Best Foods to Eat to Fight Psoriasis
Can certain foods help prevent and get rid of psoriasis symptoms, and if so, what are the best foods for people with psoriasis? Here's a detailed list of some very good anti-psoriasis foods that can help you fight this unpleasant condition. Start eating these foods on a regular basis!
If you are interested in more general information about how healthy eating and cooking habits can help relieve psoriasis symptoms, check out the Home Page of our Nutrition Guide to Fighting Psoriasis Naturally or the section Best Diet Tips for Psoriasis Sufferers. For delicious recipes that are naturally rich in psoriasis healing nutrients, visit this Guide's Directory of Psoriasis Fighting Recipes.
Provided that you are not allergic to fish, eating salmon regularly can help prevent psoriasis flare ups and control existing symptoms. But what is it that makes salmon such a great food to eat if you suffer from psoriasis? Salmon provides an excellent source of omega 3-fatty acids which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon also contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon its pink color and that can act as a potent antioxidant. To get the most astaxanthin, opt for wild salmon. Astaxanthin levels have been reported to be much higher in wild salmon (particularly in sockeye salmon) than farmed salmon. Further, wild salmon contains only low levels of PCBs, harmful chemicals that are often found in high quantities in farmed salmon. That said, moderation should be the key also in the consumption of wild salmon. Too frequent/high a consumption of salmon and other fish may predispose you to an excessive exposure to certain toxins—such as mercury and pesticides—contained in fish. The FDA recommends eating fish twice a week, but not more often.
Due to its wide-ranging health benefits, turmeric has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, and anecdotal evidence indicates that this powerful root plant of the ginger family may also be able to fend off psoriasis symptoms. However, large, placebo-controlled studies are still needed to confirm its efficacy. Turmeric is a key ingredient in Indian style curries, but its range of culinary uses is in fact much wider. Ground turmeric can be used to add flavor to fish, seafood, meat, rice, vegetable, and pasta dishes, but also fresh turmeric can be used cooking.
Few foods are better than garlic when it comes to healing disease and promoting health. Since prehistoric times, this magical medicinal plant has been used to treat and cure a wide range of health problems in humans. Recent research has shown it to be effective at promoting heart and cardiovascular health, preventing and treating cancer, and controlling blood pressure. But eating garlic on a daily basis may also be helpful for psoriasis patients. The beneficial effects of garlic on psoriasis are due to garlic's ability to inhibit the activity of lipoxygenase, an enzyme that is involved in the inflammatory cascade caused by arachidonic acid. Psoriasis patients typically have high levels of arachidonic acid in their skin and fatty tissues. In addition, garlic—especially fresh garlic—contains a fair amount of vitamin C. It is also a good source of the antioxidant selenium, with one cup of raw garlic providing almost 30% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult. For more information, read the article Benefits of Garlic for Psoriasis Patients.
Many naturopaths advocate the consumption of lettuce to combat psoriasis symptoms. Lettuce is thought to help improve digestion and promote liver health. It also provides a concentrated source of beta-carotene and a good source of vitamin C and folate. When buying lettuce, it is advisable to choose organically grown produce whenever possible. According to research, conventionally grown lettuce is among the most contaminated vegetables (in terms of pesticide and chemical content).
The health benefits of broccoli are wide-ranging, and this crunchy green vegetable is no doubt one of the best foods for people with psoriasis as it is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folate. Broccoli also ranks low on the glycemic index. To get the most out of broccoli's health benefits, choose organically grown plants (they are typically more nutrient-dense and contain fewer harmful substances) and eat them raw or slightly steamed. When steaming broccoli, keep in mind that the fibrous stems take longer to cook than the florets, and therefore you should wait a few minutes before adding the florets to the steamer.
You may already know that carrots are good for our eyes, but did you know that they can also be helpful for people suffering from psoriasis? Carrots are one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene, but that's not all: they also contain vitamin C, psoralen and a wealth of other nutrients. When buying carrots, it is advisable to choose organically grown produce whenever possible. According to research, conventionally grown carrots are among the most contaminated vegetables (in terms of pesticide and chemical content).
#7: Fish Eggs
A little goes a long way when it comes to fish eggs, one of the best natural sources of DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are types omega-3 fatty acids which, due to their strong anti-inflammatory properties, may help prevent and manage psoriasis breakouts. Ounce for ounce, fish eggs contain even more omega-3's than the fattiest fish. A study, which analyzed the roe of fifteen marine animals, found that the roe of lumpsucker, hake, and salmon were the richest in terms of omega-3 fatty acids.
#8: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, which have been consumed since prehistoric times, are one of the most nutritious vegetables and an excellent addition to your diet if you suffer from psoriasis. They are among the foods that are least likely to cause allergic reactions, which is great news since psoriasis is often linked to allergies. The pink, orange, and yellow varieties are one of the most concentrated food sources of beta-carotene (the more intense the color, the more beta-carotene). Sweet potatoes also boast vitamin C, and they have a surprisingly low glycemic rating.
#9: Chicory Greens
If you're looking for a great functional food to alleviate your psoriasis symptoms, chicory greens may give you even more than you bargained for. These bitter-tasting leaves of the chicory plant are a very good source of beta-carotene and folate. They also contain vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which are potent antioxidants. In addition, chicory greens are low in calories, making them an attractive food also for dieters. Chicory greens can be eaten raw or cooked.
#10: Turnip Greens
Turnip greens, the leaves of the an ancient vegetable that was cultivated in the Near East already 4,000 years ago, are chock-full of important psoriasis-fighting nutrients including beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folate. Turnip is a member of the Brassica genus of plants, which comprises many other health-promoting plants such as cabbage, broccoli, and collards.
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and does not contain gluten, which makes it a great alternative to wheat and many other grains for people whose psoriasis flare ups are linked to a gluten allergy. Buckwheat groats contain only 92 calories per 100 grams, which is also great news since a low calorie diet has been shown to improve the skin in psoriasis patients. Additionally, buckwheat groats are packed with high quality protein, making it an excellent food for those who are watching their waistline.
Top Resources for Psoriasis Sufferers
Dr. John Pagano has gained international fame with his ground-breaking book, Healing Psoriasis, which has been translated into numerous languages. In this compelling book, Dr. Pagano presents an all-natural regimen designed to alleviate and heal psoriasis without steroid creams, tar baths, injections, or ultraviolet treatments. Packed with invaluable diet and lifestyle tips, recipes, case studies, and before-and-after photos, Healing Psoriasis is a great resource for anyone interested in a drug-free treatment for psoriasis. Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
Make it a habit to visit HealWithFood.org's online Guide to Healing Psoriasis on a regular basis. Updated once a week, the sidebar on the home page of the guide contains tons of links to interesting nutrition-related articles hand-picked for psoriasis sufferers. It also contains a weekly smoothie recipe featuring ingredients with psoriasis-fighting potential, as well as a book tip.