Best diet for psoriasis

8 Foods That Might Cause Psoriasis Flare-Ups

Dairy products can increase inflammation, which may trigger flare-ups. J.R. Photography/Stocksy

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While there’s no specific diet for psoriasis, some people with the condition find that what they eat affects how their skin looks and feels.

This could be true, says Jerry Bagel, MD, dermatologist and director of the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey in East Windsor. It’s just that there is no scientific proof to back it up.

Still, Dr. Bagel says, if you find that something you eat or drink seems to aggravate your psoriasis symptoms, it can’t hurt to limit it or cut it from your diet. For instance, in a survey of more than 1,200 people with psoriasis published in May 2017 in Dermatology and Therapy, over half of respondents said they noticed improvement in their symptoms after reducing their intake of alcohol, gluten, and nightshades.

Foods to Avoid

In general, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends eating an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limiting foods that promote inflammation is good for your overall health and may help you manage your psoriasis symptoms.

Tracking your symptoms and keeping a food journal can help you determine if certain foods may be triggering your psoriasis flares. If so, you might consider cutting them out of your diet one at a time. Wait a couple weeks to see if it has an effect on your symptoms before moving onto the next food. Don’t cut them out all at once, or you may not be able to tell which food is causing your flares. Work with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making changes to your diet to your ensure your plan is reasonable and one you can stick with, recommends the Mayo Clinic.

Here are eight foods and beverages that get mentioned often by people as possibly causing their psoriasis flare-ups.

1. Alcohol

“First and foremost, stop drinking,” Bagel says. Here’s why: Alcohol opens the blood vessels in the skin. When your blood vessels are dilated, white blood cells, including the T cells that are believed to be responsible for psoriasis, can sneak into the outer layers of your skin more easily — and you don’t need to be inviting more T cells.

“Your psoriasis symptoms may worsen even if you’re a light to moderate alcohol user,” says Chelsea Marie Warren, RD, a certified wellness coach in Portland, Oregon.

2. Junk food

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition, and junk foods and other highly processed foods tend to be high in saturated and trans fats and refined starches and sugars, all of which can promote inflammation. Another reason to avoid junk foods is that that they are high in calories with little nutritional value, and people with psoriasis often have weight problems. “If you have psoriasis, you have an increased risk of heart and vascular diseases,” Bagel says. “Being overweight adds to that risk.”

3. Red meat

Red meats contain a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid. “This type of fat can worsen psoriasis symptoms because it can easily be converted into inflammatory compounds,” Warren says. You should also avoid sausage, bacon, and other processed meats.

4. Dairy products

Like red meat, dairy products also contain the natural inflammatory arachidonic acid. “Cow’s milk is one of the biggest culprits,” Bagel says, because it also contains the protein casein, which has been linked to inflammation. Egg yolks, too, are high in arachidonic acid, so consider nixing them from your diet.

5. Nightshade plants

Some people report that consuming plants from the “nightshade family” — which includes peppers, white potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes — exacerbates their psoriasis. These vegetables contain solanine, a chemical compound that has been shown to trigger pain in some people. “Certain patients believe that if you avoid these vegetables, you decrease your symptoms,” Bagel says. “I’m not so sure about that, but I’m not opposed to people trying it.”

6. Citrus fruits

Sometimes an allergic reaction can cause psoriasis to flare. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes, are a common allergen. If you notice that citrus fruits seem to trigger your symptoms, see if eliminating them from your diet improves your skin. This goes for their derivatives as well, such as lemonade and grapefruit juice.

7. Gluten

This protein is found in some grass-related grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. According to the Mayo Clinic, some people who have psoriasis may also be sensitive to gluten. For those people, avoiding gluten may help improve their psoriasis symptoms. Studies are ongoing, but the idea of psoriasis patients benefiting from a gluten-free diet is still controversial, Bagel says. Even if it works, he adds, it’s not an easy diet to follow.

If you suspect gluten is a trigger for your symptoms, ask your doctor about getting tested for celiac disease — a condition in which gluten causes an immune reaction that can damage the small intestine.

8. Condiments

Some people with psoriasis find condiments and spices to be their enemy. The ones that seem to cause the most trouble for people with psoriasis are pimento, cinnamon, curry, vinegar, mayo, paprika, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup. These condiments are all on the no-no list because substances in each of them can increase inflammation.

