Natural Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods for Psoriasis
If you suffer with psoriasis, a painful autoimmune disease that results in frequent cycles marked by raised patches of dry, scaly, inflamed skin, it’s vital to follow your doctor’s advice carefully.
However, of the 125 million psoriasis sufferers in the U.S., many find that they can do their part at home to manage and prevent painful flare-ups. This often begins with diet. Considering that many doctors believe that psoriasis flare ups can be triggered by certain factors, including smoking, drinking, diet, stress, smoking, weather, and sun exposure, it makes sense that psoriasis patients can also help improve their condition and quality of life by following incorporating these superfoods for psoriasis into their daily diets:
1. Get some fatty fish on your hook
You’ve likely heard a lot of buzz around the benefits of fatty fish for heart health and inflammation. Well, fatty fish, or fish abundant in fish oils, can be had in cuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines). While inflammation has been linked to a higher risk of stroke or heart attack, medical experts also believe that it throws the immune systems of psoriasis sufferers into overdrive, which is what causes psoriasis flare ups. So do your heart and your immune system a service by consuming wild fatty fish at least twice a week.
2. Stick to lean meats
Many of us are self-confessed carnivores, however certain cuts of meat can boost inflammation throughout the body, and trigger a psoriasis flare up. Instead of fatty red meats, reach for fish, or white-meat chicken or turkey, or if you’re really craving a steak, try a lean cut like sirloin or flank steak, but only in moderation.
3. The goodness of whole grains
Foods high in fiber have long been linked to reducing inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis, in the body. For a serious fibrous boost, whole grains—found in brown rice, whole grain bread, pastas, and cereals (i.e., like oatmeal) have been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation thanks to their abundance of fiber and antioxidants.
4. Go for garlic
Garlic is often recommended to psoriasis sufferers due to its ability to block specific enzymes that are known to trigger inflammation and psoriasis flare ups. The anti-inflammatory benefits of garlic is thanks to the lipoxygenase inhibitors found within this pungent spice.
5. Plant-focused fats
There can be much confusion when it comes to differentiating between good and bad fats. So called “good fats” can be found under the labels of polyunsaturated fats (i.e., avocados, almonds, olive oil, and avocados) and “monounsaturated fats” (i.e., flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybean oil). These are still pretty high in calories, so even though they act as anti-inflammatories, they should be enjoyed only in moderation.
6. Apple cider vinegar
There’s a good reason why apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to disinfectant and remedy several skin conditions (i.e., poison ivy and psoriasis of the scalp). Consumed in a drink (a teaspoon can be added to water) or dressing, or applied topically, apple cider vinegar is a potent vinegar that can cause stomach upset and burning (when applied to skin) so please use sparingly and never on open wounds.