The subject of psoriasis food or foods that
can benefit or prove to be triggers to those suffering from psoriasis can be
and is a matter of controversy. While the traditional medical community as a
whole pretty much poo-poos the idea of diet affecting psoriasis, empirical
evidence…or patient experience often says otherwise.
So let’s look at some of the foods that have proven to be triggers for some people.
Gluten is a protein found in rye, barley, but primarily in wheat.
Since psoriasis is an anti-inflammatory disease, it should be no surprise that gluten can be a problem. More and more psoriasis sufferers are finding that eliminating gluten can lead to marked improvement in their symptoms.
Others believe that yeast itself can also be a contributor, and work to eliminate yeast from their diet as well.
One interesting note is that Americans with gluten intolerance seem to have no problems with gluten intolerance when visiting Europe. Many attribute this to the fact that most wheat grown in the US is either genetically modified or grown with the aid of chemicals both of which are not allowed in Europe.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream have all be found to trigger an inflammatory response in those with other types of anti-inflammatory diseases. Some attribute the problem to high-fat content and recommend using only low-fat dairy products. Others find that any type of dairy, whether full fat or low-fat, can still cause problems.
While not what one would normally consider a “psoriasis food”, limiting alcohol as part of an anti-inflammatory elimination diet is highly recommended. Often after eliminating all forms of alcohol as part of the elimination phase of and seeing an improvement in the psoriasis, you can try adding back a little alcohol. If it immediately triggers a worsening of the psoriasis symptoms, then you can pretty much figure that total elimination may be advisable.
Another type of food to avoid includes nightshade foods, such as tomatoes, eggplant, white potatoes, peppers, and chilies, all known to trigger inflammatory responses, primarily due to the chemical compound “solanine”. Consuming even the occasional fresh tomato on a salad has been known to immediately exacerbate psoriasis, as well as other skin conditions such as eczema. Within a few hours after consuming white potatoes, green pepper or a jalapeno, one may experience a psoriasis flare.
Refined sugar, as well as syrup, honey, molasses, and other sweeteners have been known to trigger psoriatic outbreaks.
Eliminating those fruits which tend to be a bit higher in acid, such as all citrus, as well as strawberries can help eliminate psoriasis flares .
While the medical community tends to recommend limiting red meat, as part of a psoriasis diet, advocates of an elimination diet, especially one that is more paleo, don’t adhere to the avoid-red-meat-at-all-costs-bad-bad-bad line of thinking. While they might limit processed meats due to the chemicals, they simply suggest consuming grass-fed beef and pork.
While there seem to be a lot of foods that you should eliminate if you have psoriasis, there are a number of foods that you can include in a well-balanced diet to help you both control you weight and your psoriasis.
These positive psoriasis foods include: fish and seafood; veggies like squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach and kale; avocados and nuts (although if following an elimination diet, tree nuts are part of the initial elimination phase); and blueberries and plantain.
For more information on psoriasis foods and the anti-inflammatory diet, you might want to investigate the AIP Elimination Diet.