I have had severe plaque & guttate psoriasis for almost 8 years now, and since my first flare up when I was a sophomore in high school, I have been avidly studying this condition.
The Basics…… Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that is a skin condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy, dry patches. Our bodies do this about 10X faster that normal… so skin that would normally take days or weeks to form, can form within hours for people with Psoriasis.
SO, since you most likely have psoriasis, which I’m assuming is why you are reading this. I am sure you are all aware that there is no cause for this autoimmune disease. And although there are numerous different types of treatments for this such condition… everyone who suffers from psoriasis obtained it, maintains it, and treats it in a different way than everyone else. Long story short, every one has their own methods that works for them.
BUT….what we do all have in common… is the need for a healthy nutritious diet. So I have provided a list of 10 foods that should ABSOLUETELY 150% WITHOUT A DOUBT be in your house at all times! Because each of these ten listed items I personally consume regularly and they have all helped reduce my psoriasis to a point where it is almost completely gone! Especially during the rough winter season when it really hits ya hard!
This is for ALL forms of Psoriasis….. & I saved the gruesome pictures because we all already know what it looks like, first hand. And if you are unsure of what type of psoriasis you have, simply google it, and continue reading…
The all mighty fish. Specifically cold-water Fish (salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, herring, and lake trout) contain omega-3 fatty acids—foundation of a heart-healthy diet. Fish oils reduce inflammation and help the immune system, which is overactive in people with psoriasis. Try to eat fish at least twice a week. Salmon is bar far one of the best sources of fish for people with Psoriasis… this fish is full of the good fats that can reduce inflammation and it also contains a carotenoid that can act as an antioxidant. For the most benefit choose wild-caught salmon rather than farm-raised.
Fish is also a GREAT source of Vitamin D – Which helps with the vitamin D deficiency found in almost all people with psoriasis..
Garlic has been used for its natural antibiotic properties for thousands of years. Garlic is a lipoxygenase inhibitor, which means that it can help stop the activity of enzymes responsible for inflammation. This one is easy to incorporate regularly into your diet because you can add this to almost any dish for extra flavor!
3. GINGER & TUMERIC
Besides ginger’s other numerous health benefits.. basically, ginger is a superfood. It is an outstanding digestant as well as having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
And Turmeric (the main ingredient in curry; providing it the orangey color) may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence! I can go on about how absolutely amazing turmeric is… but that is for later discussion, so basically Turmeric is extremely anti-inflammatory! Which is its greatest strength & provides more anti-inflammatory properties that almost anything else!
But make sure before you go running to the supermarket you can distinguish the two apart as to they look very similar…. but once you them open you can see and smell the difference!
4. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar can be used two ways–on the skin directly or in the diet. You can add a cup to bath water or dab it directly onto scales/sores. It can also be taken by the teaspoonful or added to water. If you find the taste too overpowering, try sweetening it with a little honey and make a drink out of it by adding some cinnamon & lemon!
5. FRUITS & VEGGIES
An increase in vegetables is great for ANY diet, but may be especially great for psoriasis. (There’s a reason your parents told you to “eat your veggies!”) We all know vegetables are good for you.. but which ones are the best choice to help with psoriasis?
- sweet potatoes
- brussel sprouts
These can all produce anti-inflammatory effects on the body & are a good source of carotenoids and vitamins.
Now, the same goes for fruits…all fruits hold beneficial properties in some way or another. But which fruits are the best for psoriasis?
If there was ever a ‘psoriasis super fruit,’ this might be it.
- Blueberries: have high anti-inflammatory properties, are packed with vitamin C, and are a good source of fiber. They also contain manganese which supports bone health, and are very high in antioxidants.
- Cantaloupe & Honeydew Melon
Remember..berries are bright, shiny, and famously chock-full of free radical–fighting antioxidants, but as you stock up on the blue-and-red beauties, keep in mind that their wrinkly relative, the raisin, can also keep inflammation in check.
Cutting out bad fats are important, but there are plenty of “good fats” that help transport vitamins throughout the body and regulate metabolism. Aim for more polyunsaturated fats (found in nuts, vegetable oils, and avocados) and monounsaturated fats (soybean oil, walnuts, flaxseed).
