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The Facts on Psoriasis and Diet
Doctors agree that there isn’t a strong link between psoriasis and diet, and that more studies need to be done to establish or disprove a link. The other thing they agree on is that maintaining a healthy weight for your height is important in reducing the severity of your symptoms.
Two types of diet that may beneficial for psoriasis suffers are a gluten-free diet or an anti-inflammatory diet.
The Anti-inflammatory Diet & Psoriasis.
For ‘diet’ we need to think of a life-time change in eating patterns rather than something temporary.
The anti-inflammatory diet for psoriasis is similar to the diet for a healthy heart. This involves eating more fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meat and fish and less refined food, red meat and full-fat dairy, saturated fat and trans fat. More detail on this below
Western diets tend to be heavy on the wrong sorts of fat and too light on the good fats found in cold water fish, fish oil, walnuts and some omega 3 supplements.
The exact content of an anti-inflammatory diet depends on which expert you ask. As a general guide, here is a list of foods to avoid and what to eat more of if you want to see if an anti-inflammatory diet will naturally help your psoriasis to improve.
- Fruits, berries and vegetables of all colours and descriptions. Dried, tinned and frozen vegetables and fruit are included but avoid those with added salt or sugar and fruit that’s tinned in syrup – look for tinned fruit in juice instead.
- Fish and fish oil. Eat these 2-3 times a week and be aware of where they have been source from – a lot of fish from contaminated water isn’t good for you and fish taken from unsustainable sources isn’t good for anyone.
- Wholegrains such as brown rice, wholegrain pasta, wholegrain bread, oats, bulgar wheat, quinoa (say ‘keen-wah’).
- Lean meat like chicken, turkey, ostrich meat, goat meat, or more soya as a meat substitute.
- Beans and lentils – red and puy (say ‘poo-y’) lentils, broad beans, kidney beans, pinto, black, lima, white beans.
- Low fat dairy such as skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, soya milk, low fat yoghurt and cheese.
Ginger, curry and chilli pepper have been found to have an anti-inflammatory affect.
Treat yourself with dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa solids); drink coffee (with fat-reduced milk) and green tea as these also seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Processed food such as white bread, pasta and rice, cakes, cookies, pastries, ready-made meals, sugary food and sodas.
- Fatty dairy produce.
- Fatty meat and red meat.
Look at your diet as a whole and try not to focus on individual foods: balance is key. These diets – like any other – won’t work overnight. So be prepared to wait a few weeks before you see a reduction in your symptoms.