Maintaining a healthy diet comes with many health benefits such as a longer life span, lower blood pressure, and increased overall happiness. A healthy diet also limits the chances of developing some health conditions, like psoriasis.
You may be wondering, what exactly is psoriasis? Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin and nails through inflammation that is caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells. There are five main types of psoriasis, all of which have different variations of symptoms. However, the main symptom across the board is the development of thick, itchy, scaly rashes on different areas of the body, such as legs, arms, soles of the feet, and even the nails.
Over 8 million people in the United States are living with some form of psoriasis, making it one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the country. Because there is no known cause of the disease, it’s important to know what the triggers are and what factors can increase your chances of developing the condition. It’s important to note though that psoriasis is not contagious.
One trigger of psoriasis is having a poor diet, which is just another reason why it’s important to eat healthy foods and give your body the proper nutrients it needs.
Keep reading to learn more about foods that can help prevent psoriasis.
Fruits & Vegetables
Since psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes inflammation, it’s important to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Not only do fruits and vegetables promote anti-inflammation, but they also are a great source of antioxidants.
Both of these factors combined can help prevent psoriasis breakouts because they decrease the chance of skin inflammation and irritation. By adding fruits and vegetables into your daily diet you’re minimizing the chances of a psoriasis flare-up, which is great especially if the disease runs in your family’s health history.
Some of the best fruits and vegetables for psoriasis prevention include:
- Leafy greens– Salads or smoothies rich in greens such as spinach, arugula, and kale are a great way to get in your daily intake of leafy greens and iron.
- Roasted veggies– Broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts tossed in garlic and olive oil and roasted in the oven is a great dish to help reduce and prevent inflammation.
- Berries– Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are a sweet way to integrate foods for psoriasis prevention into your daily diet. You could even combine them into a smoothie with some leafy greens.
- Dark fruits– Avocados, grapes, cherries, and olives can help add flavor to your meals or act as filling snacks on their own. Add these to your diet to mix up the flavor and protect your skin.
Omega-3s & Healthy Fats
Another kind of food for psoriasis prevention is those that contain healthy fats and are rich in omega-3s because of their anti-inflammatory properties and how heart-healthy they are.
Sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include:
- Fatty fish– Add a fish dish into your weekly meal rotation to make sure you’re eating healthy fats and fish oil. Consider making a meal with salmon, tuna, or trout.
- Raw nuts– Nuts make the perfect midday snack or salad topper. Munch on some peanuts, almonds, or walnuts throughout the day. A spoonful of natural nut butter is another great option.
- Natural seeds– Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are packed with healthy fats and are hardly noticeable when added to an acai bowl or on top of toast.
Foods high in gluten are known to cause symptoms of inflammation in the body. This means that foods like traditional bread and pasta can cause flare-ups if you’re prone to psoriasis.
If you’re looking to minimize your chances of developing psoriasis, then consider switching to a gluten-free diet or reducing your gluten intake for a few weeks to see if it has a positive impact on your body and how you feel overall.
Gluten alternatives to try:
- Instead of crackers, try rice cakes- While there are gluten-free cracker options available, why not opt for a rice cake instead? Gluten-free rice cakes are a wonderful alternative and can handle more toppings than the traditional cracker.
- Instead of regular pizza crust, try a cauliflower crust- If you’ve never tried cauliflower crust then definitely give it a chance. This pizza crust alternative is a flavorful way to still indulge in pizza without the gluten and even tastes similarly.
- Instead of pasta, try zoodles- Pasta is such a classic dish, but unfortunately, the good stuff is full of gluten. If you’re craving pasta and want to limit your gluten intake, consider making zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. These substitutes are such a fun and delicious way to satisfy your pasta cravings.
Helpful Diets To Follow
If psoriasis runs in your family’s health history and you want to do the most to limit your chances of developing the disease, then consider following a diet plan that is made up of psoriasis-friendly foods.
Most of the foods mentioned in this article all complement each other and are great foods to combine to create some awesome meals. If you need inspiration on how to pair these items, a diet that contains them is a good place to start.
Examples of diets for psoriasis prevention include:
- Plant-based diet– Daily meals are made up of mostly plant-based foods and produce to limit processed foods and boost health.
- Pescatarian diet- Seafood is the only source of meat in this diet, which ensures plenty of healthy fats are consumed. The rest of the diet is vegetarian or plant-based.
- Mediterranean diet– A diet that originated in European countries that primarily consists of fruits, veggies, whole grains, potatoes, fish, and olive oil. Minimal sugars, red and processed meats, and refined grains are consumed with this diet.
While psoriasis is not completely preventable because there is no known root cause, there are lifestyle factors that can be changed to decrease the chances of developing the skin condition. Talk with your doctor to determine if psoriasis runs in your family or if you are more prone to the disease because of other risk factors.
A healthy and balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, and omega-3’s can keep your skin from developing inflammation and making you more susceptible to psoriasis. If these foods aren’t already part of your daily meal plan, give them a try and have fun experimenting with different dishes to help with prevention.