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8 Foods That May Be Triggering Your Psoriasis

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

#1/9:

Is there a link between diet and psoriasis?

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#1/9:

Is there a link between diet and psoriasis?

People with psoriasis often wonder if making changes to their diet or cutting out certain foods can have an impact on the disease. While there's little evidence to support following a specific diet to treat psoriasis, many people swear they notice a huge improvement in their symptoms after changing the way they eat.

"Psoriasis is an inflammatory disorder, meaning that people with psoriasis are prone to having full-body inflammation at baseline," explains Dr. Tien Nguyen, a dermatologist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. "If you add in inflammatory foods, the inflammation can get out of control."

After living with psoriasis for 20 years, I can definitely attest to the benefits of dietary modifications. Here are some of the foods you might want to cut out to make life with psoriasis a little easier. 

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#2/9:

Alcohol

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#2/9:

Alcohol

A couple of alcoholic drinks every night is unlikely to trigger your psoriasis, but excessive drinking can have some potentially serious effects on the disease. One study found that women who drink non-light beer may be increasing their risk of developing psoriasis, with 2.3 drinks a week driving up the risk almost 80 percent. "If you have severe psoriasis, you may benefit from eliminating alcohol entirely," says the National Psoriasis Foundation. "If you are going to have an occasional drink, the recommendations are: women no more than one drink per day, men no more than two." 

#3/9:

Junk food

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#3/9:

Junk food

Junk food may bring temporary satisfaction, but it won't help you manage your psoriasis. "I recommend my patients eat a healthy diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fruits and proteins while avoiding inflammatory foods when possible," says Nguyen. "Things like processed foods containing chemical additives (chips, granola bars, anything boxed) will cause inflammation as well as sugary foods." 

#4/9:

Red meat

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#4/9:

Red meat

A number of studies have linked fatty red meats, which contain saturated fats, to inflammation in the body. As heart disease is also an inflammatory disease, people with psoriasis may benefit from following recommendations for heart-healthy eating: eating fish at least twice a week and choosing lean meats and poultry without skin over red meats. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends baking and broiling as the healthiest ways to prepare lean meats and poultry.

 

 

#5/9:

Dairy products

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#5/9:

Dairy products

High-fat dairy (whole milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and cream) is commonly associated with inflammation. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends switching to fat-free, 1 percent fat and low-fat dairy products. Incorporating anti-inflammatory probiotic foods such as organic, raw, cultured dairy like kefir, yogurt and cultured vegetables may help relieve psoriasis symptoms. 

#6/9:

Nightshade plants

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#6/9:

Nightshade plants

"Nightshades" is a name given to the solanaceae plant family, which has more than 2,800 members. The majority of them are inedible due to their toxicity, but those we can eat — tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant and peppers — are common ingredients in many healthy recipes. Unfortunately, these are believed to trigger psoriasis flare-ups in some people. The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests replacing nightshade vegetables with fruits and vegetables known to reduce inflammation, such as carrots, squash, spinach, kale, broccoli, blueberries, mangoes, strawberries and figs. 

#8/9:

Citrus fruits

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#8/9:

Citrus fruits

Grapefruit, lemons, oranges and limes are common allergens and can be problematic for people with psoriasis. Dermatology Associates suggests removing these fruits to see if it improves the skin. (You also may want to eliminate drinks such as lemonade, grapefruit juice and orange juice.) 

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