If you have psoriasis, you may take medication and keep close tabs on the weather, your stress level, and other triggers. Should you also watch what’s on your plate?
A healthy diet — lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains — is a good idea for just about everyone. But some people who have psoriasis say their eating habits can affect their skin.
There’s no scientific proof that staying away from certain foods or following a specific diet will help your condition. But what you eat and drink may make a difference.
Diets to consider
Not all diets are good for psoriasis. Here are some options you may want to consider when choosing the best diet for your condition.
Dr. Pagano diet for Psoriasis
Dr. Pagano was well known within the health and wellness community for his approach to healing psoriasis through diet. In his book, Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative, he describes how a healthy diet and lifestyle can improve psoriasis naturally.
Dr. Pagano’s dietary approach includes:
- consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables
- limiting grains, meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs
- completely avoiding red meat, nightshades, citrus fruits, processed foods, and more
In people who have both psoriasis and gluten sensitivities, a gluten-free dietTrusted Source may provide some improvement. One small 2018 studyTrusted Source found that even people with mild gluten sensitivities can benefit from following a gluten-free diet.
A vegan diet may also benefit people with psoriasis. This diet is naturally low in inflammatory foods such as red meat and dairy. It’s high in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy oils.
Speak with your doctor about following a vegan diet, as you need to be careful to get all the nutrients you need.
The Mediterranean Diet is well known for its numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. This diet focuses on foods that are high in antioxidants and healthy fats. It limits foods that are often considered to be pro-inflammatory.
The paleo diet places an emphasis on eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods. Since many whole foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds, this diet may prove to be beneficial for people with psoriasis.
Unlike Dr. Pagano’s diet, it involves eating plenty of meat and fish.
Autoimmune Protocol Diet
The autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) focuses on eliminating foods that might cause inflammation. This diet is incredibly restrictive and primarily includes vegetables and meat, with certain oils and herbs mixed in.
It might not be appropriate for people with psoriasis, as too much meat is considered a trigger for flare-ups. In addition, it’s not intended to be a long-term dietary intervention.
This popular low-carb diet has many touted health benefits, such as weight loss and improved nutrient markers. It’s true that reducing carbohydrates can help reduce processed food intake.
However, reducing carbohydrates also means reducing many anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables. It also necessitates increasing protein from meat. Because certain keto foods can be triggers in people with psoriasis, this diet may not be recommended.