- Walnuts: Have managed to earn the spotlight when it comes to anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts have the highest concentration of plant-based omega-3s, more than 10 antioxidant phytonutrients, and polyphenols that also play a role in reducing inflammation… and you know with Psoriasis, inflammation is what its all about!!
7. GLUTEN FREE GRAINS
The link between psoriasis and gluten-intolerance is not fully understood. Some research suggests that people who have celiac disease, which is marked by a sensitivity to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley), may be at increased risk for psoriasis. For these people, a gluten-free diet could lead to improvement in psoriasis symptoms. For everyone else, however, “while some skin conditions are worsened by wheat, no scientific studies support a gluten-free diet for psoriasis”
BUT, from my personal experience…(I have had severe plaque & guttate psoriasis for almost 8 years now) When I reduce or even halt all intake of gluten products, my psoriasis has been NOTICEABLY less inflamed, itching, & I have less flare-ups. As well as numerous other benefits such as: less fatigue, less insomnia (my body isn’t struggling to process such hardcore grains) less bloating, and less digestion pains!
- Beans (kidney, black, pinto, legumes, peas, etc)
Now, if there was ever a know ‘psoriasis super grain’ Quinoa would be it!
Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat! It contains almost twice as much fiber most other grains is rich is manganese, riboflavin (b12), magnesium, lysine, and iron!
8. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil helps to fight inflammatory responses– Chronic inflammation is one of the prominent reasons for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. … oleic acid, the most abundant fatty acid in olive oil can reduce the impact of inflammation. Scientists conclude that olive oil contains naturally occurring substances called phenolic compounds, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
9. COCONUT OIL
More specifically, organic virgin-unrefined coconut oil.
From spending so much time in Maui.. I am obsessed. Coconut oil is a godsend when it comes to having psoriasis…. you can rub lotion on as many times as you want but the second it dries (which is literally a few seconds later) you’re back to having dry uncomfortable cracking skin… UGH. Well say hello to coconut oil!! If you are new to psoriasis, I want to start with saying GET USED TO BEING OILY. Because it is much better than being a dried up sponge tossed on the side of the road in the Sahara dessert. I’m not even kidding that is how you will feel sometimes…I have been in and out of hospitals, doctors, dermatologist offices (before I discovered the all natural holistic side) with medications, ointments, tar like substances that they tell you to rub all over your skin…. GROSS. If you have it all over your body… and I mean EVERYWHERE.. like I did the first year I got it, using that stuff is just plain impossible. BUT coconut oil is your best friend. You can only use as much as you really need without getting all oily. PLUS, it smells great! And….. you can cook with it too!!! Does it get any better?!?! Just wait.
Coconut Oil is another ‘psoriasis superfood’ in my opinion. It smells great, helps sooth itchy irritated skin, and you can cook with it. I keep a jar in the kitchen & my bathroom. It is also awesome because it is good for your hair, can add it to baking soda to whiten your teeth, and it is good for animals and babies… I’d say that is a superfood.
10. MILK THITSLE
What is Milk Thistle you ask?
It is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family.
Milk Thistle has been used as a natural treatment for liver problems, as well as helping maintain a healthy heart, lower cholesterol levels, help people with type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis.
Why is it good for psoriasis?
Silymarin (the main active ingredient in milk thistle) is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
OTHER HERBS I MAY HAVE MISSED….
Crushed and dried basil, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, oregano, and cinnamon are all inflammatory, but you’ll only get a sprinkling of each at best. Basil, on the other hand, can be eaten fresh.
Know the essentials. The key to good health, is an appropriate balance of omega-3 fatty acids (found in flaxseed and fish oil) and omega-6 fatty acids (found in polyunsaturated fats, like corn oil, often used to fry foods). Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, while most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
Now I hope this helped! I have much more insights and treatments for Psoriasis and they will all be posted to my site ‘THE SKYE LIGHT’ hopefully soon, slowly but surely.
Be sure to follow, and don’t be afraid to send me any comments or your Psoriasis Story!
Aloha – Skye