The diet affects every happening in the body. The diet can therefore be used to alleviate or exacerbate diseases. This influence of nutrition is often underestimated and therefore unfortunately not included in the therapy. More and more often, however, scientific evidence indicates that a targeted diet, especially in chronic diseases, can very well lead to an improvement in the symptoms – including psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease.
Proper nutrition improves psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease from the circle of autoimmune diseases. In most cases, it is adults who suffer from psoriasis, but occasionally children may also be affected.
No matter what age psoriasis breaks out, you should take the disease as a welcome occasion to optimize personal nutrition. Inzwsichen already several scientific studies show that a very specific diet can greatly improve psoriasis.
Holistic measures for psoriasis
Psoriasis leads to very dry, scaly and sometimes itchy skin in the affected areas. It is characterized by thick yellowish crusts at some parts of the body, which can be accompanied by inflammation. They are caused by the pathologically accelerated skin metabolism in psoriasis, which means that the cells of the top layer of the skin renew about eight times faster than in healthy people.
Psoriasis can occur in spurts, sometimes weaker, sometimes more pronounced. It is true that psoriasis is considered incurable. But it can be influenced in such a way that the spurts are less frequent or more and more weaker, and the phases with low symptoms eventually get longer and longer. This does not always require medicines. Often holistic measures already help very well, for example the following:
- Sentitroducing nutrition: Of course, you should change your diet. How best to do that, we’ll explain below.
- Sunbathing: You can also expose your skin to the sun for a short time on a daily basis (depending on sensitivity, 5 – 10 minutes is enough).
- Vitamin D: If sunbathing is not possible due to the weather, you should definitely optimize your vitamin D supply. Vitamin D plays an important role in skin health and also in the health of the immune system. At the same time, vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects, so this vitamin positively affects all three areas that are disturbed in psoriasis. You can find out how much vitamin D you need personally here: Your vitamin D levels – What you need to know
- Movement: Make for exercise, because:
Sport improves psoriasis
Those who eat healthier are usually more interested in sport. However, physical activity also improves psoriasis – as read in the British Journal of Dermatologyin March 2014. In a study of over 300 participants, it had been found that a 20-week program with a change in diet and, at the same time, sport not only led to weight loss in the overweight psoriasis patients, but also the inflammation of the Psoriasis alleviated and thus led to a noticeable improvement in symptoms.
We have described other holistic measures for psoriasis here: Psoriasis – holistic measures
The right diet for psoriasis
Until now, it has only been practical experience, and now initial scientific studies show that sufferers can independently alleviate their psoriasis with the help of a certain diet.
Yes, nutrition is now even one of the risk factors that lead to the development of psoriasis in the first place. For example, it is mostly the diet that leads to obesity – and obesity clearly increases the risk of psoriasis at the appropriate predisposition.
But even regardless of weight, a targeted change in diet is an excellent way to positively influence psoriasis, as researchers reported in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in July 2016. In it, the researchers from the University of Naples give concrete dietary advice to doctors so that they can provide helpful dietary advice to their psoriasis patients:
1. Feed gluten-free
Gluten – the protein in wheat, spelt, rye and barley – should first be removed from the diet for psoriasis, for example over a period of 4 to 6 months.
The journal Dermatology read in 2015 about the links between celiac disease and psoriasis. 218 psoriasis patients and 264 healthy control subjects were screened for celiac disease (gluten intolerance due to a corresponding small intestine disorder) in a corresponding study. If the blood test produced a positive result, a biopsy was performed to confirm the diagnosis.
While in the control group only one person had celiac disease, in psoriasis patients there were nine. They were advised to eat gluten-free. After 6 months of gluten-free diets, seven of the eight psoriasis patients showed an outstanding improvement in the skin appearance.
Even if you do not have celiac disease, it is worth a gluten-free try. Even without celiac disease, gluten intolerance can be present. It is then referred to as an ulliacy-independent gluten intolerance, which can exacerbate many chronic diseases. Steer away gluten, they are often much better off in many areas of life.
