If you’re checking out this article, then it means you either have psoriasis or know someone who does. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder that forms when the immune system is overactive, causing skin cells to grow too fast and accumulate on the surface of the skin. That’s why people with psoriasis have scaly and red patches all over their bodies. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a dermatological condition, per se, as it comes from the inside.
Experts still have no definite picture of its causes and treatment. At the moment, it’s believed to be a chronic disorder. But medication and lifestyle change are known to significantly reduce the symptoms. Here’s a list of food to avoid and their recommended alternatives.
1. Red Meat
Always remember that your goal is to reduce inflammation in your body. Red meats contain a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid that can be easily converted into inflammatory compounds. The list includes processed meats, like bacon, chorizo and longganisa. Instead, eat fish and seafood. Salmon and tuna are especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some experts say fish oils are effective in reducing inflammation and over-activity of the immune system.
2. Dairy Products
Scientists encountered many patients who reported that reducing dairy products—anything with milk and cheese—effectively alleviated their symptoms. If you can’t give them up altogether, make sure you go for those low in fat. Instead, go for healthier, dairy-free and gluten-free substitutes—they’re sold everywhere. For your source of calcium, you can always go for soy milk.
3. Nightshade Vegetables
People frequently assume that everyone can benefit from indulging in all kinds of vegetables. This is inaccurate for psoriatic patients, whose symptoms worsen by eating plants of the nightshade variety, such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplants. There’s no solid evidence as to why this is, but some patients who eliminated these plants from their diet indicated an improvement in their condition.Instead, go for squash, carrots and cucumbers, especially for their anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Citrus Fruits
Even without any scientific evidence to back them up, experts are still convinced that citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges have a bad reputation in triggering psoriasis flare-ups. Instead, go for everything else. Avocado and nuts are especially advisable, because of the polyunsaturated fats found in them that help reduce inflammation in the body. Another type of recommended fat is monounsaturated, which can be found in soybeans and fish.
5. Junk Food
Of course, nobody imagines that junk food is healthy for anyone (that’s why it’s called “junk” food, after all), but it’s especially bad for people with psoriasis. Junk food is high in refined sugars and saturated fats, both of which effectively stimulate inflammation. Instead of these unhealthy in-between-meal snacks, munch on some fresh apples or cucumber sticks.
Battling psoriasis and its symptoms basically requires sacrifice of the good stuff. One of the things that led scientists to the conclusion that it’s connected to diet is because most patients can range from overweight to obese, those who have been bingeing on the wrong kinds of food.
Flushing the disease out of your system can mean giving your diet an overhaul. Yes, it’s not going to be easy, but if you’re serious on your mission, nothing—not even a scrumptious piece of bacon—should stop you. Good luck.