Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease characterized by dry, scaly patches of built-up skin cells. These patches of skin cells are often red, itchy, and uncomfortable for the patient. Because diet and nutrition play a vital role in flare-ups, it’s important for patients to know which foods to avoid and which to eat.
Weight Loss And Psoriasis
Obese patients may have an elevated risk for developing psoriasis or a more severe case of it because they have more fat cells that secrete the cytokines that trigger inflammation. Patients who lose weight often see a reduction in the severity of their symptoms. Patients should avoid excessive saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and cholesterol, as well as eliminate, refined sugar and processed foods to maintain psoriasis rash-free skin. Patients should increase their intake of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, beans, and eggs.
Eat More Heart-Healthy Foods
The key to managing psoriasis is to reduce inflammation, and one of the ways to do that is to eat more heart-healthy foods. To maintain psoriasis rash-free skin and reduce the risk of a flare-up, prepare foods like fish (think tuna, salmon, or trout), lean meats, and poultry (no skin!). Reducing sodium intake and switching to fat-free or low-fat dairy products can also improve symptoms. Steer clear of fatty red meats, full-fat dairy products, processed foods, and certain vegetables, like potatoes and peppers, which have all been shown to contribute to inflammation. People with mild cases of psoriasis might benefit from limiting alcohol to one drink per day, but those with severe cases may need to eliminate it entirely.
Many people with psoriasis are intolerant or sensitive to gluten, so patients often benefit from keeping a gluten-free diet. The link between gluten and psoriasis is unclear, but many people have noticed a reduction in symptoms after eliminating foods containing gluten from their diet. It’s wise to speak with a dietician, who can create a customized meal plan to ensure you get the nutrients your body needs while helping you slowly eliminate foods from your diet that might be causing inflammation.
Have you found any foods that cause symptoms to flare or ease up? What tips do you have for other patients on managing psoriasis symptoms with a modified diet?