Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups?
“Should I change my diet?” It’s one of the most common questions floating around the psoriasis community. And it seems like everyone has an opinion about it. Some people say that eliminating gluten reduces the severity of their flares. Other people may tell you it’s the alcohol or red meat that has to go. The most common recommendation may be to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet. But what actually works? Here, we give you a full rundown of what we know and don’t know about the effects of an anti-inflammatory diet on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
The Connection Between Diet and Inflammation
We know that psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. And we know that when inflammation levels rise, this increases the likelihood of a psoriasis flare. We also know that the foods we eat can impact the amount of inflammation (or inflammatory cytokines) in our bodies. So, it seems logical that eating an anti-inflammatory diet could reduce the likelihood of a flare-up.
Some foods, like processed meats, are considered pro-inflammatory; while others, like berries, are considered anti-inflammatory. An anti-inflammatory diet is both high in anti-inflammatory foods and low in pro-inflammatory foods. And it seems to reduce the frequency and severity of psoriasis flare-ups in some people. However, there is no direct scientific evidence (yet) that anti-inflammatory diets work.