As with any inflammatory condition, foods can cause your psoriasis symptoms to flare up. Sugar, gluten, acidic and fatty foods are some of the most common. Making changes to your diet by avoiding trigger foods and consuming foods that help reduce inflammation can see improvement in your psoriasis and help you work towards remission.
Are your dietary habits causing your psoriasis to flare up?
There is no one specific food that is known to cause psoriasis flare-ups. However, there are known dietary habits, food and ingredients that have been linked to aggravation of psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis sufferers often consume a nutritionally unbalanced diet. This may include high intakes of fat, refined carbohydrates or simple sugars. Excessive consumption of red meat and alcohol are also commonly seen.
Psoriasis patients often have a reduced intake of dietary fibre, fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Studies have found your diet can influence the symptom management of your psoriasis and the development of common comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
What foods can cause psoriasis flare-ups?
Some common foods are associated with psoriasis flare-ups. Remember these foods will differ from one person to the next, so working with a practitioner to help identify if they are triggering immune dysfunction is beneficial.
- Saturated fats including meats, particularly poultry, and dairy.
- Acidic foods such as pineapple, oranges, coffee and tomato.
- Nightshades including tomato, eggplant, capsicum, potato and paprika
- Refined sugars
- Spicy foods
- Gluten-containing foods
Scientific evidence into the link between food and psoriasis is growing but slowly. It is challenging to conduct a large-scale study documenting people’s diets and their sensitivity to particular foods.
It’s important to remember with inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, eliminating foods that contribute to immune dysfunction is just one piece of the puzzle.
Depending on your particular health status you may benefit from correcting gut bacteria imbalances, repairing damaged mucosa barriers or improving your liver’s detoxification ability. Ensuring you are producing optimal digestive enzymes and managing your stress could also prove beneficial.
What diet should you eat to avoid psoriasis flare-ups?
If you suffer from psoriasis, chances are you’ve tried lots of diets to help manage your symptoms. The most common diets we hear people try are dairy-free, gluten-free and a low carbohydrate-high protein diet.
People have also reported improvements in their symptoms on diets such as vegan, Pagano and the Mediterranean diet. While some are searching for a standard diet for psoriasis treatment, what we know is that individually tailored diets work best!
Generally speaking, when you consume nutritionally dense, anti-inflammatory and healing foods, you’re going to experience improvement in your skin and overall health.
If you have psoriasis, your dietary focus should be on:
- Consuming high fibre foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Increasing your antioxidant intake.
- Eating wild-caught fish in place of primary meats such as chicken, pork and beef.
- Consuming foods rich in zinc such as pumpkin seeds, kefir, beans and seafood.
- Eating dark leafy greens and orange fruits and vegetables that are packed with vitamin A.
- Daily consumption of probiotic-rich foods like kefir, cultured vegetables and sauerkraut.
- Adding turmeric (and black pepper) to your meals.
If you’re looking to alter or optimise your diet by removing food triggers and consuming healing foods, we recommend you start slowly.
Focus on adding nutrients and foods into your diet like those listed above, rather than opting for a restrictive form of eating. This will help crowd out the aggravating foods while avoiding deprivation.