Foods to Eat and Avoid if You Have Psoriasis

Following a Psoriasis Diet

A range of treatments are available for psoriasis, from skin ointments to drugs that alter your immune system. However, can easing the symptoms of this common condition be as simple as changing the foods we eat?

Psoriasis is a chronic (long-term) autoimmune skin disorder. Sometimes psoriasis is accompanied by psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition. Neither of these conditions is caused by anything you eat but there’s an important link between your diet and psoriasis. Many foods are known to cause inflammation throughout the body. In some people, this widespread irritation can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse. Studies are ongoing about how certain foods trigger an inflammatory response. Research suggests that some foods, especially highly processed ones, put your body’s defense mechanisms into overdrive.

There are several categories of inflammatory foods that can make psoriasis symptoms worse, such as:

  • Alcohol;
  • Dairy;
  • Foods containing refined carbohydrates;
  • Foods with saturated fats and trans fats;
  • Foods high in added sugar; and
  • Foods that contain gluten.

Just as some foods trigger inflammation, others can help combat inflammation. In general, having a balanced whole-foods diet is the best approach to reduce inflammation throughout the body. The best foods if you have psoriasis include:

  • Fish, lean protein or plant-based proteins such as tofu or tempeh;
  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Legumes (beans and lentils);
  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Olive oil;
  • Small amounts of low-fat dairy; and
  • Whole grains.

Being overweight or obese can also make psoriasis worse, so you may want to start a weight loss plan that includes fewer calories and smaller portion sizes. Any psoriasis treatment diet should be accompanied by healthy lifestyle choices. Get plenty of sleep and regular exercise and try to reduce stress in your life.

If you’re going to change your diet to combat psoriasis and you think there’s a specific food or ingredient that’s triggering psoriasis flare-ups, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.

To access the full article on psoriasis diet information, click here.

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