Although research has yet to confirm a direct link between what you eat and psoriasis flare-ups, you might find that your symptoms improve when you avoid one or more of these foods.

Be sure to share what you discover with your doctor so you don’t miss out on any important nutrients.

I Tried an Anti-Psoriasis Diet. Here’s What Happened

By Nadia M. Whitehead

In another post, I talked about my search to put an end to the itch of psoriasis. After consulting with a naturopathic — or natural medicine — doctor, I embarked on an all-natural diet in the hope of ridding myself of the disease.

As soon as I tried to make my first all-natural dinner, I realized that the thought of giving up cheese and bread was the most difficult. These were staples of my Hispanic upbringing and diet.

In my past life, we packed and sprinkled our enchiladas with shredded cheese. We stuffed our chile rellenos with mozzarella. And quesadillas are essentially two pieces of bread — flour tortillas — bonded together with gooey cheddar goodness. Then there are nachos: fried tortilla chips dipped in spicy, melted cheese and topped with guacamole, sour cream, and jalapeños. Even our refried beans are smothered with cheese.

I gloomily tossed together a salad of spinach, avocado, and sundried tomatoes — no dressing — and scarfed it down. I flopped into bed and turned off the lamp on my nightstand. Day one was over.

Two horrible weeks later, there were no changes to my skin. In fact, I thought I was feeling a little itchier than usual. I was starting to get anxious.

Consulting an Expert

Questioning my decision, I called up Michael Siegel, PhD, director of research programs at the National Psoriasis Foundation, to learn if a diet change could reduce psoriasis symptoms.

“Many people swear that by going on paleo or gluten-free diets, that for them there’s improvement with psoriasis,” Dr. Siegel said. “I’m sure these are real cases, but there’s just no scientific evidence yet.”

He explained that it’s hard to do studies on dietary alterations because it’s a difficult situation to control.

“What are you going to do with the people? Keep them locked up in a lab-controlled room ?” he said, laughing. “People go to birthday parties, they go out for drinks.”

But, he said, it made sense that minimizing the consumption of certain foods could benefit people with psoriasis. “We know that certain foods have these effects, and we know that psoriasis is an inflammatory disease,” Siegel said. “We don’t have proof, but we can make the leap between the two.”

Maybe there was some hope for my diet after all. I was certainly avoiding foods that inflame. These include any fried foods, sweetened beverages, red meats, pastas, and pastries. Each of these cause inflammation differently. Sugar consumption, for example, results in toxins in your body called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Our bodies react with inflammation to try to get rid of AGEs. Alcohol consumption has a similar effect: It can up our levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a known indicator of inflammation.

Foods like nuts, berries, and leafy greens, on the other hand, can help fight inflammation. These natural foods are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and other nutrients proven to reduce inflammatory symptoms. Thanks to the naturopath’s strict diet, my intake of these good foods was at an all-time high. Maybe I just had to wait a little bit longer to see a benefit.

Some Promising Signs

About three-and-a-half weeks after my initial visit, I was back at the naturopath’s home office — and pleasantly on the mend, it seemed. The patch on my scalp had disappeared completely, and the same was true for my ears. My thighs and elbow were still pinkish and inflamed, but they weren’t as scaly as they’d been in the past.

Like before, the naturopath pulled out a silver pendulum and dangled it over my wrist. She watched it sway for a few moments, then looked up and smiled. She said I didn’t have parasites anymore — something she’d diagnosed at my first visit. I let out a “Cool,” though I doubted that I’d ever had them.

Adjustments to the diet came next, and it was time to ease up a bit, she told me.

Now I could have any and all of the fruits I wanted. Wheat bread and dairy were back on the table, too, but she didn’t recommend either. It was best to avoid them entirely, or eat as little of them as possible.

Best of all, I could start drinking champagne and wine again. Hallelujah! Life was going to start to look a bit more normal. I pictured myself sipping a glass of red wine after a long day’s work.

I celebrated that night. My husband and I popped open a bottle of champagne and cheered. I’d somehow survived a month without a drop of a margarita, quesadilla, pizza, or cake. I was tougher than I thought, dagnabbit! And my psoriasis seemed to have started disappearing.

