Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition whose management can be extremely challenging. While medical treatments play a crucial role in managing symptoms, adopting a healthy and supportive diet can complement these efforts and contribute to overall well-being. Of course, diets do impact people with psoriasis differently, but research has identified some common foods bad for psoriasis while, some are helpful in reducing inflammation and improving skin health. Here are ten foods good for psoriasis.
The Role of Diet in Psoriasis Management
Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition, which means the main idea in turning to diet to control psoriasis is eating foods to reduce the inflammation. However, it must be understood, that there is no psoriasis diet per se, where different foods help individuals differently. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), flaxseeds, and walnuts, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and are generally good for overall health and wellbeing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fatty fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential because your body does not produce this on its own. Omega 3s also called healthy fats can increase HDL or good cholesterol while reducing blood pressure. In psoriasis, omega 3s reduce inflammation and prevent flare ups.
Foods high in omega-3 fats include:
- Hemp seed
- Flax seed
- Chia seeds
Fruits and Vegetables
A diet high in fruits and vegetables can never be excluded from foods good for psoriasis. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Choose low glycemic fruits with more fiber content. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as berries, spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes, are rich in nutrients and vitamins like A and C that support skin health and may help reduce inflammation.
Other fruits and vegetables good for psoriasis
- Dark, leafy greens
- Yellow beets
- Pumpkin and other winter squashes
- Bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Custard Apple
Trust on Pulses
An adults needs a daily protein requirement of – 0.8-1 g/kg body weight. For vegetarians with psoriasis who cannot drink milk products it is advisable to consume legumes like peas, pulses and sprouts daily. Add two small to medium bowls of dal every day.
- Roasted chana
- Sattu (roasted Bengal gram flour)
- Besan chilla
- Regular Dal
- Split pigeon peas
- Split grams
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Among foods good for psoriasis, adding turmeric to your meals or enjoying turmeric-infused beverages can be a flavorful way to potentially ease psoriasis symptoms. In a review published in 2022 in Frontiers in Pharmacology scientists found that the compound helps subdue inflammatory factors, improving psoriatic skin lesions with few negative side effects.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts, are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Omega-3s contribute to reducing inflammation, while fiber supports a healthy digestive system. Nuts and seeds are again a source of protein, dietary fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B complex, and vitamin E.
Foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables (kimchi and sauerkraut), promote a healthy gut microbiome. There is emerging research suggesting a link between gut health and psoriasis, making probiotic-rich foods beneficial.
Practical Tips for a Psoriasis-Friendly Diet
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for maintaining skin hydration. Hydration supports overall skin health and may help alleviate dryness associated with psoriasis.
- Balanced Diet: Aim for a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. This ensures you get a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals to support your skin and overall health.
- Mindful Eating: Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods. Keep a food journal to track potential triggers or patterns related to your psoriasis symptoms.
- Consult with a doctor or your nutritionist: Individual responses to foods can vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian or dermatologist, to create a personalized dietary plan.
While diet alone cannot cure psoriasis, adopting a nutrient-rich and anti-inflammatory eating plan and foods good for psoriasis can be a valuable part of managing symptoms and supporting overall health. Remember, the key is to make sustainable lifestyle changes and to work in partnership with your healthcare providers to find the most effective strategies for your needs. Nourish your body with the right foods, stay hydrated, and prioritize a healthy lifestyle to complement medical treatments and enhance your well-being.