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What are the worst foods for psoriasis: 8 Foods That Might Cause Psoriasis Flare-Ups

8 Foods That Might Cause Psoriasis Flare-Ups

While there’s no specific diet for psoriasis, some people with the condition find that what they eat affects how their skin looks and feels.

This could be true, says Jerry Bagel, MD, dermatologist at Windsor Dermatology in East Windsor, New Jersey. It’s just that there is no scientific proof to back it up.

Still, Dr. Bagel says, if you find that something you eat or drink seems to aggravate your psoriasis symptoms, it can’t hurt to limit it or cut it from your diet. For instance, in a survey of more than 1,200 people with psoriasis published 2017, over half of respondents said they noticed improvement in their symptoms after reducing their intake of alcohol, gluten, and some vegetables known as “nightshades.”

In general, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) recommends eating an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limiting foods that promote inflammation is good for your overall health and may help you manage your psoriasis symptoms.

Tracking your symptoms and keeping a food journal can help you determine if certain foods may be triggering your psoriasis flares. If so, you might consider cutting them out of your diet one at a time. Wait a couple weeks to see if it has an effect on your symptoms before moving onto the next food. Don’t cut them out all at once, or you may not be able to tell which food is causing your flares. Work with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making changes to your diet to ensure your plan is reasonable and something that you can stick with, recommends the NPF.

Here are eight foods and beverages that get mentioned often by people as possibly causing their psoriasis flare-ups.

1. Alcohol 

“First and foremost, stop drinking,” Bagel says. Here’s why: Alcohol opens the blood vessels in the skin. When your blood vessels are dilated, white blood cells, including the T cells that are believed to be responsible for psoriasis, can sneak into the outer layers of your skin more easily — and you don’t need to be inviting more T cells.

“Your psoriasis symptoms may worsen even if you’re a light to moderate alcohol user,” says Chelsea Marie Warren, RD, a certified wellness coach based in Oregon.

2. Junk Food 

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition, and junk foods and other highly processed foods tend to be high in saturated and trans fats and refined starches and sugars, all of which can promote inflammation. Another reason to avoid junk foods is that they are high in calories with little nutritional value, and people with psoriasis often have weight problems. “If you have psoriasis, you have an increased risk of heart and vascular diseases,” Bagel says. “Being overweight adds to that risk.”

3. Red Meat

Red meats contain a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid. “This type of fat can worsen psoriasis symptoms because it can easily be converted into inflammatory compounds,” Warren says. You should also avoid sausage, bacon, and other processed meats.

4. Dairy Products 

Like red meat, dairy products also contain the natural inflammatory arachidonic acid. “Cow’s milk is one of the biggest culprits,” Bagel says, because it also contains the protein casein, which has been linked to inflammation. Egg yolks, too, are high in arachidonic acid, so consider nixing them from your diet.

5. Nightshade Plants

Some people report that consuming plants from the “nightshade family” — which includes peppers, white potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes — exacerbates their psoriasis. These vegetables contain solanine, a chemical compound that has been shown to trigger pain in some people. “Certain patients believe that if you avoid these vegetables, you decrease your symptoms,” Bagel says. “I’m not so sure about that, but I’m not opposed to people trying it.”

6. Citrus Fruits 

Sometimes an allergic reaction can cause psoriasis to flare. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes, are a common allergen. If you notice that citrus fruits seem to trigger your symptoms, see if eliminating them from your diet improves your skin. This goes for their derivatives as well, such as lemonade and grapefruit juice.

7. Gluten

This protein is found in some grass-related grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. According to the Mayo Clinic, some people who have psoriasis may also be sensitive to gluten, and so for those people, avoiding gluten may help improve their psoriasis symptoms. But the Mayo Clinic also notes that there is no definitive evidence showing a direct link between gluten and psoriasis flares. Studies are ongoing, and the idea of psoriasis patients benefiting from a gluten-free diet remains controversial, Bagel says. Even if it works, he adds, it’s not an easy diet to follow.

If you suspect gluten is a trigger for your symptoms, ask your doctor about getting tested for celiac disease — a condition in which gluten causes an immune reaction that can damage the small intestine.

