If you have psoriasis, you may find that certain foods cause flare-ups or make your condition worse, while others seem to ease your symptoms. Scientific data has not shown that any specific diet is guaranteed to improve or worsen psoriasis.
Try these diet strategies to find out what works best for you.
Consider these foods reported by some people as positively affecting their psoriasis:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines, are believed to reduce inflammation. Since psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system, reducing inflammation may reduce psoriasis symptoms.
Plant sources of omega-3s include flaxseed, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
People with psoriasis can also benefit from a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to reduce their risk of heart disease.
Fruits and Veggies
Colorful fruits and vegetables contain vitamin A which may help reduce inflammation and is known to improve the health of skin. Try to include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach and broccoli in your diet.
Fruits that reduce inflammation include blueberries, mangoes, strawberries and figs.
Whole grains contain antioxidants and fiber that help fight inflammation. Good sources of whole grains include whole-grain bread, cereal and pasta, as well as oatmeal and brown rice.
Some herbs are believed to help reduce inflammation and support the body’s immune system. Some people report reduced psoriasis symptoms with evening primrose oil, milk thistle and oregano oil.
Consider these foods reported by some people as negatively affecting their psoriasis:
Potatoes, peppers and tomatoes
Potatoes, peppers and tomatoes may make your psoriasis symptoms worse.
Alcohol is known to dilate blood vessels, including those near the surface of the skin. This may make skin more vulnerable to substances in the blood, and may inflame the skin. Alcohol also causes dehydration which may lead to dry skin.
Alcohol can be dangerous when taken with the psoriasis drug methotrexate. It can also interact with or reduce the effectiveness of other medications.
Red meat may cause inflammation. If you eat meat, try to choose lean meats such as white-meat chicken or turkey. If you want to eat red meat, choose cuts that are less fatty.
Processed sugar may promote inflammation and is known to be a major contributor to excessive weight gain. People who are obese may be more likely to develop psoriasis.
In addition, obesity may result in skin rubbing together which causes irritation and potentially increases flare-ups.
Fried foods are typically cooked in oils rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids. Corn oil is a common example of this type of oil. Omega-6s are likely to increase inflammation which can make psoriasis worse.
Gluten may increase psoriasis symptoms, especially if you have a gluten intolerance. Gluten is found in products that include wheat, rye and barley.
Dairy may also increase psoriasis symptoms for some people.
Research has not identified specific foods to be known causes of psoriasis flare-ups. If you have a flare-up, try to remember what foods you ate recently so you can determine whether there is a pattern between your diet and the condition of your skin.
According to a report in Everyday Health, the worst diet for psoriasis is a fad or extreme diet. These diets may limit intake of necessary nutrients and negatively affect your skin.
Try to eat a well-balance, healthy diet that is overall low in fat and includes a variety of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
If you have questions about your diet or about the health of your skin, talk to your health care provider.
Reviewed August 26, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
8 Foods That Affect Psoriasis. Everyday Health. Marie Suszynski. Web. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
12 Best and Worst Foods for Psoriasis. Health. Amanda Gardner. Web. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet. National Psoriasis Foundation. Web. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
5 Eating Strategies To Help Soothe Psoriasis. Prevention. Tricia O’Brien. Web. Retrieved August 25, 2016.