Could this one diet hack greatly improve your psoriasis?
We all know that diet has an influence on the severity of Psoriasis and flare ups. It can be difficult keeping across all the dietary recommendations; what works, what doesn’t work, foods you should avoid…
Most of us intuitively know which foods to consume and that eating as close to fresh unadulterated foods is always the best for us nutritionally. We should generally keep to a low inflammatory diet and avoid foods that “add fuel to the fire”, so to speak. These foods include red meats, high sugar, and processed foods.
Considering you stick to the above guidelines, there is one more tactic you can employ to reduce inflammation – intermittent fasting (IF). Whilst many of you have probably heard of this dietary trend, you may not be aware that intermittent fasting has some merit for reducing inflammation, which in turn could improve your psoriasis.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is fairly self-explanatory, involving periods of food avoidance for a certain length of time at regular intervals.
There are several fasting techniques which you can choose from, including:
- The Lean Gains (or 16/8) method – this involves skipping breakfast and keeping your food consumption within an 8 hour period. For example 12-8 pm, making the fasting period for 16 hours.
- The 24 hour fast – this protocol means that you eat dinner, followed by no more food until dinner time the next evening. This is typically done 2 times per week.
- The 5:2 Diet – a popular choice for many, this type of fasting restricts calories to 500-600 on two non-consecutive days per week, and then normal food consumption the other 5 days.
Regardless of which technique suits you best, adapting to any one of these can show distinct benefits such as weight loss and reduced inflammation. Other benefits can include increased insulin sensitivity, improved utilisation of stored fat and improved cellular longevity and repair.
How does intermittent fasting improve psoriasis?
Although there is more research to be done on IF and the effect on inflammation, scientists have discovered a link to fasting and the effect on immune cells.
Research has shown that IF had suppressed the release of monocytes (immune cells) into the circulation whilst inducing a “sleep mode”.
“Monocytes are highly inflammatory immune cells that can cause serious tissue damage, and the population has seen an increasing amount in their blood circulation as a result of eating habits that humans have acquired in recent centuries” – said senior researcher Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Maybe it is time to embrace the fasting trend and reap the rewards with healthier skin, lower body fat and increased longevity!