What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune stimulated condition where skin cells develop rapidly and is highly inflammatory. Normally, skin cells are replaced after 21-28 days, however, in psoriatic individuals, this can be as quickly as 4-7 days. The buildup of skin cells creates raised sections of skin called plaques, which can occur on any body part and appear flaky, scaly and red on fair skin, or as dark patches on darker skin tones, with intense itching.
The good news is that dietary modification can really make a difference. Conditions that involve inflammation often respond well to the removal of inflammatory foods from the diet. The main suspects are processed foods with additives, sugar-laden foods, gluten and for some; dairy. These foods promote the cycle of inflammation and so, by removing them and replacing them with seasonal wholefoods, lean proteins, a rainbow of fruits and veggies, alongside healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish, the inflammatory cycle can be interrupted.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have unequivocally demonstrated an increase in blood antioxidant levels, suggested to be an essential mechanism in countering the oxidative damage associated with psoriasis. Furthermore, blood glucose spikes caused by refined carbohydrates, typically from processed foods, have been shown to stimulate insulin secretion and contribute to the inflammatory signalling cascade that results in the increased severity of psoriatic symptoms. Therefore, adopting a wholefoods approach will regulate blood glucose and dampen down the associated insulin and inflammatory signalling.