Psoriasis is a lifelong autoimmune disease that can be difficult to manage without proper treatment and lifestyle changes. While no conclusive evidence attests the fact that certain foods improve the symptoms of psoriasis, both experts and people with psoriasis report that having a healthy, balanced diet devoid of particular foods and ingredients may prevent severe psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups.
Nonetheless, healthy eating has a multitude of benefits for your overall health, as well as your skin. So here 5 that you should steer clear of to avoid severe psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups.
Don’t be tempted by processed/junk food
Processed, fast, and packaged foods are often high in bad fats like trans and saturated fats as well as complex carbohydrates. Psoriasis results in a faulty immune system response that causes inflammation, and starches and unhealthy fats further contribute to inflammation and weight gain.
Limit your alcohol intake
While a glass of red wine a day could keep the doctor away, people with psoriasis must especially watch their alcohol intake and not to exceed 1-2 glasses a day. Too much alcohol can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms, and research shows that non-drinkers with psoriasis experience milder symptoms compared to those who drink regularly. Alcohol also interacts with and lessens the effect of certain psoriasis medications.
Say no to red meats and dairy
Processed red meats like sausages and bacon as well as dairy products whose main ingredient is cow’s milk contain a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid, which can worsen inflammation. A protein called casein is also present in dairy, which has been proven to trigger inflammation as well.
Avoid condiments and sauces
Some spices, sauces, and condiments with additives in them can also result in severe psoriasis symptoms in some individuals. Some culprits are curry, sriracha, and mayo.
Cut out gluten if necessary
Research shows that those with celiac disease–gluten intolerance–are at a greater risk of developing psoriasis. Hence, some people with psoriasis report improved symptoms after eliminating gluten from their diet. While you may not have celiac disease, you could still have a gluten sensitivity that contributes to inflammation and flare-ups. Discussing the possibility of gluten intolerance with your doctor is key.
You can enrich your diet with a variety of healthier foods and drinks that won’t worsen your psoriasis and contribute to a healthier body and mind. In addition to avoiding these trigger foods, make sure your diet is rich in vegetables and fruits high in vitamin A, C, and E like leafy green vegetables, squash, carrots, blackberries, and blueberries.
Also remember to have fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, salmon, and mackerel at least 2 times a week. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation.
Featured Image: depositphotos/gustavofrazao