Alas, the celebration was premature.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I woke up the next morning. Without even touching my scalp, I could sense that the dry patch had returned. So maybe I had a few more glasses of champagne than the recommended amount. But really, who opens a bottle and drinks just one glass? It wasn’t fair.

Food and Psoriasis Flare-ups

I’m sure many people with psoriasis feel this way. Consuming particular foods can cause psoriasis flare-ups, according to Wilson Liao, MD, a dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.

Dr. Liao is getting ready to publish a massive survey he conducted on more than 1,200 people with psoriasis. The goal of his research was to pinpoint what foods seem to help or worsen the condition. Based on his preliminary results, alcohol consumption doesn’t affect just me.

“It was pretty interesting,” Liao told me. “The most common response about what exacerbated symptoms was sugar and alcohol.” Gluten and dairy were close behind.

“Many of my patients tell me that they see improvement or worsening of their skin with certain foods,” he said. “But right now, we don’t have the hard science to back it up.”

Liao hopes to soon change that. He is currently conducting a pilot study that looks at the gut microbiome of a small group of people with psoriasis. He suspects some foods might be causing their microbiome to become abnormal, which subsequently affects the skin.

I’m eager to see what his results are. In the meantime, it looks like I still have a lot to learn about moderation. Whether it’s cheese, bread, sugar, or alcohol, I can’t indulge the way I used to. Psoriasis and diet are going to be an uphill battle for life. There’s no quick fix.

I think back to my final conversation with the naturopath.

“How much more of these diets do I need to do?” I asked.

“They’re not diets,” she replied. “It’s a lifestyle change. I’m teaching you how to lead a different lifestyle.”

While I may not agree with her entire practice, I can at least agree with her on that.

Nadia Whitehead is a freelance journalist and science writer at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Her work has appeared in Science and The Washington Post, as well as on NPR. Contact her on Twitter @NadiaMacias.

PHOTO CREDIT: Cara Slifka/Stocksy

Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects millions of people. It can be unbearable for some and not much of a problem for others. But, anyone who suffers from this condition likely wants to know how their diet affects psoriasis flare ups. Today, we will discuss the best and worst foods for psoriasis so you can plan your diet accordingly.

Best Foods for Psoriasis

Seafood

One food group you should add to your diet immediately is seafood. Seafood is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. This is found in tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. A person’s immune system is believed to be overactive when they have psoriasis, and Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and aid the immune system. Psoriasis has been linked to having a higher risk of heart attack, which means it’s a good idea to eat fish as often as you can.

Avocados and Nuts

If you like avocados and nuts and have psoriasis, then you will be pleased to find out that these two food items are good for your skin condition. Avocados and nuts are good for you in moderation, both health-wise and when it comes to managing your psoriasis. These two foods are in the polyunsaturated fat group that also includes vegetable oils.

Blueberries

Who doesn’t love a handful of blueberries in their oatmeal, cereal, or simply in a bowl for a snack? Well, if you love to eat blueberries and have psoriasis, you are already on the right track when dealing with your skin condition. The biggest reason blueberries help with psoriasis is that they act as an anti-inflammatory. You can also eat figs, strawberries, and mangoes to help with your psoriasis as they are in the same category of food as blueberries.

Worst Foods for Psoriasis

Dairy

It hasn’t been proven by scientists or doctors that dairy is bad for psoriasis, but many patients with the skin condition have reported that their condition improved as they cut back on their dairy intake. If you do decide to limit the amount of dairy you consume, make sure to supplement your diet with calcium and calcium rich foods.

Gluten

Gluten is another bad food to have when you are dealing with psoriasis. If you have an intolerance to gluten, which can be determined via testing by your physician, it’s best to cut it out of your diet as much as possible. The intolerance might not bother you in any form except for your psoriasis.

Fried Foods

Eating fried foods on a regular basis has been known to cause inflammation throughout the body, including inflammation that can wreak havoc on your psoriasis.

Alcohol is another bad item to intake when dealing with psoriasis. It not only has the ability to cause interference with your medications, but it can also cause inflammation in your body that can lead to flare ups of your psoriasis.

Tomatoes

There is no scientific link between tomatoes and psoriasis, but patients with the skin condition have reported increased flare ups when tomatoes are in their diet.

