WHAT IS PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is a common skin disease that is characterized by thick, silvery scales and itchy and dry patches on skin that are red in color. It occurs due to a change in the normal life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is a chronic and persistent disease. Patients with this disease can have periods when their symptoms improve followed by periods when their symptoms worsen. It can develop in a small area of the skin like palm or fingers or cover more areas like arms and legs.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known but it is thought to be an auto-immune disorder which is hereditary in nature. There is no known cure for psoriasis and doctors usually try a combination of drugs ranging from topical to oral and injectable medicines.
WHAT FOODS ARE HELPFUL IN PSORIASIS?
Though there is no concrete scientific evidence that links changes in diet to reduction in psoriasis, there is anecdotal evidence from many patients of psoriasis who have got completely cured after changes in diet. Scientists are researching into this connection between psoriasis and food. A list of foods that have been found to be beneficial for reducing the condition is given below:
1 . Fish
The key here is to avoid meat that is known to increase inflammatory condition like red meat and increase the intake of lean proteins like chicken, eggs and fish. Include oily fish rich in omega 3 fatty acid which is known to reduce inflammation.
2 . Fresh Vegetables
A diet that includes lots of fresh vegetables of all colors has been shown to decrease psoriasis. These should be preferably eaten raw in small portion sizes throughout the day. There are a few vegetables to avoid like tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Include carrots, root vegetables like yams and sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
3 . Nuts And Seeds
Include nuts and seeds that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. These can be had as snacks in between meals. Omega 3 fatty acid is anti-inflammatory in nature.
4 . Gluten Free Food
In some cases, it was found that eliminating gluten from the diet helped curb symptoms of psoriasis. This means cutting out all known sources of gluten like wheat and wheat derivatives, malt, MSG, sauces etc. Educate yourself on the possible sources and read food labels.
5 . Fresh Fruits And Berries
Include fresh fruits like mangoes, strawberries, figs, blueberries, apples, citrus fruits, papaya and bananas. Try to include fruits of different colours since they contain antioxidants that fight diseases and reduce inflammation.
6 . Whole Grains
Cut down on refined sugar and refined carbohydrates like flour, sugar, white rice and processed foods. Instead you should have whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and whole grain bread.
Some studies have revealed a link between body weight and severity of psoriasis. Eating a diet on the lines suggested above would also help to control weight gain. Go ahead, start eating healthy and manage your psoriasis better!