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Dietary Tips For People With Psoriasis

By Saksham Bhatia +2 more

An autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is a disease in which the body attacks its own tissue. The body starts to overproduce skin cells, creating red and scaly patches, known as plaques, on the skin. Itchy and painful plaques are triggered by environmental factors like infections and stress. Psoriasis not just affects the skin but also affects joints, eyes and mental health. Therefore, one must consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment for this condition.

There is no scientific evidence that supports a cure for psoriasis with diet, but experts suggest a positive correlation between a healthy diet and lifestyle with reduced severity of psoriasis. Experts say that there is a close link between psoriasis and diet, as there are many food groups that can cause inflammation throughout the body. For some people, these food items can worsen the effects of psoriasis.

Suffering from psoriasis? Read ahead to learn more about the right diet.

Foods to avoid

Worsening the effects of psoriasis, these are some of the beverages and foods to avoid with psoriasis:

  • Alcohol: Consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol overworks the liver, causing long-term inflammation. Additionally, alcohol damages good bacteria, causing inflammation in the colon and intestines.
  • Dairy: Dairy products are rich in fat. Cow’s milk contains a protein called casein, which can cause digestive problems in some people. Studies show that psoriasis conditions have improved by cutting high-fat dairy from the diet.
  • Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates are counted as foods that trigger psoriasis. These items include white bread, white rice, pasta, breakfast cereals and some pastries. These food items have no fibre and whole grains and can contain a lot of sugar. 
  • Saturated and trans fats: Red meat, cheese, fried food, margarine and fast food are known foods that trigger inflammation and worsen psoriasis.
  • Added sugar: Natural sugar in food like fruits is a part of the psoriasis diet plan. However, added sugar in fruit juices, candy, soda and sweets is bad and the body produces excessive insulin to process the sugar. These foods increase the levels of cytokines, which is a protein that causes inflammation. 
  • Gluten: People who suffer from psoriasis may also have Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and other grains and an intolerance to gluten causes the body to attack the small intestine’s tissue. Cutting down gluten from the diet has been shown to reduce the effects of psoriasis in people with gluten intolerance. 

To my knowledge, few components in diet may have antioxidant capabilities, that indicates that they may lessen oxidative stress and stop the body from generating free radicals. This may potentially contribute to the decrease in inflammation. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices such as strawberries, blueberries, oregano, thyme, sage and dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Food to eat

The food items which combat and reduce inflammation in the body are known to be beneficial for people with psoriasis and they may help reduce flare-ups, reducing the symptoms. Following a healthy diet also reduces the risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. 

The best food items to include in the diet for psoriasis are:

  • Whole Fruits and vegetables. Cherries and berries are good fruits for psoriasis, as are green leafy vegetables. Consume 2-3 portions of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies every day.
  • Include plant-based proteins like tofu, lean protein and fish in the diet.
  • Herbs like thyme, sage, ginger and cumin are rich in antioxidants.
  • Legumes like beans and certain types of lentils
  • A fist full of nuts and seeds- walnuts, flaxseeds and almonds are rich sources of omega three fatty acids.
  • Whole grains 

Consult a dietician to come up with an effective psoriasis diet plan adjunct to your prescribed treatment. Obesity can worsen the effects of psoriasis and you might want to work towards losing weight as well. In addition to a healthy diet, make some lifestyle changes. Get ample rest, adequate sleep, regular exercise and reduce stress levels. If you smoke, quit. 

Researchers believe that Vitamin D may aid with psoriasis symptoms. The skin cells’ proliferation rate is increased by psoriasis, and vitamin D may slow down skin cell development. I strongly recommend foods rich in vitamin D, including cod liver oil such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna fish.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Making changes in the diet is the best and the easiest way to combat the effects of autoimmune disorders like psoriasis and to reduce inflammation. If you suspect that a particular food item is triggering the effects of psoriasis, consult your doctor.

Also Read: What Causes Thick Toenails: Understanding the Possible Underlying Conditions

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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