Windsor Dermatology, located in East Windsor, can answer all of your questions regarding psoriasis treatment and care. Call the office today at (609) 443-4500 to speak with a member of their experienced staff or to schedule an appointment.

Psoriasis Meal Plan (1400 calories)

Changing the way that you eat is one of the most important things you can do to help alleviate your skin condition such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. We believe that your body is equipped to heal itself if provided adequate support through proper nutrition, cleansing and diet. We’ve put this FREE 1400 calorie psoriasis diet meal plan together with the help of Deirdre Earls because we want psoriatics (and other skin conditions sufferers) to know that there are nontoxic treatment options.

Deirdre Earls, MBA, Registered Dietitian (RD), Licensed Dietitian (LD), herself a sufferer of chronic psoriasis, has helped us compile this sample 14-day psoriasis diet meal plan at 1400 calories—best suited to women and men who need to lose a bit of weight. Because our 1400 calorie psoriasis diet is so popular, we’ve recently added an 1800-calorie psoriasis diet with additional recommendations.

Ms. Earls is a recognized expert in using a dietary approach to reduce inflammation and enable the body to heal itself naturally. For 30 years Deirdre struggled with severe psoriasis. After just six months of using a meal plan like the one presented here, her symptoms of severe psoriasis for the most part disappeared (90% remission). Healing disease with diet is not highly regarded in Western cultures, nor is it scientifically proven. Notwithstanding, the power of healing with food is indisputable—you have nothing to lose but unwanted weight and bad skin. Try this psoriasis diet!

Nutrition is the basis for all healing—not only because it provides the nutrients your body needs, but because it nourishes the intestinal system, the origin of your immune system.

1400 calories per day diet for psoriasis

  • Breakfast: ~250 calories
  • Midmorning Snack: ~60 calories
  • Lunch: ~450 calories
  • Midafternoon Snack: ~125 calories
  • Dinner: ~450 calories

For your convenience we have supplied a shopping list for this psoriasis diet.

Day One

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 3/4-cup blackberries
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 1 small apple
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 2 Tbsp raisins

Lunch

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1-1/2 cups steamed mixed vegetables
  • 3 oz wild salmon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice drizzled over vegetables

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp hummus

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cran-raisins
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  • 17 small red grapes

Day Two

Breakfast

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa cereal
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • Cinnamon
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1/2-cup applesauce

Lunch

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice pasta
  • 2 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1-1/2 cup grilled vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp cran-raisins
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  • 3 prunes

Day Three

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 3/4-cup blueberries
  • 1 small apple
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1/2 banana

Lunch

  • 2 tacos made with:
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup nonfat “refried” beans
  • Diced lettuce, onion, and cilantro
  • 3 avocado slices

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 5 Brazil nuts

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 2 oz wild salmon
  • Red onion slices
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  • 4 small brown rice crackers
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks

Day Four

Breakfast

  • 1 cup brown rice cream
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Stevia to sweeten

Breakfast

  • 1 small apple

Lunch

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 oz grilled white organic chicken
  • 1-1/2 cup grilled vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 Tbsp hummus

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp dried cherries
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsalmic vinegar dressing
  • 3 prunes

Day Five

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 17 small grapes
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1 cup watermelon

Lunch

  • 2 brown rice cakes with sea vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp 100% fruit spread
  • 1 small apple

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 5 Brazil nuts

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 2 oz wild salmon
  • 3/4-cup blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsalmic vinegar dressing
  • 1/2 large pear

Day Six

Breakfast

  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Red onion slices
  • 1 large grapefruit

Midmorning snack

  • 1 small apple

Lunch

  • Nachos made with:
  • 10 large corn chips
  • 1 cup nonfat “refried” beans
  • 1 oz organic cheddar cheese
  • Diced onions, cilantro, lettuce

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup celery sticks
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 3/4-cup blueberries
  • Red onion slices
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  • 17 small red grapes

Weekend treat

  • 3 cups plain organic popped popcorn
  • Tossed in:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, sea salt, and herbs

Day Seven

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 1/2 small mango
  • 2 small plums
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 12 cherries

Lunch

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 oz grilled white organic chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups grilled vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp hummus

