The Ideal Diet for a Psoriasis Patient

salmon, green leafy vegetables, and nuts

Story at-a-glance -

  • To help counteract the effects of psoriasis, you will need to eat significant portions of anti-inflammatory food
  • If you want to incorporate dairy products into your meals, make sure that they are made from raw and unpasteurized grass fed milk

A healthy diet is important to boost your health, and assist with weight loss. This is very true for psoriasis patients, who may experience worsened symptoms if they are obese or overweight. Keep reading to find out the ideal foods you should introduce to and avoid in your diet if you have psoriasis.1,2

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:3,4

Fish such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies — These types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fats that can help reduce inflammation and enhance your immune system.5 Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies are the best types of fish that you can eat because they aren't grown in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where they may be fed artificially or contaminated with health-wrecking chemicals.

Seeds such as flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds — These seeds are excellent sources of vital omega-3 fats,6 and their essential oils are also greatly beneficial.

Flaxseed oil can help address psoriasis and other skin diseases like rosacea and eczema.7,8 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, minus side effects.9

Raw nuts like walnuts and almonds — You can increase your intake of anti-inflammatory and plant-based omega-3 fats with walnuts, as a quarter cup may provide more than 100 percent of this nutrient's daily recommended value. Meanwhile, almonds may assist in in boosting skin and hair health.10

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale — Leafy greens have worked well in helping treat certain diseases. If you or someone you know is experiencing arthritic pain, consumption of that vitamin K-rich vegetables like spinach and kale may assist in lowering inflammatory markers in the blood.11

Turmeric12 — Psoriasis responds quite well to this popular spice. It contains a unique compound called curcumin, which has been known to provide several benefits, most importantly anti-inflammatory properties. In a study published in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 72.2 percent of participants who took curcumin gel (alongside other preventive methods) helped prevent flares in 16 weeks.13

What Foods to Avoid When You Have Psoriasis

While some foods can cause a flare-up of psoriasis, there are other items that are actually okay for people in most cases, but can be very devastating for psoriasis patients:14,15

Processed foods — Whether you have psoriasis or not, it's wise to avoid processed foods altogether. These 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, flavors and textures are also present in these types of foods.

Apart from triggering addiction and overeating, you may be risking yourself for health problems such as insulin resistance, obesity and weight gain, allergic reactions, inflammation, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease if you eat high amounts of processed foods.

Citrus fruits — Citrus fruits have been praised for some of their health benefits, but they are also a common allergen.16 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, in the meantime.17

Nightshades such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers — Refrain from eating nightshade plants, as they contain solanine, a compound that may promote human mast cell activation, cause release of histamine release and possibly exacerbate psoriasis in some people.18

Alcohol — As highlighted by the book "Psoriasis," drinking alcoholic may lead to dehydration, especially on the skin, which can further worsen psoriasis.19

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.20

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), this occurs when the body develops antigens to respond to the gluten protein. This can lead to an immune system response, and even the development of an autoimmune disorder in the process.21

Moderation Is Key for These Food Items

If you have been researching dietary options for psoriasis patients, you might notice that the food items below are often on the "avoid" list. However, 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.22,23

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 as casein, another protein linked to this skin disorder.24,25

There are health boosts from dairy products that you shouldn't actually skimp on. 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 (CLA)

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 your bones absorb calcium better

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 already showed that saturated fats may:26

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

Absorb minerals like calcium

Work 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 brain and mitochondria

Promote satiety

Modulate genetic regulation

Help reduce cancer risk

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.

MORE ABOUT PSORIASIS

Psoriasis: Introduction

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis In Children

Psoriasis Versus Eczema

Psoriatic Arthritis

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

Psoriasis Causes

Psoriasis Types

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis Prevention

Psoriasis Diet

Celebrities With Psoriasis

Psoriasis FAQ

< Previous

Psoriasis Prevention

Next >

Celebrities With Psoriasis

+ Sources and References