grapes. Vegetables rich in antioxidants to indulge in are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and leafy greens like kale, and spinach.

Drink More Water

Water is the most important thing you can give your body. It needs it. This is especially true for people dealing with psoriasis. Research shows that drinking water is crucial in reducing the severity of it. Drinking at least 2 liters of water a day may dramatically reduce your psoriasis. This does not just simply mean to stay hydrated with liquids. It means you need to drink more water, and less juice, and other sugary drinks. 

Eating a healthy diet will not be enough to make your psoriasis issues better. Changing your diet and sticking to it can be hard, but if it is done properly, you will see (and feel) more than just relief for psoriasis woes.  A healthy diet will reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The Meditteranean diet has been proven to help people live longer. You may want to consider other diets, such as a vegan one that is high in anti-inflammatory foods. Consider talking to your doctor and nutritionist in order to explore your options and how to safely and correctly change your diet. Once you fuel your body with the good stuff, it will heal. As a bonus, your mood and sense of well being will improve.

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