Easy Snacks for Your Anti-Psoriasis Diet

Not just for breakfast: A small serving of oatmeal boosted with flaxseed and blueberries can help fight inflammation.

If you live with psoriasis you may find that certain foods cause your immune system to “misfire,” triggering the inflammation that can result in those all- too-familiar skin patches.

“I do believe patients who tell me that dietary and lifestyle changes affect their skin,” says Jessica Krant, MD, a dermatologist at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Still, the scientific evidence linking diet and psoriasis flares is inconclusive. “Some people say gluten makes symptoms worse, others say that sugar and sweets cause flare-ups. But we don’t have great data to confirm that,” says Delamo Bekele, MBBS, a rheumatologist and an assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Plus, the Mediterranean diet may help you lose excess pounds if you’re overweight, which can also ease psoriasis symptoms, according to Dr. Bekele.

The snacks below all focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients. Reach for them when you have a craving — and rest easy knowing you are nourishing yourself in the best way possible.

Pineapple With Walnut Topping

When hunger hits, snack on satiating, unprocessed foods like nuts.

Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to reduce inflammation, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). Interestingly, according to the NPF, some people with psoriasis have too few omega-3s and too many omega-6s, which tend to increase inflammation.

For a super-simple snack, top 1 cup fresh, unsweetened pineapple chunks with 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.

Oatmeal With Blueberries and Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed contains about 2.5 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid — and that’s more than twice the daily minimum recommendation for women. “Flaxseed is also anti-inflammatory,” says Bekele.

For a filling breakfast or afternoon snack, combine 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, and ¾ cup blueberries.

Pumpkin Butter on a Rice Wafer or Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seed butter is a great plant-based source of inflammation-fighting ALAs, says the natural-healthcare practitioner Mark Mincolla, PhD. For a smart snack option, he recommends spreading the butter on an organic rice cake and topping with a sugar-free, all-fruit spread.

Hummus and Vegetables

Antioxidants, found in abundance in different kinds of produce, can also help fight inflammation. For a hefty dose, assemble a variety of vegetables — carrot sticks, pea pods, celery, sliced cucumbers — and serve with hummus for dipping.

Papaya-Avocado Salad

This snack-size salad features papaya, a tropical fruit rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, and avocado, which is chock-full of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Dice one papaya and one avocado and combine with ¾ cup sliced jicama and 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of low-fat raspberry vinaigrette.

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