Maximize Your Diet to Improve Psoriasis
There are a few well-known elements from food that have an impact on skin health. Does this translate to helping skin plagued with psoriasis? A strong regimen designed by your doctor and/or dermatologist with any necessary medications is a large part of managing psoriasis. Additionally, enlisting the support of other health professionals to address other aspects of health that psoriasis can impact, such as mental health, can be beneficial. Likewise, it is important to address aspects outside medication that can impact psoriasis such as diet and nutrition.
Many components in topical products for the skin can be derived from food. Antioxidants are one of the biggest promoted elements in skin care for general skin health. Scientists have shown how these elements can impact the health of our skin. What about those suffering from a skin condition such as psoriasis? Can your psoriasis benefit from making some improvements with the food you put on your plate?
First, it’s important to be able to decipher reliable nutrition information related to psoriasis. There will always be someone trying to make the next best product that promises to eradicate psoriasis or promises rapid results. Just beware that some fad diets can be extreme, thereby depriving your body of essential nutrients.
Many medical professionals agree that there is no cure for psoriasis. That being said, there are some dietary modifications through which many individuals have experienced profound results. With the anecdotal pool of evidence out there, some nutritional-based remedies may be worth exploring. Right now the Paleo diet is receiving a lot of press and some have reported improvements. At this time there is no scientific backing behind the Paleo diet and psoriasis, only anecdotal claims. Consult with a registered dietitian for nutrition considerations and discuss any extreme dietary modifications or products you’re considering trying with your doctor. Specific diets aside, I want to review specific elements that you can obtain through food that can heal the skin from the inside out.
These wonderful essential fatty acids tackle inflammation. The benefits of omega-3s can extend beyond helping control the inflammation that comes with psoriasis. As we know, there is an increased risk of heart disease in those who suffer from psoriasis, and omega-3s help further decrease that risk. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of omega-3-rich fish such as salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, lake trout, etc. At this time no scientific literature has demonstrated a direct impact of omega-3s on helping reverse psoriasis. The heart health benefits alone will be well worth the effort to ensure you have adequate omega-3s in your diet.
These heart disease and cancer fighters are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Evidence has been mixed regarding their impact on psoriasis. However, a study by Heinrich and colleagues in 2006 demonstrated improvement in skin texture (roughness and scaling) after 12 weeks of antioxidant use¹.
Vitamins A and D
The fruits and vegetables that pack a punch of these vitamins are well known to promote healthy skin. Especially high in vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and cantaloupe. Other non-fruit and vegetable sources worth mentioning are ‘red powders’; think red pepper, paprika or cayenne powder.
Stepping outside for 10-15 minutes to enjoy the sun with arms and face exposed will give you your daily dose of vitamin D, helping improve psoriasis.
Another area of anecdotal evidence not supported by scientific literature at this time is well worth mentioning. Many herbs are beneficial for our immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties. These include evening primrose oil, milk thistle, turmeric and oregano.
The best way to impact your overall health is to focus on psoriasis nutrition and follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting saturated fats and processed foods loaded with sugar. With the anti-inflammatory, immune and weight loss or management benefits of a well-balanced diet, you’re bound to see some improvements in your skin health.