8. Condiments

Some people with psoriasis find condiments and spices to be their enemy. The ones that seem to cause the most trouble for people with psoriasis are pimento, cinnamon, curry, vinegar, mayo, paprika, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup. These condiments are all on the no-no list because substances in each of them can increase inflammation.

Although research has yet to confirm a direct link between what you eat and psoriasis flare-ups, you might find that your symptoms improve when you avoid one or more of these foods.

Be sure to share what you discover with your doctor so you don’t miss out on any important nutrients.

Pictures of the Best and Worst Foods for Psoriasis

If you have psoriasis, what you eat and drink may make a difference in how you feel. Scientists don’t know for sure if following a specific diet or staying away from certain foods can clear up your flares. But a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can boost your overall well-being and may ease symptoms for some people.     

These are loaded with antioxidants, which protect your cells against inflammation. That may help with your psoriasis symptoms. Plus, leafy greens are low in calories and high in fiber, so they’re diet-friendly. Try tossing arugula in a salad, kale or collard greens in a soup, and chard or spinach into an omelet.

Their omega-3 fats can help with inflammation and give your immune system a boost, so it’s a good idea to put fish on the menu at least twice a week. According to one study, people who ate 6 ounces of fatty fish a week saw their psoriasis symptoms get better. And these healthy fats may lower your chances of heart disease, too. Go with cold-water fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, and lake trout.

Fiber-rich whole grains can ease inflammation. They also can help you slim down, and research shows that shedding pounds can help with your psoriasis symptoms. Choose whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas, and brown or wild rice. Labels like “multigrain” can be misleading, so check that a whole grain is the first ingredient listed. Bulgur, quinoa, and barley are other tasty options.

Not all cooking oils are created equal. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. It’s also a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Research shows that people who eat that way — focusing on fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, and whole grains, along with olive oil — have less severe psoriasis. Not a fan? Nut and avocado oils also have these healthy fats. Use them in salad dressings and sautés.

Satisfy your sweet tooth a different way. Fruits have antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins that fight inflammation. For the biggest boost, eat a variety of colors. Each has its own mix of nutrients. Berries, cherries, and apples have antioxidants called polyphenols, while oranges and melons are high in vitamin C. Pineapple has an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain.

These are good sources of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They can help keep your weight in check and ease the inflammation in your body, and research suggests that a vegetarian diet can help with psoriasis symptoms. Try swapping them for meat once in a while: Use them in place of ground beef in chili or tacos. You can also add mashed beans to burgers and sandwiches.

They pack a lot of inflammation-fighting power in a small package. And they’re loaded with nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber. Toss a handful of nuts on a salad, or have them as a snack. Just watch how many you eat: A 1-ounce serving has 160 to 200 calories.

When you flavor your dishes with these, you tend to sprinkle on less salt. That can help protect you from high blood pressure and make you less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Spices and herbs are also top sources of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg in your cereal, toss veggies with dill or rosemary, or season your meat with cumin or basil.

This can trigger inflammation and may lead to bigger and more severe psoriasis flares. The saturated fat in red meat can also raise your chances of heart disease, and people with psoriasis are already more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. If you’re in the mood for red meat, opt for lean cuts, such as sirloin and top and bottom rounds. And choose ground beef with the lowest percentage of fat.

It can make inflammation worse and raise your chances of heart disease. It also can lead to weight gain, and being overweight or obese may make your psoriasis worse. Skip the sugary drinks and cut back on sweets, like candy and dessert. Because it’s also found in some surprising places, like bread and pasta sauce, scan product labels for sweeteners.

These are often high in saturated fat, which has inflammatory compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). They form when a food is cooked at a high temperature. In one study, people who cut back on high-AGE foods appeared to have less inflammation in their bodies after 4 months. Choose baked, boiled, or steamed foods instead of fried.

To make white flour and rice, grains are stripped of their fiber and nutrients. As a result, you digest them more quickly, and that can make your blood sugar spike and crash. This may lead to inflammation. Reach for whole grains, such as whole wheat flour and brown rice instead.

