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A Psoriasis Patient’s Ideal Diet

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A healthy diet is important not just to boost your health, but to help with weight loss too. This is very true for psoriasis patients, who may experience worsened symptoms if they are obese or overweight. But what exactly are the best and worst types of foods to eat if you have this condition? Keep reading to find out..1

The Best Foods to Eat If You Have Psoriasis

To help counteract the effects of psoriasis, you will need to eat significant portions of anti-inflammatory food. Here are four of the best types of anti-inflammatory food to include in your meals:2

Fish such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies: these types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fats that can help reduce inflammation and enhance your immune system.3

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies are the best types of fish that you can eat because they aren’t fed artificial feed, nor are they contaminated with health-wrecking chemicals.

Seeds such as flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds: these are both good sources of vital omega-3 fats.4 Their essential oils of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds work wonders as well.

Flaxseed oil can help heal psoriasis and other skin diseases like rosacea and eczema.5 On the other hand, an animal study revealed that pumpkin seed oil can assist in relieving arthritis (another inflammatory condition) just as well as a drug called indomethacin, sans the side effects.6

Nuts like walnuts and almonds: raw nuts such as walnuts and almonds are abundant in omega-3 fats.

One-quarter cup of walnuts can deliver more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of anti-inflammatory, plant-based omega-3 fats, while almonds contain anti-inflammatory linoleic and linoleic acids that can work in boosting skin and hair health.7

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale: leafy greens have worked well in helping treat certain diseases, and psoriasis is one of them. In particular, research has shown that vitamin K-rich vegetables like spinach and kale can significantly lessen inflammatory markers in the blood.8

Don’t Include These Food Items in Your Diet at All

It’s best to leave out these food items from your diet if you have psoriasis. While some of the items in this list should be avoided for good reason, there are other items that are actually okay for people in most cases, but can be very devastating for psoriasis patients:9,10

Processed foods: it does not matter if you have psoriasis or not, processed foods are a big no-no if you want good health. Processed foods are low in nutrients, and high in harmful trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and other types of refined sugars. Artificial ingredients such as preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and texturants are also present in these types of foods.

Apart from triggering addiction and overeating, health problems such as insulin resistance, obesity and weight gain, allergic reactions, inflammation, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease can also arise if you eat high amounts of processed foods.

Citrus fruits: although citrus fruits have been praised for some of their health benefits, they are a common allergen. You should check if removing them from your diet can enhance your skin health. This means avoiding eating grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes, as well as their juices, for the meantime.

Nightshades such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers: make sure to refrain from eating nightshade plants, as they contain solanine, a chemical compound that can lead to pain and exacerbate psoriasis in some people.

Alcohol: these drinks open the blood vessels in your skin, causing it to dilate. As a result, white blood cells, along with T cells associated with psoriasis, could sneak into your skin’s outer layers more easily. The increased amounts of T cells attack healthy skin cells and facilitate the quick skin cell turnover that psoriasis is known for.11

Gluten: although a link between psoriasis and gluten intolerance has not been determined yet, some people found that eliminating sources of gluten from their diet improved psoriasis symptoms.12

Gluten, a protein found in grains like rye, wheat and barley, is known to prompt a gluten allergy. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), the body develops antigens to respond to the protein that then triggers an immune system response, and even the development of an autoimmune disorder in the process.13

Moderation Is Key for These Food Items

If you have been doing research on the best and worst types of food for psoriasis patients, you might notice that the food items below are often on the “avoid” list. However, do not be fooled by the “bad food” label14 stamped on these items. They can actually be good for you, provided that you eat them in moderation:

Red meat: most experts recommend avoiding red meat if you have psoriasis because of a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid. As dietitian Chelsea Marie Warren emphasizes in an article in Everyday Health: “This type of fat can worsen psoriasis symptoms because it can be easily converted into inflammatory compounds.”15

If you choose to add red meat into your diet, choosing grass-fed varieties is key. These meats aren’t fed with artificial food and additives, and contain essential nutrients such as vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fats.

Dairy products: just like for red meats, psoriasis patients are advised to stay away from dairy products because they contain arachidonic acid, as well another protein linked to inflammation called casein.16

However, there are health boosts from dairy products that you shouldn’t actually skimp on. In fact, some of these benefits can be important to your body.

If you want to incorporate dairy products into your meals, make sure that they are made from raw and unpasteurized grass-fed milk. This type of milk surpasses products that come from grain-fed cows because it contains:

Beneficial bacteria that are important for the gastrointestinal tract

Raw fats, amino acids and proteins in a highly bioavailable form

Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K

Conjugated linoleic acid

Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron

More than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors and immunoglobulins or antibodies

A balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats

Healthy, unoxidized cholesterol

Lipase enzyme that assists in hydrolyzing and absorbing fats

An enzyme called phosphatase that helps with calcium absorption for your bones

Saturated fats: don’t be misled by claims that eating fatty foods is harmful for you, since studies have proven that your body can actually benefit from saturated fat. As early as 2010, a meta-analysis published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) already showed that saturated fats could:17

Provide building blocks for cell membranes, hormones and hormone-like substances

Absorb minerals like calcium

Serve as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)

Convert carotene into vitamin A

Assist in lowering cholesterol levels

Serve as antiviral agent

Deliver optimal “clean” fuel for your brain and mitochondria

Enable satiety

Modulate genetic regulation

Help in preventing cancer

Coconuts and coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter, raw nuts and animal-based omega-3 fats are some of the best sources for these beneficial, healthy fats.

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