Thu. Jul 18th, 2024
reduction in psoriasis flare-ups


Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It causes red, scaly patches on the skin, often accompanied by itching, burning, and discomfort. While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, many factors can effectively manage its symptoms and improve quality of life. One promising area of research focuses on the potential benefits of dietary changes. This blog explores the potential benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet for managing psoriasis, foods to eat to heal psoriasis and some additional tips on foods to avoid for psoriasis.

Focus on Anti Inflammatory Diet For Psoriasis

It’s important to understand that no single food or diet can “heal” psoriasis. However, research suggests that focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet may be beneficial for many individuals. An anti-inflammatory diet for psoriasis prioritizes whole, unprocessed foods that are naturally rich in nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. These nutrients may help reduce inflammation throughout the body, potentially leading to improved skin health and a reduction in psoriasis flare-ups.

This approach aligns with recommendations from reputable organizations like the National Psoriasis Foundation, which acknowledges the potential of dietary modifications to support overall well-being and potentially reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis.

So, what should you eat if you have psoriasis? Here are some key categories of food to consider incorporating into your psoriasis diet:

Foods To Eat That Heal Psoriasis?

1. Fruits and vegetables:

  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries): These fruits are packed with a special group of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which may help decrease the underlying inflammation driving psoriasis flare-ups. Additionally, their high antioxidant content helps combat oxidative stress, another contributing factor to psoriasis.
  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, and collard greens): These powerhouse greens offer high levels of vitamins (like vitamins A, C, and K), minerals, and fiber. These essential nutrients not only boost overall health but also possess anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage psoriasis symptoms. Additionally, the fiber content benefits digestive health which plays a role in reducing systemic inflammation.
  • Cherries: Cherries contain compounds with anti-inflammatory properties and some studies link them to reduced pain and inflammation in other conditions. Although research on cherries and psoriasis is limited, the potential anti-inflammatory benefits suggest including them could be helpful.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): Cruciferous veggies contain a potent anti-inflammatory compound called sulforaphane. Research suggests sulforaphane can combat inflammation and oxidative stress, potentially contributing to reducing psoriasis symptoms.

2. Omega-3 rich foods:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring): These fish are excellent sources of two crucial types of omega-3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA. These omega-3 fats have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They can help reduce the production of inflammatory molecules that worsen psoriasis symptoms.
  • Flax seeds and chia seeds: Both are valuable plant-based sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a form of omega-3. While the body needs to convert ALA into EPA and DHA, it serves as a valuable addition to an anti-inflammatory diet and may provide some benefits for managing psoriasis.

3. Whole grains: 

Compared to refined grains, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat bread) retain much more fiber, vitamins (such as B vitamins), and minerals (like magnesium). These nutrients all contribute to overall health and wellness. Fiber, in particular, aids gut health, and good digestive health is essential in reducing overall body inflammation, potentially benefiting psoriasis symptoms.

4. Healthy fats

Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds (in moderation)):  Healthy fats are crucial for a balanced diet and some studies suggest they may be beneficial for psoriasis.  The omega-3 fatty acids in oils like olive oil and fatty fish (as discussed above) can provide anti-inflammatory support.  Additionally, the antioxidants and nutrients like Vitamin E in nuts and seeds may have an anti-inflammatory effect.

5. Vitamin D sources:

Fatty fish, Eggs: These are among the few natural dietary sources of vitamin D. Research shows a connection between vitamin D deficiency and worsening psoriasis symptoms. While the evidence on the benefits of increasing vitamin D intake for psoriasis is mixed, optimizing vitamin D levels through food or supplementation (as recommended by your doctor) might help manage the condition.

Foods That Trigger Psoriasis

While focusing on anti-inflammatory foods is crucial, it’s equally important to be aware of potential trigger foods that might worsen psoriasis symptoms in some individuals. These can include processed foods, red meat, refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks, and excessive alcohol and more. However, identifying your specific triggers is key, as what affects one person may not affect another. Keeping a food journal is a valuable tool for tracking your diet and noticing any connection between specific foods and symptom flares and understanding which foods to avoid for psoriasis can help manage symptoms and improve overall health. 

Remember, there’s no such ‘best diet for psoriasis’, and finding what works best for you might require individualized experimentation. Consulting to an ayurvedic skin care clinic in Mumbai for psoriasis treatment or registered dietitian can be incredibly helpful in navigating these dietary changes and creating a personalized plan that addresses both your nutritional needs and psoriasis management.

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