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Can Pineapple Cause Psoriasis Flare-Ups?


Some people with psoriasis believe eating pineapple and drinking pineapple juice can make their psoriasis flare-ups worse, or even trigger them. Furthermore, in a letter published in The Western Journal of Medicine in 1980, Dr. John Douglass reported having successfully treated psoriasis patients with a diet that cut out acidic foods and drinks such as pineapple, citrus fruits, tomatoes and soda, as well as nuts, milk and corn [1].

Now, despite all the anecdotal reports and Dr. Douglass' observation, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that pineapple and pineapple juice trigger symptoms in all psoriasis sufferers; in fact, many people suffering from psoriasis can eat pineapple without any problems. That, however, is hardly surprising given that food sensitivities (aka hidden food allergies) that vary from person to person are believed to be capable of triggering psoriasis flare-ups [2].

It is also possible that your psoriasis might get worse after eating raw pineapple but not after eating cooked pineapple. This is because cooking appears to reduce the amount of allergenic compounds in fruits [3].

How to Find Out Whether Pineapple is Causing Your Psoriasis Flare-Ups

One of the cheapest and most effective ways to determine whether pineapple is causing or aggravating your psoriasis is to go on a well-designed elimination diet. A good elimination diet for psoriasis sufferers cuts out all of the most common allergenic and psoriasis-triggering foods and emphasizes healthy whole foods that help heal the gut (this is important because a condition called "leaky gut", or increased intestinal permeability, has been linked to psoriasis) [4, 5]. After avoiding all suspect foods, such as pineapple, for a certain period of time, you begin reintroducing foods (or food groups) one at a time, while monitoring your skin for possible reactions. Testing foods this way will help you link specific foods to your psoriasis flare-ups.

Before starting an elimination diet, it is a good idea to seek advice from your doctor or a certified dietitian or nutritionist. Eliminating a wide range of foods from your diet for several weeks means you risk not getting enough calories and nutrients from a sufficient variety of foods, and that's where a professional can help. Plus, it is sometimes difficult to draw correct conclusions about what exactly is causing the adverse reactions if you don't have professional help.

If Pineapple Does Not Trigger Your Psoriasis Flare-Ups...

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is just as important as quantity [6]. Therefore, if you find out that pineapple has nothing to do with your psoriasis flare-ups, there's no need to avoid it. In fact, eating pineapple might even be good for your psoriasis-prone skin because it is packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C. As you may already know, antioxidants have been researched for their ability to provide benefits for psoriasis patients, and although the results have been inconclusive, there is some evidence suggesting that antioxidants might offer some benefits for psoriasis patients.

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For More on Diet & Psoriasis
Make it a habit to visit'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 diet-related articles hand-picked for psoriasis patients. It also contains a weekly smoothie recipe featuring ingredients with psoriasis-fighting potential, and a book tip. Visit Page