Is there a specialised diet for psoriasis?

August 22, 2022 ,

Nutritional therapy

The nutritional approach to treating psoriasis is still being studied, but a lot of emerging data draws attention to the relationship between the gut, inflammation, microbiota, and the immune system. Below you will find a number of indications that have proven useful in facilitating the pharmacological treatment of psoriasis.

Low-calorie diet

Obesity leads to a systemic inflammatory state, predisposing to the development and intensification of psoriasis symptoms. For this reason, controlling the body mass index (BMI) by maintaining it between 19Kg/m² and 25Kg/m² (normal weight state), helps reduce psoriasis.

Favoring the right fatty acids

Choosing the right dietary fats plays an important role in the diet of psoriasis patients. A diet high in saturated fatty acids can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, while increased intake of monounsaturated (extra virgin olive oil and avocado) and polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3s can help reduce systemic inflammation. Yes, therefore the consumption of fatty fish, nuts and flaxseed oil is the way to go.

Choosing the right carbs

Excess carbs can contribute to exacerbating psoriasis symptoms by increasing oxidative stress. On the other hand, a high intake of fiber can improve the composition of the gut microbiota and reduce inflammation. It is therefore important to prioritise whole wheat products, avoiding foods based on refined flours and that are high in sugar.


The inflammatory process that leads to psoriasis leads to an increased production of free radicals. This is why it is essential to increase the intake of flavonoids, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C, via food. A green light, therefore, for foods of plant origin and, in particular, fruits and vegetables, especially green vegetables, tomatoes, and carrots.

Vitamin D

It is an important regulator of the immune system. In recent years, it has been found that most people are deficient in it and, in particular, people whose immune response is impaired, as in the case of psoriasis. In this case, vitamin D supplementation becomes essential.

Other diets

Some authors also report a good effectiveness of the vegetarian diet, due to a reduction in the consumption of saturated fats and an increase in potassium-rich foods, which can improve the cortisol response, and the Mediterranean diet, an important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant diet.

In patients who do not have celiac disease but have positive anti-gliadine antibodies, the gluten-free diet appears to improve symptoms. The role of gluten in psoriasis is still controversial, although some authors suggest a role of gluten in the increased release of zonulin – a protein that increases in the case of dysbiosis, stress, consumption of certain medications, and consumption of gluten in predisposed people – and, as a result, leads to impaired intestinal permeability, with an increased likelihood of autoimmune responses.


As the National Psoriasis Foundation also points out, there is no diet that cures psoriasis, but several good eating habits can reduce the severity of symptoms and play an important role in reducing the risk of developing comorbidities. SOSCuisine’s meal plans, all based on the Mediterranean diet and customisable according to allergies, intolerances, and individual preferences, can help you eat in a healthy and balanced way, favoring plant-based foods, and limiting processed foods.

It is important to consult with a doctor or dietitian to also assess the interactions between drugs and food, and adapt the diet to the individual’s drug treatment.


1. Rendon A, Schäkel K. Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment Int J Mol Sc. 2019 Mar 23;20(6):1475.

2. Kamiya K, Kishimoto M, Sugai J, Komine M, Ohtsuki M. Risk Factors for the Development of Psoriasis Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 5;20(18):4347.

3. Garbicz J, Calyniuk B, Górski M, Buczkowska M, Malgorzata P, Kulik , Rozentrit P. Nutritional Therapy in Persons Suffering from Psoriasis Nutrient. 2021 Dec 28;14(1):119.

4. Fasano A. All disease begins in the (leaky) gut: role of zonulin-mediated gut permeability in the pathogenesis of some chronic inflammatory diseases F1000Res. 2020 Jan 31;9:F1000 Faculty Rev-69.

5. National Psoriasis Foundation [accessed July 30, 2022]

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Antonella Giordano
Antonella has 2 professional titles in nutrition because she graduated in Food Sciences (University of Genoa) and holds a master's degree in Nutrition (University of Bologna). She is also a biologist (University of Florence). She is a member of the Order of Biologists (ONB) since 2013 and a SINU member. Passionate about psycho-nutrition issues, her goal is to help her clients find a balance and a healthy and correct relationship with food and with their body.

2 comments to “Is there a specialised diet for psoriasis?”

September 2, 2022 Diane Brooks said:

Very interesting article. Thank you for addressing this subject. What are your recommendations with regard to selenium supplements? How does one use flaxseed oil? Thank you.

Cinzia Cuneo
September 7, 2022 Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hello Diane,

1. About selenium, Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) daily minimum requirement is 70 and 55 micrograms per day for men and women. However, some literature sets the minimum requirement at 90 mcg daily per adult. The selenium content of plant foods varies a lot since it depends on the amount in the soil. However your needs should be met through food if you eat a balanced plant-based diet. For example, 3 to 4 Brazil nuts provide about 420 μg of selenium, 90 g (3 oz) of canned tuna contains 70 μg, and a slice of whole wheat bread contains 10 μg.

2. About flaxseed oil, you should keep it in the fridge and use it only for seasoning (do not cook with it). You may be interested in following article:

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