Is there a Psoriasis Diet?
Gluten-free, vegan, Paleo – with so many diet trends out there, the question on a lot of minds of people living with psoriasis is, is there a ‘psoriasis diet’? Now before you go crazy on WebMD, how are you going to sort out fact from wishful thinking, over-stating, or straight-up junk?
Good news! Though there hasn’t been nearly enough research yet, a major review of the evidence on diet-and-psoriasis was published in 2014 to help sort out what’s real and what’s really not. Check out some of the insights from that review.
Does weight-loss really help with your psoriasis?
- A minute on your lips, a lifetime on your… skin? Psoriasis is more common in people who are obese, and tends to be more severe as well.
- Studies so far suggest that psoriasis symptoms improve with weight-loss for people who are overweight. Weight-loss seems to reduce systemic inflammation, and helps psoriasis treatments to work better.
- If Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or higher, you might consider talking with your healthcare practitioner about a weight-loss plan.
What about superfoods?
- Those who have more severe cases of psoriasis have more severe inflammation and are at increased risk of other conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
- That’s why it’s so important to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation and have other positive health benefits – these are known as super foods. Examples of produce that are high in antioxidants include: berries, cherries, grapes, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
- Other foods rich in antioxidants include: nuts, seeds, and certain oils (olive oil is just one example). And don’t forget about cabbage, broccoli, and kale (yum!). Remember dark green leafy vegetables are your friend.
What about gluten?
- Some people living with psoriasis have celiac disease and, from the studies done so far, the two conditions do seem to be associated.
- Symptoms of celiac disease can include all those things you’d rather not talk about – diarrhea, flatulence, fatigue, and anemia. If you think you might have celiac disease, your healthcare provider can test you for the markers (antibodies) of celiac disease.
- Researchers are just beginning to understand this, and the findings are not conclusive, but some people who suffer similar symptoms may have non-celiac gluten intolerance.
- A lot more research is needed on this topic, but some early evidence does suggest that a gluten-free diet may benefit some people who have psoriasis.
So while there’s no known diet that can cure psoriasis, it’s clear that it’s a good idea to eat a healthy diet aimed at managing your weight, avoiding nutritional deficiencies, and reducing inflammation. If you think you might have any individual dietary concerns such as allergies, celiac disease, or anemia for example, talk with a healthcare professional.
Originally published on www.pSoMuchMore.ca