That a gluten-free diet isn’t as difficult as is often claimed, read here: Gluten-free diets – light and delicious. In addition, it is often enough if you eat gluten (instead of completely gluten-free). So you don’t have to avoid every trace of gluten. Some people are noticeably better off leaving wheat products on the left alone. Because the gluten in the spelt or oats is often tolerated quite well.
2. Lose Weight
If you are overweight, you should lose weight to normal weight. Because it is known that psoriasis gets better as soon as an existing overweight is broken down.
3. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods
The meal plan should be composed of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods. Because chronic inflammation associated with obesity can worsen psoriasis.
For anti-inflammatory, dietary supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken specifically. In Clinical Nutrition, it was possible to read in June 2014 that a calorie-reduced diet with a dietary supplement made from omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammatory markers and improve psoriasis symptoms.
One had divided 44 overweight psoriasis patients who were already taking immune-suppressing drugs into two groups. Some (group 1) continue as before. The others (group 2) were given a calorie-reduced diet (20 kcal/kg of desired weight) plus a dietary supplement that provided 2,600 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
After 3 and also after 6 months, significant improvements in psoriasis were observed in the second groups. complexion, itching and quality of life all got better when calorie-reduced and omega-3 fatty acids were ingested. Of course, Group 2 also declined. The waist circumference was reduced by an average of 10 cm. Blood lipid and cholesterol levels also regulated.
Everything about omega-3 fatty acids and what to look out for when buying a high-quality omega-3 dietary supplement can be read here: Omega-3 fatty acids
Other aspects you can consider when changing your diet to relieve psoriasis are:
Too much sugar can worsen inflammation, so you’re already doing a lot for your skin when you first ban the sugar from your kitchen. However, eliminate not only the sugar tin, but also all finished products that contain sugar (sweets, ready-made dressings, preserves, pickles, dips, sauces, etc.). And remember on the go that you are living sugar-free!
Drink enough water
Water ensures that every part of the body is well hydrated – and so is the skin. With the help of water, the skin can dissipate metabolic slag more easily and can also be better supplied with vital and nutrient. Therefore, for the supply of liquid, drink pure water (i.e. no teas, soft drinks, juices and no coffee). The skin will get better consistency and a healthier appearance as well as feel much better.
Reach into anti-inflammatory foods
Vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices have substances with anti-inflammatory effects. There is still a lack of concrete scientific evidence as to whether these foods can help with psoriasis, but it is known that these foods generally have anti-inflammatory effects, which is why it can be assumed that this is also the case with psoriasis. By the way, losing weight alone leads to a relief of inflammation, since a particularly large number of the inflammatory messengers are formed in the abdominal fat.
Prefer foods low in arachidonic acid
Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid found exclusively in animal foods, especially in fatty meat and sausage. Arachidonic acid is known to fuel inflammation, including arthritis, inflammatory joint disease. Therefore, try how it goes if you live vegetarian or vegan for a while.
Make the faint milk attempt
Many people do not tolerate milk, but do not know it at all. This is not about lactose intolerance, nor about milk allergy, but about milk protein intolerance, which can manifest itself differently. In case of skin problems, others in chronic respiratory problems (frequent infections, constant routing, etc.).
Dr. Jerry Bagel, a dermatologist who runs a skin clinic in New Jersey/USA, further believes that cow’s milk is one of the main culprits in terms of psoriasis. Dairy products would provide not only the inflammatory arachidonic acid, but also a protein with inflammatory effect with the casein. It is therefore very worthwhile to stop eating dairy products for psoriasis for a few weeks.
Reject junk food
Junk food consists mostly of inferior fats and isolated carbohydrates (white flour and sugar). Both food groups do not provide vital substances and at the same time promote inflammation. Therefore, eat foods with high vital density and let junk food with low vital density lie better. Examples of foods with high density of vital substances include cabbage vegetables, herbs, green leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes. They provide a lot of vitamins, minerals and trace elements per 100 g. Junk Food, on the other hand, provides many nutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein), but only a few vital substances. Examples include cakes, pastries, nibbles, ice cream, baked goods, etc.