Too much may trigger psoriasis flares. Experts aren’t sure why, but they think it may affect your immune system and trigger inflammation. This seems to be worse for men than for women. Alcohol also may keep psoriasis medications from working as well. Limit it to one drink a day for women and two for men. If you have severe psoriasis, you may want to cut it out entirely. 

allowed products, prohibited, what to exclude from the menu – Akriderm


  • Nutrition principles for psoriasis
  • Skin care for psoriasis

Psoriasis is one of the most common types of dermatoses and is characterized by profuse skin rashes, redness and peeling. The disease usually becomes chronic, sometimes exacerbations occur 1 . Many consider it incurable, as relapses often occur after treatment. To alleviate the course of the disease, reduce itching and peeling of the skin, it is recommended to follow a special diet. In the initial stages of psoriasis, dietary modification can significantly improve the condition and help treatment.

Principles of nutrition in psoriasis

In the diet of patients with psoriasis, it is important to take into account the balance of acid-forming and alkali-forming products. Moreover, the ratio should be 1:2. Acid-forming products for psoriasis are contraindicated, as they lead to an exacerbation of the disease, an increase in external manifestations – itching, peeling.

By normalizing nutrition, the patient normalizes the work of the gastrointestinal tract, metabolic processes, toxins are removed, immunity is stimulated. This is possible by maintaining a normal acid-base balance within the body. Properly selected diet and menu composition helps to alleviate the patient’s condition, prolongs remission 2 .

Principles of a balanced diet:

  1. Small fractional meals every 3 hours.
  2. Rejection or reduction of salt content in meals.
  3. Exclusion of fried, fatty foods and alcohol.
  4. Steam, boil or simmer food.
  5. Maintain water balance – drink at least 2 liters of clean water per day, not counting liquid food.
  6. Increase in the diet of foods high in fiber.
  7. The predominance of vegetables and leafy greens, fruits, meat and dairy products in the menu is less than 3 .

In case of psoriasis, it is recommended to eat: turkey, chicken, lean lamb, fatty sea fish in stewed or steamed form, fresh and stewed vegetables (especially pay attention to carrots, celery, cucumbers, sweet potato green beans, beets, watercress, broccoli), dairy products, boiled eggs.

Foods that are best removed from the diet or drastically reduced: smoked meats, fatty meats, fried fish, potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes, white rice and semolina, hard cheese, fatty sour cream and butter.

Of the fruits for psoriasis patients, it is better to pay attention to nectarine, mango and cherry. Exclude citrus fruits, sour berries, blueberries, prunes. Avoid fresh pineapples, apples and melons, but can be baked or eaten in pies.

Diet for psoriasis means switching to a healthy diet with a reduction in fats, acids and salt. Also important is the diet and portions, good sleep, protection from stress. In combination with drugs for internal use and the use of creams for external use, a healthy lifestyle will significantly improve the patient’s condition.

Psoriasis Skin Help

To relieve the itching and burning symptoms of psoriasis, it is helpful to take a warm shower without rubbing the skin. Together with drug therapy, physiotherapy and photochemotherapy with UV radiation are used. Useful bathing in the sea or river, sunbathing, but not in the acute stage of the disease.

Akriderm Genta cream or ointment and Akriderm SK ointment may be used to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis and reduce redness, itching and flaking. The drugs act in a complex manner, have anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, antimicrobial and antiallergic effects 4 . Soften and cool irritated skin, easy to use. The drugs are used for various types of dermatitis in adults in the absence of individual contraindications.

Diet for psoriasis | Sanatorium Gorny

Psoriasis is a chronic non-infectious disease of the skin, accompanied by rashes and peeling of the skin.

In the acute stage of the disease, the diet can significantly alleviate the patient’s condition and remove the symptoms of the disease within a few days.

The main tasks of clinical nutrition are:

  1. Ensuring the constancy of the acid-base balance

  2. Coordination of metabolic processes

  3. Mobilization of the body’s defenses

  4. Normalization of the gastrointestinal tract.

General rules. duration of the diet.

Psoriasis is a chronically relapsing disease. However, properly selected nutrition is the key to long-term remission and well-being of the patient.

