We all know the saying, “you are what you eat,” and this is especially true if you are struggling with frustrating skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

Studies have shown that psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition that may also affect joints, can be aggravated by stress  – and these stressors come in many forms, including infections, toxic exposures, smoking, allergens, lack of sleep and diet.

Diet is often overlooked in the treatment of psoriasis and can have a big impact on how your skin looks and feels. Psoriasis is caused by an inflammatory reaction in the skin and/or joints, and inflammation may be increased by the wrong food choices.[i]

People affected by psoriasis are likely to have other chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and celiac disease.  Dietary improvements can improve skin quality and help prevent other chronic conditions.

The goal of any diet to address inflammatory skin conditions is to reduce inflammation in the body and stabilize blood sugar. This means replacing processed and high-calorie foods with whole foods containing natural antioxidants, healthy fats and less sugar.[ii] Diets that have been shown to improve psoriasis include the Mediterranean diet, ketogenic diet (low in sugars, high healthy fats), gluten-free diet, and low-calorie diet, as well as periodic fasting.[iii]

Foods that Support Healthy Skin

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to improve what you’re eating and help to reduce your psoriasis!

  1. Double down on vegetables
    The common denominator in diets known to improve inflammation is that they all increase vegetables and reduce processed foods.[iv] The fiber in vegetables is satiating, the array of color provides antioxidants to combat stress, and the high-water content improves hydration.If prep time or variety is a challenge, consider buying pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables to save time.
  1. Scale back on sugar
    Fruit is not a substitute for vegetables. Though fruit is both colorful and packed with nutrition, high sugar content is a problem and too much sugar in the diet can increase inflammation in the body.[v]Reducing sugar intake is difficult, but some people begin slowly by replacing processed sweets with fruit and then slowly reducing the amount of fruit in their diet.  Other people have more success with a cleanse to immediately eliminate sugar.
  1. Give gluten notice
    Studies have linked psoriasis to celiac disease, a condition caused by an intolerance to the wheat protein, gluten.[vi]It’s possible that a gluten-free diet may be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis. And while some psoriasis sufferers may not have full-blown celiac disease, they might have a slight sensitivity to gluten. For better or worse, gluten-free diets have become a recent trend. Food companies are capitalizing on this trend and producing more gluten-free processed foods, so it’s important to be aware that packaged or pre-prepared gluten-free foods are not always healthy choices.
  1. Increase healthy fats
    You might be thinking, “Okay, so I reduced sugar and grains. What do I eat?”Increasing your intake of healthy fats (which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids) can reduce inflammation, improve psoriasis and provide flavor to a whole-foods based diet.[vii] Omega-3 rich foods include olives (including olive oil), nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, butter, coconut oil, omega-3 enriched eggs and lean 100% grass-fed meat.Fats to be avoided include trans fats in processed foods, processed vegetable/seed oils like canola and soybean oil, dairy, and grain-fed red meat.

Good health comes from within, and although it can be difficult to change our habits, the rewards are well worth it.

Avoid foods that are harmful to your health and you may find that a healthier diet reduces inflammation and skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Interested in other natural treatment options for psoriasis? Contact our Customer Care Team ([email protected]) to learn more about the illuvinate System, an at-home, light-based therapy designed to provide lasting remission for psoriasis.

[i] Pubmed PMC4106357
[ii] Pubmed PMC4962284
[iii] Pubmed PMC4962284
[iv] Pubmed PMC4962284
[v] Pubmed PMC4106357
[vi] Pubmed PMC4104239
[vii] Pubmed 24120032