Psoriasis Diet: Everything You Need to Know

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease marked by lesions and inflamed, scaly patches on the skin. Psoriasis can present anywhere on the body, including the eyelids, ears, lips, hands, feet, nails, and skin folds.

There are several types of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis, consisting of 85% to 90% of cases. That said, you can experience more than one type of psoriasis. Diet can play a significant role in both treating and aggravating this skin condition.

While there is not a lot of recent research on this topic, anti-inflammatory foods can be beneficial for psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases.

This article will explain different foods to add to your diet and avoid when you have psoriasis.

Fruits and vegetables

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Foods to Avoid With Psoriasis

Some foods, particularly ones that trigger inflammation, may cause psoriasis flares. These may include red meat, gluten, alcohol, processed foods, and caffeine.

Red Meats

Red meats include foods such as beef, pork, bacon, sausage, and other processed types. Red meats should be avoided with psoriasis because they are high in saturated fat. There is no research looking at the effects of red meat and psoriasis, but red meat is associated with inflammation. It is also high in a type of polyunsaturated fat called omega-6 fatty acid, a compound that can elicit inflammation in the body.

Gluten

Research has shown that people with psoriasis have higher rates of celiac disease. While the exact link of this connection is unclear, some researchers found that a gluten-free diet may help those with celiac disease and psoriasis control psoriasis flares.

A study saw 73% of its participants experience an improvement in their psoriasis symptoms after adopting a gluten-free diet. However, this study was quite limited due to the small sample size.

Alcohol

Alcohol should be avoided with psoriasis because it can disrupt the normal functioning of the skin barrier.

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin, which acts as a protective shield. As such, any disruption in the skin barrier's ability to protect the skin can worsen conditions such as psoriasis.

Processed Foods

Highly processed foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, sweets, and cereal may increase inflammation in the body, which, in turn, may cause psoriasis flare-ups.

Caffeine

Caffeine, a stimulant found in your morning cup of coffee, should also be avoided if you have psoriasis. This is because some people with psoriasis saw an improvement in their symptoms after they stopped consuming caffeine. This includes sodas, energy drinks, black teas, green teas in addition to coffee.

Foods to Eat With Psoriasis

There are also foods that are known to reduce inflammation in the body and control psoriasis flares. These include fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, healthy fat sources, certain supplements, and probiotics.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines can be helpful for managing psoriasis because of the omega-3 fatty acids found in these types of fish. While fatty acids should be avoided from sources like red meat, omega-3s derived from fatty fish can be beneficial in reducing inflammation.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a great way to lower inflammation in the body. Fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants, compounds that are known to protect cells from free radical damage and reduce inflammation.

Healthy Sources of Fat

Healthy fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil, and safflower oil are good for your heart and beneficial for psoriasis because of their anti-inflammatory fatty acids.

Supplements 

Taking supplements in addition to consuming a balanced diet may be helpful for managing psoriasis. Some supplements to consider include fish oil and vitamin D.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, that are thought to increase the levels of "good bacteria" in your gut. Research has found that taking a probiotic supplement helps reduce symptoms and flares in psoriasis.

Additional Triggers to Avoid

Other psoriasis triggers to avoid include:

  • Stress
  • Skin injury
  • Cold, dry temperatures
  • Infections
  • Smoking

Summary

Psoriasis is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes scaly, inflamed patches on the skin. Research has shown that dietary changes can positively impact individuals experiencing psoriasis, but these changes need to be in conjunction with proper medical interventions. Foods like fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, and fatty fish have anti-inflammatory properties, which help with psoriasis flares. In contrast, red meats, gluten, processed foods, and caffeine should be avoided since they may trigger inflammation.

A Word From Verywell

Psoriasis can be an uncomfortable condition to live with. But with proper management and medical treatment, people with psoriasis can live happy, healthy lives. Talk to your healthcare provider before implementing any new changes to your diet and psoriasis management regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are eggs bad for psoriasis?

    Eggs should be avoided if you have psoriasis. This is because they contain arachidonic acid, which research has found may trigger flares.

  • Which diet is good for psoriasis?

    A Mediterranean diet has been shown to be helpful in controlling psoriasis outbreaks.

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14 Sources
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