The diet is based on several principles:

  1. Meals are shown in small portions at intervals of three hours.

  2. Minimize salt and salty foods in the diet.

  3. Exclusion of fried foods from the diet.

  4. Recommended cooking methods are steaming, stewing and boiling.

  5. Inclusion in the diet of foods rich in vegetable fiber.

  6. Complete abstinence from alcohol.

  7. Drinking mode. Daily water consumption is 2-3 liters.

Nutrition for psoriasis.

The therapeutic effect of the diet is based on restoring the acid-base balance and reducing the slagging of the body. Therefore, patients are shown to drink plenty of water, alkaline mineral water is best and the rejection of salty foods. In addition, it is necessary to minimize the consumption of spices and seasonings and completely eliminate alcohol.

Types of diets for women and men.

Pegano and Fire diets / Indications and contraindications for specific types of diets

The therapeutic diet of Pegano is quite effective. Its essence lies in the long-term maintenance of the correct acid-base balance in the body.

Alkaline-forming foods in the daily diet should be 2-4 times more than acid-forming.

70-80% of the diet should be vegetables, fruits, leafy greens. The remaining 20-30% is distributed to meat, dairy, grain and legume dishes.

Before embarking on the Pegano diet, it is recommended to undergo a preliminary three-day cleansing. As a food, only apples are indicated.

At the same time, it is necessary to carry out colon cleansing procedures – hydrocolonotherapy or enemas.

Despite the effectiveness of this diet, it has a number of contraindications. These include childhood and adolescence, pregnancy and lactation, inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract during an exacerbation.

The second, no less effective Fire diet, is based on the correction of disturbed metabolic processes in the body.

The fundamental principles of treatment include:

  1. Complete cessation of hormonal drugs

  2. Maintaining the acid-base balance in the body.

  3. Strict adherence to the diet.

  4. Positive psychoemotional state of the patient.

What can be done for psoriasis? List of allowed products.

MEAT: Lean chicken and turkey are recommended. Lamb is acceptable, but without fat.
FISH: Useful varieties of fish, especially rich in fatty acids – trout, tuna, sturgeon, halibut, salmon, mackerel. Fish should be consumed boiled and steamed.
VEGETABLES: The most useful are carrots, cucumbers, beets, broccoli, celery, sweet potato, watercress, green beans. In moderation, pumpkin, legumes, rhubarb, sprouts (Brussels) are acceptable. They can be eaten fresh, boiled or stewed.
FRUITS AND BERRIES: Pineapples, grapes and raisins, nectarines, cherries, mangoes are recommended.
CEREALS: Porridges from rice, barley, wheat, corn, buckwheat, oatmeal.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Cottage cheese, fermented milk products are allowed.
EGGS: Allowed boiled.

What not to do with psoriasis? List of fully or partially restricted products.

MEAT: Fatty meat, duck, goose, smoked meats and canned food are prohibited.
FISH: Do not eat fried fish.
VEGETABLES: It is important to exclude potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and bell peppers from the diet.
FRUITS AND BERRIES: Citrus fruits, prunes, currants, cranberries, plums and blueberries are required to be excluded from the diet. It is important to minimize the consumption of pineapples, melons and apples (only baked).
GRAINS: White rice, semolina.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: High-fat dairy products – cheeses, sour cream, butter – are prohibited.
EGGS: Not recommended fried.

Nutrition menu for psoriasis (Eating mode)

Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruits, green tea.

Lunch: Vegetable soup, boiled turkey meat with broccoli, compote.

Snack: Ryazhenka.

Dinner: Baked hake, buckwheat porridge, tea.

Diet recipes for psoriasis

Diet considerations for adults/children

The therapeutic diet for psoriasis in children is based on the following principles:

  1. The ratio of products with acid-forming properties and alkali-forming properties is 70/30.

  2. Compliance with water-salt balance. It is necessary to drink 7-10 glasses of alkaline mineral water daily.

  3. Minimizing salt intake.

Compliance with the rules of nutrition, along with other activities, allows you to bring psoriasis in children to a long and stable remission.