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 2 oz tuna
  • 6 Kalamata olives
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsalmic vinegar dressing\
  • 1 cup watermelon

Day Eight

Breakfast

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa cereal
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 prunes
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • Cinnamon
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 17 small grapes

Lunch

  • 1 sushi roll of vegetables and avocado
  • 1 miso soup
  • 1 seaweed salad

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 5 Brazil nuts

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 2 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice
  • 1/2-cup black beans
  • 1/2-cup corn
  • Red onion slices
  • 1/2 large pear

Day Nine

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3/4-cup blueberries
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1 small apple

Lunch

  • 1 cup brown rice pasta
  • 1 oz grilled chicken
  • 2 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1-1/2 cups steamed vegetables

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp hummus

Dinner

  • 2-egg omelette
  • Filled with:
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 chopped sundried tomatoes
  • Salad of:
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing

Day Ten

Breakfast

  • 1 brown rice cake with sea vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp 100% fruit spread
  • 1 cup cubed melon

Midmorning snack

  • 12 cherries

Lunch

  • 1 cup cooked corn macaroni
  • 2 oz melted cheddar cheese
  • 1 oz grilled chicken
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 5 Brazil nuts

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 2 oz tuna
  • 6 Kalamata olives
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsalmic vinegar dressing
  • 17 small red grapes

Day Eleven

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 3/4-cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1 small nectarine

Lunch

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 oz wild salmon
  • 1-1/2 cup steamed vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 10 peanuts

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2-oz grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp cran-raisins
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsalmic vinegar dressing
  • 3 prunes

Day Twelve

Breakfast

  • 1 cup fruit-juice sweetened corn flakes
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 1 cup cubed melon

Midmorning snack

  • 1/2-cup applesauce

Lunch

  • 2 tacos made of:
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup nonfat “refried” beanos
  • 3 avocado slices
  • Diced lettuce, onion, and cilantro

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp hummus

Dinner

  • Giant salad of:
  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 2 oz wild salmon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice
  • 1 cup raspberries

Day Thirteen

Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain organic fat-free yogurt (or kefir)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flax seeds
  • 3/4-cup blueberries
  • 3 prunes
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1 cup cubed pinepple

Lunch

  • Sandwich of:
  • 2 slices gluten-free bread
  • 3 oz grilled chicken breast
  • Lettuce, onion, mustard
  • 10 corn chips

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 5 Brazil nuts

Dinner

  • 3 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp cran-raisins
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsalmic vinegar dressing

Weekend Treat

  • 3 cups popped organic popcorn
  • Tossed in:
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and herbs

Day Fourteen

Breakfast

  • 1 cup brown rice cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • Cinnamon
  • Stevia to sweeten

Midmorning snack

  • 1 cup watermelon

Lunch

  • 2 brown rice cakes with sea vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp 100% fruit spread
  • 1 small apple

Midafternoon snack

  • 1 cup celery sticks
  • 2 Tbsp hummus

Dinner

  • 2 oz baked tilapia
  • 2 cups dark, leafy greens
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  • 1/2 small mango
  • 1/2-cup frozen yogurt

Some important pointers

  • Whenever possible, eat organic, fresh locally-grown produce, eggs, dairy and meat.
  • Whenever possible, select wild-harvested over farm-raised fish.
  • Some have found that they heal better with a dairy-free diet. You may substitute the occasionally recommended organic dairy with organic soy varieties.
  • Some have found that they heal better with a nightshade-free diet. You may want to eliminate tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers and eggplant for three months or more to determine how you respond.

If compliance with the suggested meal plans doesn’t give you the progress you desire within six months, you may want to seek personalized assistance with determining contributing factors and potential solutions.

Deirdre Earls has taken much of the guesswork out of an often daunting decision—to completely change your diet. Your Healing Diet: A Quick Guide to Reversing Psoriasis and Chronic Diseases with Healing Foods is available through DermaHarmony.

Additional support

For best results we suggest using our psoriasis meal plan with a good quality supplement. Dietary supplements** provide nutrient support, promote digestive tract health, and facilitate increased absorption and utilization of the foods you eat. A good quality digestive reset program like the one offered at Women’s Health Network** is also worth the money.

