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Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease caused due to inflammation produced by an immune system disorder.

It is characterized by Itchy, painful skin that can crack or bleed. You may also see rashes or patches on the skin which is often covered with loose, silver-colored scales. There are several factors that can make the condition worse such as infections and stress.

There is no diet that will cure this disease, but eating the correct foods may lessen the severity of symptoms and play an important role in lowering the development of comorbidities.

(Read more: Home remedies for Psoriasis)

  1. Essential nutrients to include in a psoriasis diet
  2. Best food for psoriasis: what to eat
  3. Food to avoid in Psoriasis
  4. Other dietary tips for psoriasis patients
  5. Indian Diet Plan for Psoriasis
Doctors for Psoriasis diet: food to eat and avoid

Certain nutrients are particularly beneficial in psoriasis disease. By adopting a diet that combines these nutrients, you can improve your condition significantly.

Add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation, and psoriasis is a disease of inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also seem to have a positive impact on the body’s immune system. For maximum benefit, have fish such as Bhangra (Indian mackerel), Surmai (king mackerel), Rawas (Indian salmon), Hilsa (herring). Take these fish 2-3 times a week. If you are vegetarian, choose plant-based sources of omega 3 fatty acids such as flaxseeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts in your daily diet.

Vitamin D is essential for Psoriasis patients

There are many research studies that show a close relationship between the improvement in psoriasis and vitamin D. Doctors now commonly suggest adding vitamin D to your daily diet. To add this nutrient to your diet, take:

(Read more: Vitamin D rich foods)

Take Vitamin-C rich food

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is also known for being a powerful antioxidant that helps psoriasis patients in reducing the action of free radicals. You can get vitamin C either from your diet, or from supplements, or both. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits (lemon, sweet lime, orange), berries, green leafy vegetables, and green chili.

(Read more: Vitamin C Deficiency symptoms)

There are several research studies that have shown that taking anti-inflammatory food gives great results in controlling symptoms of psoriasis. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet is as easy as this:

  • Fatty Fish: Fatty fish contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that help the body reduce inflammation. 
  • Turmeric: Turmeric's anti-inflammatory benefits are well-known. It can be taken in raw, powdered, or pill form. You can add turmeric to herbal tea, milk, curry, lentil, or pickle.
  • Sweet potato: Sweet potato contains a good amount of choline which is a micronutrient that helps reduce inflammation. Frequent consumption of sweet potato can help reduce the severity of this disease.
  • All colourful fruits and vegetables: All colourful fruits and vegetables are a great choice to add to your diet to control the symptoms of psoriasis. They have a good amount of fibre, water, vitamin, and minerals. But always go for fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables rather than packaged juice or soup.

(Read more: Ayurvedic medicine for psoriasis)

With psoriasis, it is essential to avoid foods that can trigger inflammation. Inflammation and the immune system response can lead to a flare-up. Many research studies have shown that food can increase inflammation. Try to replace these foods with healthier options:

Simple Carbohydrates

There is evidence that suggests that eating too much added sugar and too many refined carbohydrates can cause inflammation in the body. So try to avoid white sugar, honey, fruit juices, all-purpose flour, sweets, carbonated or energy drinks, etc. You can replace these items with more nutritious foods such as jaggery (in small amounts), lemon water, detox water, fruit-based homemade desserts.

Processed food

Processed and packaged foods are full of artificial trans fat since they typically use poor quality vegetable and seed oils that may increase inflammation in the body. Processed food is also bad for the gut. They can alter the bacteria that live in our gut, and that can interact with our immune system and eventually lead to chronic inflammation. To eliminate this food group, choose home-cooked food and avoid ready-to-eat foods items, french fries, packaged snacks (chips, namkeen, biscuits), bakery products (cake, pastry), processed meat items (bacon, sausage, ham, salami).

(Read more: Lean meat benefits)

Stop consumption of Alcohol

Consuming alcohol can trigger a psoriasis flare-up and worsen your condition in the longer-term as well. Research has shown that levels of the inflammatory marker CRP (C-reactive protein) are higher in people who consume alcohol. In the study, the more alcohol they consumed, the more their CRP levels increased. So avoid alcoholic beverages and replace them with non-alcoholic drinks such as aam panna, lemon water etc.

