Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects millions of people. It can be unbearable for some and not much of a problem for others. But, anyone who suffers from this condition likely wants to know how their diet affects psoriasis flare ups. Today, we will discuss the best and worst foods for psoriasis so you can plan your diet accordingly.
Best Foods for Psoriasis
Fish and seafood
Omega-3 fatty acids—abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna—are the foundation of a heart-healthy diet. Fish oils are thought to reduce inflammation and help the immune system, which is overactive in people with psoriasis. Given that psoriasis is also linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, it’s a good idea to eat fish at least twice a week.
Avocados and Nuts
If you like avocados and nuts and have psoriasis, then you will be pleased to find out that these two food items are good for your skin condition. Avocados and nuts are good for you in moderation, both health-wise and when it comes to managing your psoriasis. These two foods are in the polyunsaturated fat group that also includes vegetable oils.
Grains such as whole-grain bread, cereal, and pasta; oatmeal; and brown rice are another component of an overall healthy diet. Like fruits and vegetables, grains also contain a variety of anti-inflammation antioxidants and are high in fiber, which has been linked with lower inflammation levels and better regulation of blood sugar. Legumes such as beans and lentils also have antioxidants and fiber, so include them in your diet as well.
Who doesn’t love a handful of blueberries in their oatmeal, cereal, or simply in a bowl for a snack? Well, if you love to eat blueberries and have psoriasis, you are already on the right track when dealing with your skin condition. The biggest reason blueberries help with psoriasis is that they act as an anti-inflammatory. You can also eat figs, strawberries, and mangoes to help with your psoriasis as they are in the same category of food as blueberries.
If you eat meat, choose lean types such as white-meat chicken or turkey. Some people with psoriasis report anecdotally that their condition seems to improve if they limit red meat. Fatty red meats have been linked to increased inflammation in the body. If you want to occasionally eat red meat, try less fatty cuts like lean flank steak or sirloin.
Worst Foods for Psoriasis
Processed sugar is a villain for health in general and possibly for psoriasis. Excess sugar intake may not only promote inflammation, it’s also a major contributor to weight gain and as we know, being overweight can aggravate your psoriasis. Stay away from added sugar, but be aware: This may require careful reading of food labels as sugar is added to a wide variety of packaged foods.
Some people find that eliminating gluten from their diet helps improve their psoriasis symptoms. This makes sense if you have an underlying intolerance to this protein, which is found in wheat, rye, or barley. A gluten-free diet can be tricky to follow (and expensive), so ask your doctor to screen you for gluten intolerance before eliminating this from your diet. Cutting gluten out of your diet if you don’t have a gluten intolerance can end up costing you money and making it more challenging to follow a healthy diet.
It hasn’t been proven by scientists or doctors that dairy is bad for psoriasis, but many patients with the skin condition have reported that their condition improved as they cut back on their dairy intake. If you do decide to limit the amount of dairy you consume, make sure to supplement your diet with calcium and calcium rich foods.
Alcohol is thought to trigger psoriasis outbreaks, possibly by increasing inflammation. And drinking can interfere with how well your medications are working and may even be dangerous when mixed with certain psoriasis treatments such as methotrexate. If your psoriasis is uncontrolled, consider cutting back or eliminating alcohol to see if symptoms improve.
There is no scientific link between tomatoes and psoriasis, but patients with the skin condition have reported increased flare ups when tomatoes are in their diet.
Windsor Dermatology, located in East Windsor, can answer all of your questions regarding psoriasis treatment and care. Call the office today at (609) 443-4500 to speak with a member of their experienced staff or to schedule an appointment.