Choose healthy fats
It is ideal when it comes to oils and fats:
- An extra olive oil for fertilizing and salads,
- Linen and hemp oil is suitable for cold cuisine,
- Coconut oil for spicy frying and baking as well as
- High-quality vegetable margarine or organic butter as a spread or for baking.
- In this way, you can always bypass the unhealthy and inflammatory trans fats. These are partially hardened fats, which can be found in some sweets, margarines, baked goods and some finished products or can also be produced by frying in the snack bar or in your own household (especially if the same oil is several times the same oil ).
If you use the recommended types of oil, you will also automatically avoid an excess of the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. These are mainly found in sunflower oil, thistle oil, corn germ oil, pumpkin seed oil and soy oil.
Say no to alcohol
According to dermatologist Dr Bagel, you should avoid alcohol in any case with psoriasis. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels of the skin. Now, however, the T cells – certain immune cells that are blamed for psoriasis – more easily enter the outer layers of the skin, exactly where a psoriasis patient cannot use these cells under any circumstances. Even moderate drinking can keep the symptoms of psoriasis worse, according to Dr Bagel.
Check your sensitivity to nightshade plants
Some psoriasis patients report that you will have a psoriasis boost when they eat representatives from the nightshade family, such as aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, etc.
It is believed that it could be the small amounts of solanind that lead to these spurts in solanin-sensitive people. Solanin is a secondary plant substance that is particularly concentrated in the green areas of potatoes. In tiny and imperceptible quantities, it is also contained in the non-green parts of the potato and in other nightshade plants. Dr. Bagel says:
I’m not sure this aspect is really crucial. But I don’t mind patients just trying it out. “
Avoid your allergens
Anyone who is an allergy sufferer should in any case avoid your personal allergens. Because if you have psoriasis at the same time, you could not only trigger your allergies via allergens, but also trigger a renewed psoriasis boost.
Check a possible spice hypersensitivity
In some psoriasis patients, special spices are the triggers or amplifiers of a boost. Be sure to respond to pepper, cinnamon, curry, vinegar or chilli with a worsening of symptoms.
Of course, you would also have to look at which of your foods – the spices to which you react with an amplification of your psoriasis – are included, e.g. Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, some ketchupates, grilled sauces, etc.
Proper Nutrition in Psoriasis – The Practice
Of course, don’t remove all of the food mentioned from your meal plan now. Because a healthy diet is not about “omitting ” and “swipe .” Instead, it’s about swapping unfavorable foods for healthy foods.
It sounds even easier for many people to advise that they largely adhere to the recommendations of the so-called Mediterranean diet. This is precisely the form of nutrition – according to a study in the Journal of Translational Medicine in January 2015 – has anti-inflammatory effects, helps against obesity and provides it with numerous vital substances and antioxidants without simultaneously containing harmful foods. It therefore meets all the criteria that are set on a psoriasis diet.
Mediterranean means: Eat lots of raw fruit, prepare lots of vegetables fresh, use high-quality olive oil, rice and potatoes instead of baked and pasta and eat fish from time to time.
Eating gluten-free – This is how it goes
If you want to eat gluten-free, gluten-containing cereal products are exchanged for gluten-free:
- Instead of durum wheat pasta, you can access gluten-free pasta (rice noodles, buckwheat noodles, corn noodles or the low-carbohydrate pasta varieties of red lentils, mung beans or chickpeas). Even konjak noodles are a good choice as they can very well help with losing weight. Learn more about Konjak.
- Instead of wheat bread, you eat gluten-free bread.
- Wheat is exchanged for millet, quinoa, corn, buckwheat, amaranth, teff or even spelt and oats. The latter two are not gluten-free, but fit into a wheat-free diet.
Eating Dairy Free – This Is How to Do It
Instead of dairy products, meat and sausage, you eat a lot more vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruit. If you don’t want to live vegan, you can build fish into the menu twice a week.
From seeds, seedlings and nuts you can conjure wonderful pies, spreads and “cheese ,” from almonds, nuts or cereals there are milk-like drinks as well as “cream ” for refining sauces: Milk substitute