Editor’s Note: This blog post was contributed by Everyday Health.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune, chronic condition, characterized by skin changes and other systemic manifestations. Aside from the treatment, and avoidance of trigger factors, such as stress, your doctor might recommend a change in your diet.
A healthy diet is something anyone should consider, not only those who suffer from psoriasis. However, if you have been diagnosed with this condition, diet changes might help you keep the associated symptoms under control. Keep on reading and discover a few diet tips that might be helpful.
#1 Make anti-inflammatory foods part of your daily diet
An anti-inflammatory diet might be recommended in those who have been diagnosed with psoriasis, as inflammation is one of the main factors involved in its appearance.
For this reason, the diet should include fresh fruits (berries) and vegetables (dark, leafy greens), as well as fatty fish, herbs and healthy oils. Red meat, processed foods and dairy should be avoided, as they can make the manifestations of psoriasis worse.
#2 Weight loss
Numerous studies have confirmed a connection between one’s weight and the appearance of psoriasis. Moreover, in those who suffer from obesity, the manifestations associated with the skin condition tend to be worse.
The recommendation is to begin a weight-loss diet, one that is hypocaloric, as this will guarantee an improvement of psoriasis manifestations. You can talk to your doctor about the best foods to eat, as well as quantity and frequency.
#3 Gluten-free diet
The gluten-free diet might be able to help those who suffer from psoriasis, but only in the situation if they also exhibit gluten sensitivity. The doctor can determine whether such problems are present, and the next steps that should be taken.
If you are recommended to follow such a diet, you should begin to pay more attention to the label of each product. Nowadays, there are plenty of gluten-free foods available, so following such a diet should not be a problem.
#4 Vitamin D rich foods & supplements
For those who also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, a diet rich in foods that contain vitamin D should be followed. This will protect the joints against future damage. Supplements might also be administered, in the situation that the diet does not cover the vitamin needs.
Among the most common foods that contain vitamin D, there are fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, etc.), beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. There are also foods that are fortified with vitamin D, including dairy products, cereals and soy-based foods. Orange juice might also be fortified with this vitamin, but it should be consumed in moderation (stress on the liver, due to the high fructose content).
#5 Say goodbye to alcohol
The intake of alcohol can actually make the manifestations of psoriasis worse, leading to flare-ups. Moreover, the constant consumption of alcohol can disturb the functioning of the immune system, which is already perturbed. Work with a specialist to develop resiliency toward alcohol temptation, if necessary.
It has also been suggested that alcohol can inhibit the response to psoriasis medication, so the intake should be limited. This is especially important if you are taking certain drugs, such as metothrexate, as the doctor will probably recommend you quit drinking alcohol altogether.
#6 Mineral & vitamin supplements can help
Aside from the vitamin D supplementation, you might also want to consider taking supplements that contain zinc, selenium or omega-3 fatty acids. These will help you prevent the potential conditions associated with psoriasis.
You might want to talk to your doctor, before taking any kind of supplement. A complete blood test will reveal if there are any nutritional or vitamin deficiencies, while only a specialist is able to recommend what kind of supplements would be the best for you.
#7 Curcuma, the golden spice
You might not expect for a spice to be something that can help but it actually is. Curcuma or turmeric, as it is also known, is one of the most popular Indian spices, being added to various dishes. If you are suffering from psoriasis, you might benefit from including this spice into your daily diet as well.
According to the specialists in the field, curcuma has potent anti-inflammatory properties, this being the main reason for which it might help in case of psoriasis. In fact, researchers are working at the moment to develop a potential oral treatment for this condition, which is based on curcuma.
In conclusion, these are a few diet tips for those who have been diagnosed with psoriasis and are looking to maintain the best possible state of health. What matters is that you follow a healthy diet, avoiding the foods that are bad for you, as well as alcohol, to maintain a balanced lifestyle.