Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is Your Diet Affecting Your Psoriasis?

While you may be reluctant to accept that your dietary habits play a great role in your psoriasis, a number of studies have shown that changes in dietary habits and practices have beneficial effects on the condition. There are even reports that record accounts of improvement in psoriasis in wartime when food supply was not sufficient to camp prisoners.

If you have noticed, the prevalence of psoriasis is not usually common among Africans. Genetics may be an influencing factor here, but it can also be shown that Africans (except those who have adopted a Western lifestyle) usually consume lower polyunsaturated fatty acids and higher in linoleic acid. The Inuits of the Arctic regions and the Sami peoples of northern Europe have a low prevalence of the disease. These two indigenous groups consume fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids) which help improve psoriasis and a number of other inflammatory diseases.

Weight gain has also been reported to be coupled with the worsening of psoriatic lesions. While you may still be unconvinced that your diet has a direct link to your psoriasis, you cannot avoid the fact that psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder and a number of debilitating diseases have already been linked to psoriasis. Hence, it is only prudent for psoriatic sufferers to maintain a healthy diet in order to manage this chronic condition and to avoid other complications.

While there is no specific diet that can treat your psoriasis, you may want to try out these dietary guidelines:

• Consume a wide variety and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Raw vegetables (as long as they are clean) are better than cooked ones.
• Choose lean meats, if you're a meat lover.
• Eat fishes high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon.
• Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
• Avoid, or at least, minimize your consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods.

These are simple, down-to-earth guidelines, yet following them can contribute significantly to your good health and, by consequence, to better skin condition. There is a good number of people who strongly believe that certain types of food will worsen the condition of their skin. If you agree with this idea and you are able to identify which types do damage to your skin, you should seriously consider reducing your intake of these foods or doing away with them altogether.

Photo credit: ConstructionDealMkting (flickr.com)