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.
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.
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.
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.
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