Psoriasis is an autoimmune, inflammatory skin condition that causes raised, red, inflamed, scaly patches of skin to form. It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear anywhere on the body. Psoriasis can be very debilitating, unsightly and stressful, and often flares up and retreats in cycles.
Triggers for psoriasis can include stress, poor diet, inflammation, an imbalance of gut bacteria, and food intolerances. Medically it is treated with a combination of ointments, medications, and UV therapy. However, there is plenty of research to suggest that consuming an anti-inflammatory diet for psoriasis including antioxidant rich foods can help prevent outbreaks, along with foods that help boost beneficial gut bacteria and balance the immune system. Below are some of the best foods for psoriasis.
Avocados are a wonderful food for the skin. They contain an abundance of skin loving nutrients including vitamins C, E, B6 and folate and the minerals iron, magnesium and potassium. They’re a rich source of the potent antioxidant glutathione and are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. All helpful for alleviating psoriasis symptoms.
Andrographis is an immunostimulant, a immunomodulator, and has a strong protective effect upon the cells of the liver. Hot, inflammatory skin conditions can be effectively treated with Andrographis. It can also be used externally as a wash or in a cream where there are signs of infection.
Blueberries are among the richest of all fruits in antioxidant compounds including vitamin C, which exert a strong anti-inflammatory action. They also contain anthocyanins, a plant nutrient responsible for their color that boosts cognitive health, supports the cardiovascular system and are thought to help prevent cancer. As psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition, blueberries should be incorporated regularly into your daily diet.
Chia Seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and enhance immunity. As psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition, omega-3 rich foods such as chia seeds should be regularly included in the diet.
Beans and pulses such as chickpeas are a wonderful source of vegetarian protein that are also packed with antioxidants. (One portion goes towards your 5+ fruit & veg per day intake) They also have hormone-balancing properties and which is thought to reduce psoriasis symptoms.
Colorful vegetables are rich in antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the whole body. Sweet potatoes are absolutely packed with beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for skin health as it plays a significant role in wound healing and immunity. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of antioxidant vitamins C and E. Include many orange and yellow veggies in your psoriasis diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in oily fish such as wild salmon and are known to reduce inflammation and help modulate the immune system. Wild salmon is also an excellent source of antioxidant, skin-loving mineral selenium and vitamin D, which is crucial to a healthy immune system. Try to eat oily fish 2 or 3 times per week as part of your psoriasis supporting diet.
Turmeric is a true superfood that has potent and well-documented anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit every health condition including psoriasis. Use turmeric liberally in cooking, baking, in fresh vegetable juices, soups, and tea infusions.
Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and have an alkalizing, anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Leafy greens are generally high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, manganese and beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for skin health as it plays a significant role in wound healing and immunity. Include lots of dark leafy greens as part of your psoriasis managing diet.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that provides valuable protection from free radicals throughout the body and has shown to lower levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker that signals inflammation in the body. People with psoriasis could benefit from supplementing with vitamin C.
Aloe vera gel contains polysaccharides that are specifically healing for the skin and mucous membranes. It enhances the quality of the skin and is specifically indicated in hot, dry and irritating skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, skin ulcers, seborrheic dermatitis and stretch marks.
Gotu kola is a superb rejuvenative to the skin both on the surface and at a much deeper level. Its impact upon collagen synthesis and blood vessel repair mechanisms have made it very valuable where there has been any deep tissue damage, but also where the surface of the skin has been damaged through injury or chronic skin conditions. Its ability to invigorate circulation whilst also clearing heat from the blood as well as calming the nervous system make Gotu Kola useful in this stubborn condition.