Psoriasis is a chronic skin abnormality that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. Generally, it is seen on the elbows, scalp, lower back, or extremities. It is a non-contagious disease but can be itchy at times. It can affect both genders equally mostly at an early adult age. Read on to know about Psoriasis diet plan (Indian diet chart, food list, and treatment).
How does Psoriasis Manifest? (What is Psoriasis?)
Psoriasis is a patch of increased cell production. In normal individuals skin cells are made and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks. However, in people with psoriasis, this process happens every 3 to 7 days. This results in the accumulation of skin cells leading to scaly patches.
Causes of Psoriasis
- Compromised immune system: It is believed in psoriasis the body attacks its own healthy cells
- Certain triggers: These triggers can either be some skin injury or throat infections or allergy to certain medicines
- Infections: Either Streptococcal or HIV infections
- Certain medicines: Drugs for treating heart disease, malaria as well as mental health problems
- Smoking: Smoking triggers inflammation due to excess free radicals in the body
- Obesity: Obesity worsens the body inflammation as well as push the body to an autoimmune response
- Hereditary: Psoriasis runs in the family, but can sometimes skip an entire generation and manifest in the next generation
- Stress: High-stress levels can also trigger psoriasis as well as increase the inflammation
Symptoms of Psoriasis
- Red silver patches: Scaly patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet. However, It can also affect fingernails, toenails, and the mouth.
- Dryness: The area around the scaly patches becomes dry. Hence, it leads to itching and cracking of the skin.
- Redness: The inflammation causes the skin to become red and sore.
Complications of long-standing psoriasis
- Psoriatic arthritis: This inflammation caused by psoriasis over a period of time causes psoriatic arthritis
- Cardiovascular problem: Chronic psoriasis can lead to heart attacks and stroke
- Mental issues: Psoriasis indirectly affects the mental health of the patient leading to low self-esteem, anxiety as well as depression
- Secondary diseases: People with psoriasis are more likely to get certain cancers. It can also lead to Crohn’s disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, osteoporosis, liver as well as kidney disease
Treatment of Psoriasis
- Topical application: The first line of treatment is a topical application on the affected area. These lotions and ointments are vitamin D or corticosteroids based.
- Phototherapy: With severe scaly patches phototherapy is used. It involves exposing the skin to specific ultraviolet light.
- Sunbath: A few minutes in sun in the morning between 7 am to 12 noon helps to increase our vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps to repair the skin and also helps protect from skin inflammation.
- Advance treatment: When the first line of treatment doesn’t work there is a need for oral or injected medication. It works on the entire body.
- Meditation: Stress is a major trigger for psoriasis (Research). Meditation helps to de-stress and treat psoriasis.
- Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins that reduce stress and elevate mood
- Diet: Most patients are overweight or have metabolic syndrome. The diet focuses on weight loss and correcting the metabolic disorders.
Psoriasis Diet Plan (Indian Diet Chart, Food List)
Before we look into the Psoriasis diet plan, let us first take a look at the food list for psoriasis.
List of Foods to Eat in Psoriasis:
A low-calorie diet helps in weight loss, maintaining blood sugars, and improving cardiac health. A 1200 to 1500 calorie diet is sufficient for long-term psoriasis.
People with gluten sensitivity have high chances of developing psoriasis. Eliminating gluten from the diet has a dramatic effect on symptoms of psoriasis. Avoid wheat, barley, rye, and related products. Example of a gluten-free diet for weight loss.
Antioxidant-rich foods reduce free radicals in the body and help the body to heal faster. Include generous amounts of whole fruits and vegetables, functional foods, seeds, nuts, and infused water. Read – Sources of Anti oxidants.
These foods reduce inflammation, boost immunity and delay psoriasis symptoms. Include foods rich in omega 3 like flaxseeds, fish and fish oil, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. Turmeric in food heals internally whereas local application of turmeric helps symptomatic relief from psoriasis.
Good Quality Fats:
Include omega 3 rich oil like olive oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil. Limit inflammation-causing trans fats, saturated fats, and MUFA rich fats. It also aids in weight loss.
- First-grade proteins:
Proteins help in skin repair and the regeneration of healthy skin cells. Good quality proteins help in weight reduction and maintaining blood glucose levels. They also help manage the metabolic syndrome. Consume low-fat milk products, eggs, lean meats, fish, sprouts, beans, lentils, and daals.
Low GI Carbohydrates:
Low GI foods help in weight loss, improve cardiac function, maintain blood sugars, avoid cancer and reduce insulin resistance. Include whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in fiber.
Foods rich in vitamin A:
It boosts skin repair, reduces inflammation, and improves skin dryness. Consume red, yellow, and orange foods, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
Foods rich in vitamin E:
Vitamin E helps the regeneration of skin cells maintains moisture and cell integrity of the skin. Include nuts, seeds, olive oil, vegetable oils, some dark green leafy vegetables, and a few kinds of seafood.
List of Foods to Avoid in Psoriasis:
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol aggravates inflammation and might lead to soreness of affected areas
- Give up all refined foods: Refined foods lead to excess free radicals in the body increasing stress and triggering psoriasis. Avoid refined flour, refined sugar, and excess table salt.
- Avoid processed foods: Processed foods lead to inflammation in the body which might trigger psoriasis. Limit tinned foods, ready to eat or ready to cooks foods.
Psoriasis Diet Plan
Here is an example of 1 full day of a Psoriasis diet plan
Sample of Psoriasis diet plan:
Empty stomach: ABC (Apple, beetroot, and carrot) juice (not strained) with flaxseeds powder
Breakfast: 1 cup Green tea + 1 cup Masala Oats with vegetables + 1 cup Sambar +
Mid-morning: ½ cup Fruit Parfait with chia seeds
Lunch: 1 cup Salad with pumpkin seeds + 1 Millet Roti + ½ cup Black or brown rice + 1 cup dark green leafy vegetable + 1 cup sprouts
Snacks: 1 cup low-fat milk/ coffee + 2 small Mix daal Chilla with chopped vegetables topping
Dinner: 2 Small Vegetable Paratha or 1 cup Vegetable daal khichdi+ 1 cup Low fat Curd or Raita
Bedtime: 1 cup Turmeric milk
It is proven that psoriasis can be managed by following an anti-inflammatory diet also rich in antioxidants. Consume low GI foods as well as good quality fats. Maintain a normal weight. Regular exercise also helps keep psoriasis in check. Hope this sample psoriasis diet plan helps you manage your health and improve it.