The Research-Proven Diet that Helps Psoriasis

Most people know that the Mediterranean Diet helps with heart disease and cancer prevention and treatment, but recent research shows it is also great for the skin condition psoriasis, which is great news for the 6.7 million Americans currently suffering from the disease.

Psoriasis is a common skin condition involving thick, patchy red rashes with silvery scales, most commonly found on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dermatology scientists found that the Mediterranean Diet can help sufferers of the skin condition psoriasis by slowing its progression.

The researchers assessed 35,735 people, of which 3557 had psoriasis, along with their dietary habits to determine the link between the Mediterranean Diet and a slowing of the disease progression. According to their findings: those people with the most severe psoriasis also had the lowest rates of adherence to the diet.

Psoriasis is such a difficult condition to treat and often causes its sufferers emotional distress, as well as the obvious itching and bleeding that goes along with the disease. Additionally, sufferers are more vulnerable to other conditions like obesity. Researchers believe that one of the reasons the Mediterranean Diet works for psoriasis is due to its anti-inflammatory effects, which have been well established for the treatment of other inflammation-related conditions including heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

The Mediterranean Diet is high in monounsaturated fats found in olives and olive oil as well as a group of phytonutrients known as polyphenols which are linked to its high reliance on fruit and vegetables. Due to its low dependence on meat and dairy, there is also a low amount of saturated fat in the Mediterranean Diet, which also contributes to its anti-inflammatory action (saturated fats can cause inflammation).

In addition to its beneficial effects on psoriasis, other research in the journal Amercian Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the diet combined with supplemental vitamin D prevented bone loss in those suffering from osteoporosis. According to the study seniors who followed the Mediterranean Diet for a year had much slower rate of hip bone loss than those who did not follow the diet.

How to Make the Switch

It’s easier than you might think to make the switch to a Mediterranean Diet. Here are some ways to get started:

-Cook with olive oil over low to medium temperatures. Olive oil begins to smoke around 325 degrees Fahrenheit so it is important to keep the temperature lower than that.

-Choose plant-based proteins or fish instead of meat. Some of the common plant-based proteins found in the Mediterranean Diet include: chickpeas, lima beans or other beans sautéed in a little olive oil, garlic and some lemon juice. Additionally, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios or other nuts add protein and healthy fats.

-Make vegetables the focal point of every meal. Some of the vegetables that make a regular appearance in the Mediterranean Diet include: sautéed greens, tomato sauce, leafy green salads, stuffed and cooked grape leaves. But feel free to incorporate lots of colorful vegetables into your diet—the more the merrier.

-Choose fruit as your main desserts. Some of the fruit found in the Mediterranean Diet includes: figs, lemons, oranges, pomegranates, among others. Obviously lemons on their own won’t cut it as a dessert, but the juice is a great flavoring addition to vegetable and grain dishes.

-Choose lemon juice and/or herbs over salt as seasoning for your foods. Some of the herbs found in the Mediterranean Diet include: fresh garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and rosemary. Chop them finely and add just before serving your food for a great flavor addition.

-Choose whole grains over refined ones.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking.  Follow her work.

 

62 comments

Richard B
Richard B3 hours ago

Thanks

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Claudia S
Claudia S8 days ago

Tyfs

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Elisabeth T
Elisabeth T10 days ago

Thanks for the article

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Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Thanks for sharing

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Alexandra Richards

Thank you.

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Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez11 days ago

Interesting article. Don't have psoriasis, but do have other inflamation issues, so I am willing to look into this. Thank you for your article.

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Christine Stewart

thanks

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Justin M
Justin M11 days ago

Thanks

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Janis K
Janis K12 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Roberto M
Roberto M12 days ago

thanks for sharing

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