If you have psoriasis, you’re probably aware that your diet can affect your skin. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation , sticking to foods that help reduce inflammation throughout your body may help improve your overall health and your psoriasis symptoms as well. “I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet to all my patients,” says Gary Goldenberg, MD , an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn Sinai School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. According to Dr. Goldenberg, a psoriasis diet eating plan involves limiting white flour, refined sugar, and dairy, and instead focusing on: Fruits and vegetables Whole grains and seeds Fish Lean meat and poultry 2 to 4 liters of water — about a half gallon to a gallon — a day These psoriasis diet-friendly foods may help with symptoms because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, says Goldenberg, adding that these foods can make an especially big difference when combined with traditional psoriasis medications . So this spring and summer, fill your shopping cart — and your plate — with psoriasis-friendly ingredients that are ideal for warm-weather eating. RELATED: 8 Foods That Might Cause Psoriasis Flare-Ups Boost your salads with anti-inflammatory ingredients like salmon.
Artichokes Artichokes are naturally high in fiber , probiotics (“good” bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms that promote gut health and help prevent a wide range of diseases), and prebiotics (compounds that feed beneficial microorganisms in the gut). Although the evidence is inconclusive at this point, some research suggests probiotics can improve psoriasis symptoms, says Marina Chaparro, RD , the founder of Nutrichicos, a bilingual nutrition practice in Miami. Consider a small study that looked at the effects of probiotic supplements on adults with plaque psoriasis: After 12 weeks, almost 67 percent of patients in the probiotic group saw at least a 75 percent reduction in their plaque psoriasis symptoms, while only about 42 percent of patients in the placebo group improved as much.
Berries Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries should be a fundamental part of an anti-inflammatory diet. They are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, deliver lots of fiber, and are naturally sweet, especially in season. Looking to add more berries to your psoriasis diet recipes? Mix them with Greek yogurt in a smoothie, bake them into healthy muffins, or just snack on them straight. RELATED: 11 Healthy Recipes You Can Make With a Box of Blueberries
Mangos and Apricots On top of their anti-inflammatory properties, mangos and apricots are great sources of vitamin C, potassium , fiber, and vitamin A, Chaparro says. For a fun spin on tacos, add these fish tacos with mango salsa to your psoriasis diet recipes.
Spinach, Kale, and Other Dark Leafy Greens Dark leafy greens are high in nutrients like folate, vitamin K, selenium, and fiber, says Kimberly Snyder , a specialist in holistic wellness and complementary medicine in Los Angeles. “The fiber helps feed [the beneficial bacteria that produce] short-chain fatty acids in your gut, which reduces inflammation in your body,” she says. Dark leafy greens are grown year-round, but give them a summery touch by trying these BBQ salmon and kale tacos at your next cookout.
Quinoa A complex carb, quinoa is also rich in vitamins and nutrients and is a terrific source of fiber and protein, says Goldenberg. Naturally gluten-free, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids , as well as magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium , phosphorus, vitamin E, and a range of antioxidants. Quinoa is lighter than pasta and quick to prepare, making it especially suited to warm-weather eating, and it’s easy to add to salads or alongside fresh vegetables in a grain bowl. You can also put a new spin on mac and cheese by using quinoa as an alternative to traditional pasta, which is a great option for a psoriasis diet eating plan.
Salmon Fish is always among the top 10 foods Chaparro recommends to her patients for healthy living. Fatty fish like salmon are a great source of omega-3 DHA , which is associated with lower inflammation, she notes. And according to the National Institutes of Health , studies suggest that omega-3s can help prevent chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, which can be an issue for some people with psoriasis. For a psoriasis-friendly recipe, toss together this kale salad with salmon and lemon-avocado dressing . RELATED: 11 Grill-Worthy Vegetarian Recipes
Avocados “Avocado is a healthy fat that consists mostly of MUFA [monounsaturated fat that also includes some polyunsaturated fats], and it’s been associated with cardiovascular health and supporting a healthy weight,” says Chaparro. Avocados are also loaded with antioxidants and omega-3s and contain even more potassium than bananas, according to Goldenberg. Check out these summery recipes for a strawberry avocado smoothie and avocado chicken salad. RELATED: How to Manage Psoriasis as You Age
Walnuts Foods that are naturally high in healthy fats, like walnuts, can help you manage psoriasis symptoms, says Michelle Henry, MD , the founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan and a clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. “Walnuts have good, healthy fat, and healthy fats are typically anti-inflammatory,” she says. Walnuts may also help lower blood pressure, which is important because psoriasis raises the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. A study showed that swapping out saturated fats for healthier alternatives like walnuts had beneficial effects on diastolic blood pressure — the second number on a blood pressure reading. Walnuts are a fabulous addition to any psoriasis diet-friendly dish. Try sprinkling them into a fruit salad, blending them with fresh herbs and olive oil to make pesto, or mixing them into yogurt with blueberries . RELATED: 8 Foods That Affect Psoriasis