9 Foods to Eat or Avoid for Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis may affect as many as 30 percents of people who have psoriasis, although people who’ve never had psoriasis can also develop it according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. No kind of arthritis is pleasant, and if you’ve felt the pain and stiffness in your joints, you might be looking for a way to prevent flair ups in the first place. There’s no substitute for your doctor’s advice or medication, but the Arthritis Foundation and National Psoriasis Foundation both say certain changes in your diet might help.
Eat nuts and seeds
Psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, so it’s hard to overemphasize the benefits of nuts and seeds. Studies show people who eat more nuts lower their risk of dying from inflammatory diseases by 51 percent. Since they have monounsaturated fat and some contain omega 3s, they help decrease inflammation, the main culprit of your joint pain.
Avoid refined sugar and carbohydrates
According to Harvard Health Publications, refined sugars commonly found in baked goods and soft drinks increase inflammation. Don’t despair; you can still sweeten your coffee in the morning or bake at home by using the sugar substitutes recommended by the Arthritis Foundation – honey, stevia, and agave. Refined carbohydrates like white flower also cause trouble since they turn to glucose so quickly and raise your blood sugar. Replace white flour and starchy grains like white rice with whole grains, which your body digests more slowly. They also have more fiber and nutrients, and recent research shows people who eat whole grains also live longer.
Fish are incredible for your health overall but are especially good for people who have psoriatic arthritis. Some fish like salmon contain omega 3s, which decreases inflammation according to the University of Maryland. They’re also high in protein and healthy fats, so you’ll feel full quickly, too.
Avoid red meat
Some meats are better than others, so although salmon might help, red meat can make your symptoms worse. According to the Telegraph, animals like pigs and cows contain sugar that humans don’t naturally produce. When we eat red meat, our body doesn’t recognize it and creates antibodies to attack it – hence, the inflammation.
Eat fruits and vegetables
The National Psoriasis Foundation emphasizes that the most important thing you can do to manage your arthritis is to maintain a healthy weight. Several studies have shown people who are overweight are more likely to develop both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in the first place while losing weight reduces symptoms. Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories, have a lot of essential vitamins, and are packed with fiber, making them the perfect food for managing weight.
Nightshades are vegetables or fruits like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Since they have a lot of vitamins, minerals, and are usually low in calories, not everyone should avoid them. However, like the Arthritis Foundation and wellness experts like Chris Kresser have pointed out, some people are sensitive to them, and say cutting them out of their diet prevents flair ups.
Eat olive oil
If you have psoriatic arthritis, you might want to switch to olive oil, which is another food high in omega 3s. Vegetable oils, canola, and sunflower oil have omega 6s. Although Omega 6 is also necessary for normal bodily functions, most people get too much. Olive oil has another benefit as well – it has oleocanthal, which works like a natural anti-inflammatory drug according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Avoid alcohol in excess
Oddly, some alcohol may be beneficial, but just 5 to 10 grams a day. That translates to a bit less than a glass of wine. Although a tiny bit can ease inflammation and lower cardiovascular disease, exceeding the daily amount can cause much more problems for people with any arthritis, especially since it can interfere with medication.
Although doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes psoriatic arthritis, a 2015 study found that patients with this condition or who just had psoriasis had fewer types of bacteria in their guts. Earlier studies have also shown a connection between gut bacteria and other types of arthritis. Since probiotics can help regulate gut bacteria, they might be beneficial although more studies are needed.
Eating healthy and avoiding certain foods isn’t a must, and it won’t get rid of arthritis, but many people find their diet has a big impact on their inflammation and joint pain. Every person is different, so you might find some foods trigger flair ups while others help prevent them, and this list is a good go to if you’re trying to figure out the triggers. You should also talk to your doctor if you have psoriasis and notice joint pain and discuss any dietary changes you’re thinking of making.
David Gomes completed his M.S Professional degree in California Institute of Technology. He lives in Oakland, California, USA. He loves to write on a variety of topics such as joint health, weight loss, beauty and skin care for blogs and on-line publication sites. He also loves latest technology, gadgets. You can connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.