What are the Best and Worst Foods for Psoriasis?

The best foods for psoriasis are those with anti-inflammatory properties.

If you suffer from psoriasis, you know that it is an autoimmune disease caused by inflammation.  According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, many individuals benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce their symptoms.

There are certain foods that are known to increase inflammation and others that have anti-inflammatory properties.  The best foods for psoriasis are those with anti-inflammatory properties. Try these:

  • Coldwater Fish – Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oils are thought to reduce inflammation and help the immune system, which is overactive in people with psoriasis. Plus, since psoriasis is also linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, it’s a good idea to eat fish at least twice a week.  Fish rich in omega-3s that has been shown to reduce inflammation include albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, and lake trout. 
  • Flaxseeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts –These are plant sources of omega-3s and an excellent source of polyunsaturated fats (the good kind).  Stay away from saturated fats and trans fats, which may increase inflammation in the body.
  • Colorful Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Focus on eating foods from the colors of the rainbow.  Specific vegetables that have inflammation-fighting properties include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and broccoli.

If you have psoriasis, you might want to consider avoiding these:

  • Fatty red meats – Fatty red meats have been linked to increased inflammation in the body. If you want to occasionally eat red meat, try less fatty cuts like lean flank steak or sirloin.
  • Dairy products – Some people with psoriasis report that cutting back on dairy products also eases their symptoms. Scientists don’t yet know why this might be true, but trial-and-error may give you an idea if you should avoid dairy.
  • Refined sugars – Excess sugar intake may not only promote inflammation, it’s also a major contributor to weight gain and being overweight can also aggravate your psoriasis. 
  • Nightshade vegetables – Nightshade veggies include potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.  Some people with psoriasis find these aggravate their skin condition. There’s little scientific proof to support this, but if you notice a link between these types of vegetables and the worsening of your psoriasis symptoms, cut them out of your diet to see if your skin improves.