Psoriasis is a common skin problem characterized by dry, thick, red, scaly patches on the skin. These are primarily on the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis is the result of the overproduction of new skin cells. There seems to be a connection between psoriasis and stress, as well as diet. Making some dietary changes can have a positive impact on, and even reverse, psoriasis.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are packed with folate, which is the natural form of folic acid. Folic acid is a vitamin that studies show may reduce psoriasis. 1
It is important to avoid sugar if you have psoriasis. Sugar is associated with flare-ups and skin complaints. Cut out soft drinks and sugary foods. If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy fruit and use some of the many sugar alternatives today such as agave nectar and xylitol.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are known to be anti-inflammatory. Studies showed that people with chronic psoriasis who consumed 150g of oily fish a day were able to reduce their use of steroidal creams. Flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds are also rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They have a similar effect to oily fish and are a valuable food for those with psoriasis. Seeds can be sprinkled on salads and cereals.
Brazil nuts are high in selenium, which is necessary for enzymes that can have a positive effect on psoriasis.
Probiotics are needed for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. When there are not enough good bacteria, invaders such as yeast and harmful bacteria can take over, causing many illnesses, including psoriasis. Probiotics also help the body eliminate toxins which can cause inflammation that leads to psoriasis. Forms of probiotics can include bio-live yogurts, kefir and kombucha.
Foods to Avoid
In addition to sugar, other foods that can cause psoriasis or make it worse include wheat, gluten, yeast and dairy products. All of these foods cause inflammation, which is responsible for skin disorders such as psoriasis. It is essential that people who have this problem eat primarily healing foods.
While the sun is not a food, it is part of a healing diet for psoriasis. Even mainstream medicine recognizes the sun as an important healer for this skin condition. Regular exposure to sunshine eases inflammation and aids the body in manufacturing the all-important vitamin D, which is known to heal psoriasis.