Boost your salads with anti-inflammatory ingredients like salmon.
If you have psoriasis, youâ€™re probably aware that your diet can affect your skin. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, sticking to foods that help reduce inflammation throughout your body may help improve your overall health and your psoriasis symptoms as well.
â€œI recommend an anti-inflammatory diet to all my patients,â€ says Gary Goldenberg, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. According to Dr. Goldenberg, such a plan involves limiting white flour, refined sugar, and dairy, and instead focusing on:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains and seeds Fish
- Lean meat and poultry
- 2 to 4 liters of water â€” about a half gallon to a gallon â€” a day
Artichokes are naturally high in fiber, probiotics (â€œgoodâ€ bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms that promote gut health and help prevent a wide range of diseases), and prebiotics (compounds that feed beneficial microorganisms in the gut).
Although the evidence is inconclusive at this point, â€œsome research suggests probiotics can improve psoriasis symptoms,â€ says Marina Chaparro, RD, the founder of Nutrichicos, a bilingual nutrition practice in Miami.
Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries should be a fundamental part of an anti-inflammatory diet. They are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, deliver lots of fiber, and are naturally sweet, especially in season.
Mangos and Apricots
On top of their anti-inflammatory properties, â€œMangos and apricots are great sources of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin A,â€ Chaparro says.
For a fun spin on tacos, give these fish tacos with mango salsa a go this summer.
Spinach, Kale, and Other Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are high in nutrients like folate, vitamin K, selenium, and fiber, says Kimberly Snyder, a specialist in holistic wellness and complementary medicine in Los Angeles. She adds, â€œThe fiber helps feed [the beneficial bacteria that produce] short-chain fatty acids in your gut, which reduces inflammation in your body.â€
Dark leafy greens are grown year-round, but give them a summery touch by trying these BBQ salmon and kale tacos at your next cookout.
A complex carb, quinoa is also rich in vitamins and nutrients and is a terrific source of fiber and protein, says Goldenberg. Naturally gluten-free, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and a range of antioxidants.
Quinoa is lighter than pasta and quick to prepare, making it especially suited to warm-weather eating, and itâ€™s easy to add to salads or alongside fresh vegetables in a grain bowl. You can also put a summery spin on mac and cheese by using quinoa as an alternative to traditional pasta.
Fish is always among the top 10 foods Chaparro recommends to her patients for healthy living. Fatty fish like salmon are a great source of omega-3 DHA, which is associated with lower inflammation, she notes. And according to the National Institutes of Health, studies suggest that omega-3s can help prevent chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, which can be an issue for some people with psoriasis.
For a psoriasis-friendly dish, toss together this kale salad with salmon and lemon avocado dressing.
â€œAvocado is a healthy fat that consists mostly of MUFA [monounsaturated fat that also includes some polyunsaturated fats], and itâ€™s been associated with cardiovascular health and supporting a healthy weight,â€ says Chaparro. Avocados are also loaded with antioxidants and omega-3s, and contain even more potassium than bananas, according to Goldenberg.
Foods that are naturally high in healthy fats, like walnuts, can help you manage psoriasis symptoms, says the dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD, the founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan and a clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. â€œWalnuts have good, healthy fat, and healthy fats are typically anti-inflammatory,â€ she says.
Walnuts are a fabulous addition to a spring or summer dish. Try sprinkling them into a fruit salad, blending them with fresh herbs and olive oil to make pesto, or mixing them into yogurt with blueberries.
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