If you have psoriasis, you might take medication and keep close tabs on the weather, your stress level, and other triggers. Should you also watch what's on your plate?

A healthy diet -- lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains -- is a good idea for just about everyone. But some people who have psoriasis say their eating habits can affect their skin.

There's no scientific proof that staying away from certain foods or following a specific diet will help your condition. But what you eat and drink may make a difference.

Limit Alcohol

The link between alcohol and psoriasis isn't clear, but experts say that if you drink, be moderate. For men, that means no more than two drinks a day, and for women, no more than one.

Studies show that men who drink heavily don't respond to psoriasis treatments as well. And some research suggests that people who have psoriasis and drink heavily may find that their skin gets better when they stop.

If your condition is especially severe or you take certain medications, like methotrexate and acitretin, your doctor may tell you to stay away from alcohol completely.

Foods That Fight Inflammation

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. Research is limited, but some people who have psoriasis say they can manage it better if they eat more inflammation-fighting foods.

Some studies suggest that antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium, may make a difference. And some research suggests fatty acids from fish oil can be helpful. More research is needed.

Anti-inflammatory foods are generally healthy, so it shouldn't hurt to give them a try. They include:

  • Fruits and veggies, especially berries, cherries, and leafy greens
  • Salmon, sardines, and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Antioxidant-rich herbs and spices like thyme, sage, cumin, and ginger
  • Heart-healthy sources of fat, like olive oil, seeds, and nuts

Some foods can make inflammation worse. Eat less of these:

  • Processed foods and refined sugars
  • Fatty cuts of red meat
  • Dairy

Lose Weight

People who are overweight or obese have a higher chance of getting psoriasis, and their symptoms tend to be worse. Studies suggest that your skin may get better if you shed extra pounds. This may be because fat cells make certain proteins that can trigger inflammation and make the condition worse.

You might eat smaller portions, limit carbs or fat, or follow a combination of diet strategies your doctor recommends.

Gluten-Free Diet

You may wonder whether your psoriasis would get better if you ate a gluten-free diet. Although you may hear about success stories from others who have tried it, so far studies aren't clear that it helps. More research is needed.

This kind of eating plan is needed if you have celiac disease, which, like psoriasis, is an autoimmune disease. This plan may be useful when you have gluten sensitivity. Research suggests that people with psoriasis are more likely to also have another autoimmune disease.

If you go gluten-free, it means you have to cu

You may wonder whether your psoriasis would get better if you ate a gluten-free diet. Although you may hear about success stories from others who have tried it, studies aren't clear that it helps. More research is needed.

This kind of eating plan is needed if you have celiac disease, which, like psoriasis, is an autoimmune disease. This plan may be useful when you have gluten sensitivity. Research suggests that people with psoriasis are more likely to also have another autoimmune disease.

If you go gluten-free, it means you have to cut out foods that have grains like wheat, barley, and rye. The downside is that those foods are also heart-healthy, and psoriasis raises your chance of getting heart disease. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes in the food you eat.

out foods that have grains like wheat, barley, and rye. The downside is that those foods are also heart healthy, and psoriasis raises your chance of getting heart disease. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes in the food you eat.

Beware of Miracle Diets

Even though there's no proof, you'll find dozens of psoriasis diets described in books and on websites. At some point, almost every food has been blamed for an outbreak, and there are just as many theories about which foods might be helpful.

You may feel so frustrated with your psoriasis that you're ready to try anything. Don’t let desperation make you gullible.

If you're thinking about trying a psoriasis diet, talk to your doctor first. They’ll probably tell you that any diet that cuts down on the amount of junk food and alcohol you eat and drink is OK.

Stay away from extreme diets that claim to cure psoriasis with things like fasting or enemas. They won't work and can even be dangerous. And don't assume that supplements are helpful or even safe. Always talk to your doctor before using any supplements or alternative medicines.

Listen to Your Body

Don't ignore your own experience with psoriasis. If your skin gets worse after you eat certain foods, stop eating them and see what happens. That food could be a trigger for you.

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