* Your physician should allow for proper follow-up visits and individualize your diet, nutrition, or fitness plan as appropriate. The information presented on this website is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment. This information should only be used in conjunction with the guidance and care of your physician. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers if you have any questions regarding a medical condition, your diet, nutritional supplements, an exercise regimen, or any other matter related to your health and well-being.

** We’re 100% behind full disclosure. The owner of DermaHarmony (David Addison) has an ownership stake in Women’s Health Network. We wholeheartedly endorse their products.

8 Foods to Avoid With Psoriasis

  • 1

    A chronic skin disease like psoriasis can feel like a never-ending battle. You may have tried everything, but still find you can’t get rid of those itchy or sore patches of skin. While changing your diet is not a psoriasis cure, many people have found that avoiding certain foods can help bring them some relief.

    Don’t Feed the Disease https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1494×999%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Ff9%2Fbc%2F30c59ef44562a709c04b8e02af48%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-151909887.jpg

  • 2

    Much like cancer or heart disease, psoriasis is an inflammatory disease caused by chronic inflammation in the body. Since fat is an inflammatory tissue, researchers believe reducing overall body fat, and maintaining a healthy weight, can reduce inflammation and, in turn, help improve symptoms of psoriasis. If you already consume a lot of high-fat dairy products, you may want to switch from whole milk, which contains 3.25% fat to 1% or 2% milk, or even skim milk, to help reduce your overall fat intake.

    1. Whole Milk https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F8a%2Fa1%2F981654fd49dcbf9c4cdb83516ed5%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fgettyimages-636473550.jpg

  • 3

    Other fat-laden dairy products include cheeses, which may lead to inflammation and aggravate your symptoms. Look for low-fat cheese options or even cheese substitues to replace the higher fat varieties. You can also opt to leave the cheese out of your sandwich or burger altogether.

    2. Cheese https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/3870×2589%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fd7%2F9d%2F7376a9574c7db9d1501fc064ac77%2Fimage-getty-490927551.jpg

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    Processed and fast foods have also been shown to trigger inflammation due to their high-fat content and excess sugar. A good psoriasis diet, like any healthful diet, should have less of these foods and more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Studies have found that excess sugar consumption can also contribute to type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and can increase cholesterol levels, so your overall health will benefit, as well.

    3. Processed Foods https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F34%2Feb%2F068779ed426c9f4c17760623bbe6%2Fimage-african-american-businessman-looking-at-cafe-menu.jpg

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    Red meat is another fatty food that can contribute to inflammation. Instead of red meat, choose lean meats, such as poultry (without skin) and fish. For some people, eating foods containing omega-3 fats, found mainly in certain types of fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies, has been shown to help improve symptoms of psoriasis.

    4. Fatty Red Meat https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1494×999%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F81%2Fb2%2Fd368855c42c5beb56dd9619032d5%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-155445304-steak.jpg

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    Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, has also been shown to cause problems for some people with psoriasis. If you think you may be sensitive to gluten, talk to your doctor about getting tested. If you do have this sensitivity, there are many food products on the market today that make it easier to stick to a gluten-free diet.

    5. Foods Containing Gluten https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1500×1003%2B0%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fe7%2F98%2F1b544ee441b28ea4ef4e987198c5%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-loaf-of-bread.jpg

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    Alcohol use can wreak havoc on a number of organs, and excessive consumption can lead to many health conditions, including liver and heart disease. Some believe it may also contribute to conditions like psoriasis, so it may be helpful to avoid alcohol, or try consuming it in moderation, to see if this helps improve your symptoms. As a general health rule, women should have no more than one drink per day, and men no more than two.

    6. Alcohol https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fe6%2Fd6%2F9e8e0cd6459fa8a369a24d050fa3%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-getty-143153362.jpg

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    Caffeine can also lead to inflammation, so it may be helpful to avoid beverages that contain high amounts of caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks. You may also want to limit hot chocolate and energy drinks (including energy waters), which often contain caffeine, as well.

    7. Coffee https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F78%2Fa3%2Fd5ef6f664e14be26cc91ea6272b7%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-getty-180429958.jpg

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    Chocolate is another source of caffeine, so try to limit the amount of chocolately desserts you consume. Some other surprising caffeine culprits include protein bars, candy bars and coffee-flavored ice cream and yogurt.

