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Hair, Skin, Nails : 4 Tips to Tame Psoriasis

There's no cure for psoriasis, but many people with this condition find relief by changing their diet. The National Psoriasis Foundation offers the following dietary approaches for relieving psoriasis.

1. Maintain a healthy weight. A 2014 study linked obesity to an increased risk for psoriatic disease. Researchers found that a higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with an elevated risk for developing psoriasis, as well as an increase in the severity of the disease. According to the study's co-author, obesity may provide the nudge that triggers psoriasis in people who are already predisposed to it.

A weight-loss plan should do all of the following:
  • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Contain foods low in saturated fats.
  • Avoid refined sugars and processed foods.
2. Support heart health. Like heart disease, psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. Reducing inflammation and improving heart health are important for people with psoriasis. Here are some of APF's recommendations for heart-healthy eating:
  • Eat fish at least twice a week. Cold-water fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, and herring contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Choose lean meats and poultry without the skin. Prepare them without adding saturated fat or trans fat. Baking and broiling are heart-healthy ways to prepare lean meats and poultry.
  • Limit alcohol. If you have severe psoriasis, you may benefit from eliminating alcohol entirely.
3. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Since psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, many individuals have benefitted from following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce their symptoms. Avoid foods that are shown to cause or increase inflammation, including fatty red meats, dairy products, processed foods, refined sugars, and nightshade vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Cold-water fish, fresh fruits and veggies, and flaxseeds have been shown to reduce inflammation.

4. Consider going gluten-free. The link between psoriasis and gluten is not well understood, but new research estimates that up to 25 percent of people who have psoriasis may also be sensitive to gluten. A number of studies suggest that psoriasis and celiac disease share common inflammatory pathways, and according to APF, research further suggests that having psoriasis about doubles your chance of being diagnosed with celiac disease. Fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean poultry are naturally gluten-free, and the Celiac Disease Foundation provides a list of foods to eat and those to avoid on a gluten-free diet.

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