(Read more: CRP test normal range)

Quit smoking

Research shows that smoking is directly linked to psoriasis worsening. The more you puff, the worse your flare-ups. Quit smoking as soon as possible. If you are unable to kick the butt by yourself, discuss smoking cessation with your doctor and educate yourself about the benefits of quitting smoking.

Know your body

Patients have reported different food-related triggers such as spices and millets. If you feel any food triggers skin irritation, stomach irritation, or upsets your stomach, make a note of it and check its effect on you by consuming it just by itself. If you find that it indeed leads to a flare-up, replace it with other foods.

(Read more: Homeopathic medicine for psoriasis)

Apart from the foods mentioned above, you should also have this essential information related to psoriasis diet in your back pocket:

Stay hydrated to fight with psoriasis

Psoriasis patients should drink plenty of water every day. When patients are fighting conditions such as psoriasis, hydration can be used to keep the skin moisturized and decrease flare-ups. Try to drink 10-12 glasses of water daily. You can replace your water with detox water, coconut water and buttermilk. However, avoid tea, coffee, carbonated drinks as they are rich in caffeine which can dehydrate you.

(Read more: How much water to drink in a day)

Take a balanced diet

A diet that has all food groups and all the nutrients in a balanced manner can be helpful for managing this disease. Add whole grains, lentils, milk and milk products, colourful fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and lean meat to your diet.

A gluten-free diet can be helpful

Many research studies have shown that psoriasis patients have a higher prevalence of other autoimmune diseases including celiac disease, a condition marked by sensitivity to dietary gluten. There is evidence to suggest that a gluten-free diet may benefit some psoriasis patients. Replace wheat, rye, and barley products with other millets such as pearl millet, sorghum, and buckwheat.

(Read more: Ragi benefits)

Here is a sample diet plan for psoriasis patients that takes into account all the information given above. You can follow this meal plan or discuss a customized meal plan with your nutritionist:

  • Early morning: warm water (1 glass) + walnut (5-7)
  • Breakfast: bajra porridge (1-2 bowl) + papaya smoothie (1 glass)
  • Mid meal; orange (1)
  • Lunch: sorghum chapati (2) + soya / fish curry (1 bowl) + mixed vegetables (1 bowl) + green salad (1 medium plate)
  • Evening tea: herbal tea (1 cup) + roasted seeds and nuts (1 tablespoon)
  • Dinner: vegetable soup (1 bowl) + pea pulao (1 bowl) + low-fat paneer curry (1 bowl) 
  • Bedtime: turmeric milk
Dt. Akanksha Mishra

Dt. Akanksha Mishra

Nutritionist
8 Years of Experience

Surbhi Singh

Surbhi Singh

Nutritionist
22 Years of Experience

Dr. Avtar Singh Kochar

Dr. Avtar Singh Kochar

Nutritionist
20 Years of Experience

Dr. priyamwada

Dr. priyamwada

Nutritionist
7 Years of Experience

References

  1. Bhatia Bhavnit K., et al. Diet and Psoriasis: Part 2. Celiac Disease and Role of a Gluten-Free Diet. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Aug; 71(2): 350–358. PMID: 24780176
  2. Passi S., Pità O. De, Cocchi Massimo. Psoriasis and diet. Progress in Nutrition. 2004 January; 6(4): 231-247.
  3. Barrea Luigi, et al. Vitamin D and its role in psoriasis: An overview of the dermatologist and nutritionist. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2017; 18(2): 195–205. PMID: 28176237
  4. Corte Karen W. Della, et al.Effect of Dietary Sugar Intake on Biomarkers of Subclinical Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Intervention Studies. Nutrients. 2018 May; 10(5): 606. PMID: 29757229
  5. Oliveira Andreia, Rodríguez-Artalejo Fernando, Lopes Carla. Alcohol intake and systemic markers of inflammation--shape of the association according to sex and body mass index. Alcohol Alcohol. 2010 Mar-Apr; 45(2): 119-25. PMID: 20083478
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