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  5. How To Manage Your Psoriasis Symptoms With A Balanced Diet?

Are you wondering how to prevent psoriasis? Certain factors like stress, diet, infections can trigger a psoriasis flare-up. However, a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods may help you manage its symptoms. Scroll down to know more!

Ayurvedic Doctor’s Opinion

“Acidic (sour) foods and salt aggravate all skin conditions. Ayurveda recommends consuming them in moderations when suffering from skin disorders.”

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

Can Psoriasis Be Cured With Diet?

dermatology consultation woman

Ayurveda identifies the genetically aroused disease Psoriasis as a “kushtha” health issue. The term “kushtha” can be described as a chronic skin condition also called “krucchasadhya” meaning unmanageable or uncontrollable and “asadhya” which means something that cannot be cured.

Normal skin cells grow and fall off in a month, but in psoriasis the skin cells do this process in 3-4 days. This phenomenon changes your skin texture. Some of you might experience an itching or burning sensation in your skin while others may experience a sting in the skin. [1] Psoriasis not only causes skin issues but also impacts other organs and tissues present inside your body.

Psoriasis usually occurs due to an imbalance in two doshas - Vata and Kapha. Vata dosha imbalance causes dryness and skin scaling resulting in psoriasis. Kapha dosha imbalance is responsible for the itching and rapid skin cell growth which is also a characteristic of psoriasis.

There is numerous evidence that some diet choices have helped people improve their psoriasis symptoms.

Here are the following ways in which your diet can help with its symptoms:

A. Weight Loss: Losing excess weight with diet helps in reducing the severity of psoriasis.

B. Anti-inflammatory Foods: A calorie-controlled diet that contains omega-3 can help reduce inflammatory signs and help improve the symptoms of psoriasis.

C. Antioxidants: Some researches show that foods that have antioxidant properties prevent your body from producing free radicals which reduces inflammation in the skin.

D. Vitamin D: Exposure to the sun and eating foods that are rich in vitamin D may benefit people with psoriasis.

E. Healthy Lifestyle: Most people who improve their diet also feel encouraged to perform physical activities and exercises which also helps in reducing the severity of the psoriasis symptoms.

Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis. [2]

What Foods Can Trigger A Psoriasis Flare-Up?

vector illustration of processed food

If you are thinking of what to include in your psoriasis diet plan first make a list of the foods that can trigger this condition. Certain foods can trigger inflammation in your body which in turn can affect your immune system and lead to aggravation of psoriasis symptoms. Want to know more about the psoriasis diet foods to avoid? We got you covered.[3]

Usually, the foods that cause an imbalance in the Vata and Kapha doshas are also the ones that integrate psoriasis symptoms.

The following foods are a strict no-no for those who are suffering from psoriasis:

A. Dairy and meat: Most red meat, eggs and dairy products contain a type of fatty acid that can lead to psoriatic lesions. So, avoid red meat, sausage, bacon, eggs and food that include eggs.

B. Gluten: People who suffer from psoriasis also grow sensitive towards gluten or foods containing gluten. So, if you are suffering from psoriasis, you need to avoid wheat and wheat products, rye, barley and malt. Avoid beer and malt beverages too.

C. Processed Foods: With busy work life and too much to do, most of us living and working alone tend to eat a lot of processed foods. Avoid eating canned foods or foods that can lead to obesity. Obesity causes inflammation in the body which aggravates psoriasis.

D. Nightshades: Any plants and vegetables that are nightshades need to be avoided by people with psoriasis. Foods like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers are a strict no-no.

E. Alcohol: Remove alcohol completely from your life. alcohol causes disruption in the immune system and a disrupted immune system triggers psoriasis.[4]

Vedix Tip: For the inflamed and itchy areas on your skin, make a paste out of jasmine flower essence and apply on them.

What Ayurvedic Diet Is Good For Psoriasis?

medicinal neem leaves with neem paste

Now that you know what to avoid if you have psoriasis, it is time to know what you should include in a psoriasis diet. Ayurveda labels psoriasis as ‘Eka Kushta Roga’ which is caused by an imbalance in Vata and Kapha dosha. Vata and Kapha dominance irritates the Tvak (skin), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (Flesh) and Lasika (plasma) resulting in psoriasis.

