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You’ve been dealing with psoriasis for a while now, and you’re starting to wonder if your food choices are contributing to your condition. After all, that old saying, "You are what you eat" has to mean something, right? So, is there a psoriasis diet that can help clear your skin?
The short answer is maybe. While there’s no one-size-fits-all diet for psoriasis and more research needs to be done on the subject, some preliminary studies have shown that certain foods may help ease psoriasis symptoms, while others aggravate them.
If you’re looking to try a psoriasis diet to help your skin, let’s explore some foods that others have found to eat (and avoid) for the best results. But first, let's quickly discuss what psoriasis is.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Psoriasis?
- The Diet-Skin Connection
- The Psoriasis Diet
- Key Benefits Of A Psoriasis Diet
- Potential Problems To Watch For
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes the skin cells to grow at an accelerated rate, leading to raised, red, scaly patches on the skin, known as plaques. These areas can be itchy and uncomfortable.
You can get psoriasis on any body part, though you’ll often notice it on your scalp, hands, knees, and lower back. It can sometimes lead to psoriatic arthritis, which causes inflammation and joint pain.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition, which means doctors cannot cure it. However, some treatments can help you control your symptoms. Lifestyle changes may also help you find relief.
Now that we know a little more about psoriasis, let's take a closer look at the role diet may play in this condition.
The Diet-Skin Connection
A healthy diet is important for having healthy-looking skin. Since a healthy diet is important, it is not surprising that psoriasis sufferers have looked at the relation of their diets to their symptoms.
More research is needed to understand the role diet plays in psoriasis, but a healthy diet will go a long way toward helping you have healthy-looking skin.
The Psoriasis Diet
While there isn't an official "psoriasis diet" to follow, you can focus on eating nutrient-rich foods and avoiding trigger foods that may worsen your symptoms. To help you get started, here are some suggested things to eat on a psoriasis diet.
You'll also find a list of foods to avoid. Of course, since nutrition varies between individuals, you'll want to consult your doctor to ensure these dietary changes won't interfere with any medications or other health conditions you may have.
What To Eat
The good news is that plenty of healthy, whole foods can help ease psoriasis symptoms and promote overall good health. Here are some suggested foods to include in your diet.
Salmon And Other Fatty Fish
Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are part of a healthy diet. Other fatty fish that are good sources of omega-3s include tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines.
If you can't stand the thought of eating fish, talk to your healthcare professional about taking a fish oil supplement instead.
Fruit And Vegetables
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, fruits and veggies give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. For the best results, eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables daily.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are exceptionally high in these healthy fats, so include them in your diet if possible.
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which can help promote a healthy gut. They're also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
When choosing whole grains, look for options high in fiber and low in sugar. Good choices include oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice.
This tropical oil is rich in lauric acid, a type of saturated fat with anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil can be used in cooking or applied topically to the skin. Products with coconut oils may help moisturize your skin, helping take care of itching due to dryness.
For example, our Psoriasis Calming Cream with a proprietary blend of clinical grade botanicals and coconut oil helps soothe and hydrate your skin.
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps your body repair tissue, build new cells, and create enzymes and hormones. Good protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, and dairy products.
You can also get protein from plant-based sources like tofu, tempeh, lentils, and beans if you don't eat meat or animal products. Just be sure to eat various protein-rich foods to get all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build healthy skin.
What To Avoid
There is no definitive proof that certain foods cause psoriasis flare-ups, but many people with the condition find their symptoms worsen when they eat particular foods. You may want to explore a little and see if removing these from your diet can help you feel better.
By now, we all know that too much sugar isn’t healthy. You don't have to cut it out completely, but you should limit sugary foods and beverages.
Also, remember that sugar goes by many names. Watch out for ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, and molasses.
Some people with psoriasis find that their symptoms worsen when they eat dairy products. If you think dairy may be triggering your flare-ups, try eliminating it from your diet for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
If you have psoriasis you may want to explore the benefits of reducing the amount of processed food in your diet.
But don't worry, you don't have to be a master chef to make simple, healthy meals. Plenty of easy recipes only require a few ingredients and can be made in minutes.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people with gluten sensitivity find that their skin is healthier-looking when they cut out or limit gluten.
As with dairy products, you could try avoiding gluten for a few weeks to see if you notice any improvement.
Key Benefits Of A Psoriasis Diet
Now that you know more about avoiding dietary triggers, let's talk about why you'd want to make these changes in the first place. Some potential benefits include:
- Healthier-looking skin
- Improved digestion
- Fewer psoriasis symptoms
- Improved overall health
Potential Problems To Watch For
Changing your diet may help improve your symptoms, but it's not without its potential drawbacks. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Missing out on essential nutrients: If you cut out entire food groups, you may miss out on important nutrients your body needs. This is why you should speak with a doctor or dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.
- Difficulty following the diet: A restrictive diet can be hard to stick to long-term. However, the more results you see, the more motivated you may become to continue eating this way.
- Increased cost:Eating healthy can sometimes be more expensive than eating processed food. If cost is a concern, look for ways to save money on groceries, such as buying in bulk, using coupons, or growing your own fruits and vegetables.
You Are What You Eat
Food is one of the most basic and vital aspects of our lives. What we eat profoundly impacts our physical health, mental well-being, and happiness. With that in mind, changes to your diet may be part of living with psoriasis.
But remember there's no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. What works for someone else may not work for you. So be patient, experiment, and discover what foods make you feel your best.
While you experiment with your diet, continue to support your skin with the Bodewell line of psoriasis products. Our psoriasis cream and spray help promote healthier-looking skin over time so that you can get back to better skin days!