    8. Chocolate https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1494×999%2B5%2B0/resize/580×388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F31%2Fc0%2F7263856c4923853f9bbadab15c05%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-getty-503259651.jpg

Foods To Eat And Avoid If You Are Suffering From Psoriasis

Nutrition affects every aspect of health. Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that features dry, itchy, and scaly skin, may be one condition to which diet can make a difference.

When you have psoriasis, reducing triggers is an important part of managing your condition and avoiding flare-ups. Psoriasis flare-ups can be caused by a variety of triggers. These triggers may include bad weather, excess stress, and also watching what’s on your plate!

A healthy diet — lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains — is a good idea for just about everyone. But some people who have psoriasis say their eating habits can affect their skin.

Limit Alcohol
The link between alcohol and psoriasis isn’t clear, but if you drink, be moderate. For men, that means no more than two drinks a day, and for women no more than one.

Studies show that men who drink heavily don’t respond to psoriasis treatments as well. And some research suggests that people who have psoriasis and drink heavily may find that their skin gets better when they stop.

If your condition is especially severe or you take certain medications, like methotrexate and acitretin, your dermatologist may tell you to stay away from alcohol completely.

Food that fight inflammation
Some studies suggest that antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium, may make a difference. And some research suggests fatty acids from fish oil can be helpful.

Anti-inflammatory foods are generally healthy, so it shouldn’t hurt to give them a try.

They include:

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and arugula
  • Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, cherries, grapes, and other dark fruits.

Fatty fish
A diet high in fatty fish can provide the body with anti-inflammatory omega-3s. The intake of omega-3s has been linked to a decrease of inflammatory substances and overall inflammation.

Fish to eat include:

  • Salmon, fresh and canned
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Cod

Heart-healthy oils
Like fatty fish, certain vegetable oils also contain anti-inflammatory fatty acids. It’s important to focus on oils that have a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

Oils to eat include:

  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • flaxseed oil
  • safflower oil

Processed foods
Eating too many processed, high-calorie foods can lead to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and a variety of chronic health conditions. Certain conditions such as these cause chronic inflammation in the body, which may be linked to psoriasis flare-ups.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Processed meats
  • Pre-packaged food products
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Any processed foods high in sugar, salt, and fat
  • Both red meat and dairy, especially eggs, contain a polyunsaturated fatty acid called arachidonic acid. Past research has shown that by-products of arachidonic acid may play a role in creating psoriatic lesions.

Nightshades
One of the most commonly reported triggers for psoriasis flare-ups is the consumption of nightshades. Nightshade plants contain solanine, which has been known to affect digestion in humans and may be a cause of inflammation.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Peppers

Nutritional supplements
Fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, and selenium have all been researched for psoriasis.

Benefits of supplementation with these nutrients may include a decrease in the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

Lose Weight
People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of getting psoriasis, and their symptoms tend to be worse. Studies suggest that your skin may get better if you shed extra pounds. This may be because fat cells make certain proteins that can trigger inflammation and make the condition worse.

Gluten-Free Diet
You may wonder whether your psoriasis would get better if you ate a gluten-free diet. Although you may hear about success stories from others who have tried it, so far studies aren’t clear that it helps. More research is needed.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Wheat and wheat derivatives
  • Pasta, noodles, and baked goods containing wheat, rye, barley, and malt.
  • Certain processed foods.
  • Certain sauces and condiments.
  • Beer and malt beverages.

The vegan diet:
This may also benefit people with psoriasis. This diet is naturally low in inflammatory foods such as red meat and dairy. It’s high in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy oils.

The Mediterranean diet:
This diet is well known for its numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. This diet focuses on foods that are high in antioxidants and healthy fats. It limits foods that are often considered to be pro-inflammatory.

The Paleo diet:
This diet places an emphasis on eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods. Since many whole foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds, this diet may prove to be beneficial for people with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a life-long condition, and its severity can fluctuate. Medical treatment often aims to reduce skin cell production in order to minimize flares, or the periodic worsening of symptoms. Some lifestyle changes may also help.

In combination with medicine, nutrition may be a potent player in the fight against psoriasis.

Contributed by Dr. Sravya Chowdary Tipirneni, Consultant Dermatologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield

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