Although Ayurveda says that certain foods and ‘rasayana drugs’ can be helpful in curing the symptoms of psoriasis, nothing can be effective without proper ‘shodhana’. Samshodhana or detoxification is the purification or cleansing of the body tissues and bringing a balance in the doshas to have a long-lasting effect. [5]

If you are suffering from psoriasis and are in search of an ayurvedic dietary cure for it, you may follow the below diet:

A. Bhallataka- Bhallatak is a pungent herb proven to cure any Kapha imbalances like psoriasis. Before taking Bhallataka, you need to purify by soaking them in water. Use only the ones that sink. You can then cut the seeds in half and put it into a mixture of brick powder. This removes the pungency and makes it eligible as an Ayurvedic medicine.

B. Green Leafy Vegetables- Consumption of green leafy vegetables that are bitter like neem is essential for clarification of the blood and reducing inflammation. These leafy greens are also low in calories hence, they help you maintain good health.

C. Green Gram- Food prepared with green gram and patola is effective in reducing psoriasis symptoms.

D. Psoriasis Sattvic Diet- Sattvic diet is quite popular in Ayurvedic texts. It is a regimen that emphasizes seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and non-meat-based proteins.

For skin diseases like psoriasis, it is essential to avoid dairy and nuts. A sattvic diet reduces stress and helps control psoriasis.

E. Turmeric- Use a generous amount of turmeric in your food to reduce inflammation, which is a major symptom of psoriasis.

F. Guggulu- Guggulu is a powerful and potent herb derived from the mukul myrrh tree found in India. It is one of the most important purifying herbs and has been used for thousands of years to relieve chronic skin disorders. It is an essential part of a psoriasis diet.

G. Triphala- Triphala is an Ayurvedic combination of multiple herbs like amla, bibhitaki and haritaki. It is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties. It helps in rebuilding skin protein and retain moisture in the skin and heal oxidative injuries like psoriasis patches.

H. Rice Paddy- Also known as shalidhanya, helps in easing all three doshas. Rice paddy is high in fibre, aids in digestion and lowers blood pressure.

I. Barley- Barley or yava is considered dry or Ruksha and least potent or Sheetavirya and easy to digest. It increases the body strength and pacifies Kapha disorders.

J. Priyangu- It's an Ayurvedic cooling herb often found useful in treating skin diseases. It is Tikta or bitter in nature, is Laghu (helpful in digestion) and has Tridosha Shamaka or power to balance all three doshas. Apart from intaking it, the paste of its bark is used externally to cure skin diseases like psoriasis.

K. Red Lentil- Also known as masura, it has a high nutritional value, is rich in protein, fiber and minerals and has low-fat content. It also contains fiber, protein, and antioxidants, which are essential for psoriasis cure.

L. Pigeon Peas- Pigeon peas or tuvara when cooked with salt and consumed as a part of the diet, balances the Kapha dosha. You can also apply it as a paste on your psoriasis lesions.

M. Heartwood Tree- Also known as a khadira is a type of deciduous tree whose bark is very helpful for curing skin diseases like psoriasis. It has a strong healing potential, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities. Apart from balancing the Kapha dosha Kadira also helps in burning fat and curbing obesity which is also a must for easing psoriasis symptoms.

N. Buttermilk- Buttermilk or mathitha is already a part of a diet in most Indian homes. When curd is churned without adding water it forms mathitha which balances kapha-pitta dosha. Although buttermilk contains lactic acid which is not advisable for any lactose intolerant person, it is a good probiotic and heals different forms of intestinal inflammation. Intestinal inflammation can eventually aggravate psoriasis.

O. Other Herbs- Your body needs to be rejuvenated with the help of immune boosting and modulation herbs. You can consume Ayurvedic capsules that include Shatavari, Brahmi etc.

1. Brahmi - Brahmi helps in soothing aggravated skin conditions. People with psoriasis should definitely take this small herb, because it also helps you soothe and sleep well.

2. Shatavari - It is a kind of asparagus that has antioxidant properties.

The Last Word

While other medicines might help you manage the symptoms of psoriasis for a short time and give instant relief, they do not ensure a long-term solution. Ayurveda on the other hand, finds the root cause of the disease and focuses on healing it both internally and externally.

The Ayurvedic anti-psoriasis diet, if followed strictly along with a proper Ayurvedic skin care routine and healthy lifestyle practices, can prevent the skin condition from reoccurring and the other symptoms from worsening further. [6]

Know Your Dosha Now

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