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A photo from NPF's healthy eating guide, which features foods with anti-inflammatory properties for people with PsA or psoriasis.
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What’s the Deal with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

A few kernels of diet truths and some foods with anti-inflammatory properties.

If you have ever looked for answers about diet and wellness trends, you understand how difficult it is to separate the fads from the truth. The truth is there is no diet that will cure a chronic disease like psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and anyone claiming to have the answer is either overstating the effectiveness of certain foods or is simply wrong.

It is not all bad news, though. There are foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation. And some of them are probably foods you already eat. And we do know that a healthy and balanced diet is an important factor in your overall health.

Why the Focus on Inflammation?

If you have psoriatic disease, you know that psoriasis is not a skin disease and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is not simply a joint disease. Psoriatic disease is associated with systemic inflammation – inflammation throughout the body – that puts people with psoriasis or PsA at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and other related health conditions, called comorbidities.

To treat psoriatic disease properly, you have to treat the underlying systemic inflammation, making foods that may reduce inflammation of particular interest for people with this chronic disease. Food is not a treatment in and of itself, but diet can be beneficial.  You should consult a qualified health care provider about the appropriate treatment for your own experience of psoriatic disease and how diet can be part of your treatment plan.

Healthy eating, including an overall balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates from sources like fish, beans, avocado, and other fruits and vegetables, may improve your overall health and may help to reduce the impact or frequency of your psoriatic disease symptoms. However, everyone reacts to food differently, so remember to work with your health care provider before changing your diet. [1]

Berries have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, as have other foods that might be used to help manage psoriatic disease, including psoriatic arthritis, or PsA.

What Should I Eat That May Reduce Inflammation?

The following foods have shown or been known to have properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body. What is most important though is not any one particular food, but rather an overall healthy diet. [1]

Before you start any diet or change your eating habits, you should consult with your health care provider. Only a qualified health care provider can speak to the way a diet may impact you and your psoriasis or PsA.

Some Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Try

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables – spinach and kale
  • Nuts – almonds and walnuts
  • Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • Fruit – strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges [1]

If you would like to try out a few simple and healthy recipes, we have assembled a beautifully photographed Healthy Eating Guide that contains everything you need for a nutritious and balanced breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Photos by Jaime Green

NPF’s Health Eating Guide Has Recipes Just for You

Recipes, information on food with anti-inflammatory properties and more, in one beautifully photographed guide.

Request your copy


[1] NPF Health Eating Guide, by Georgia Ullmann, National Psoriasis Foundation health education and program manager; Danielle L. Baham, M.S., R.D. Senior Dietitian UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; The information presented in this resource is designed for educational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. Individual variances in psoriasis cases require the consultation of a physician to make sound medical decisions. The information presented here is not intended to replace the counsel of your physician. It is important to see your doctor before altering anything in your treatment plan. The National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse any medications, products, equipment or treatments for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

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