Superhero Food in My Diet That Fight Psoriasis Inflammation
Last updated: July 2023
Did you know that there are foods out there that, just like a superhero, can swoop in and save the day when psoriasis feels at its worst. Fatigued? Drab and dreary? Feeling extra itchy? There are foods that can help that.
For an extra chuckle, feel free to picture some of the foods I share below with a red cape, black mask and powerful Superman pose.
Inflammation in the kitchen...
I'm a professional chef. I love my job, but having psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis has not been easy to maintain in this type of job. Long hours on my feet increased inflammation, increased stress, which in turn increased symptoms. This type of lifestyle started at the beginning of my career, culinary school.
My feet would swell, my back would tighten and my feet felt crippling. My teacher, Chef Will was supportive, thoughtful and kind. He showed compassion for me and these conditions and was kind enough to inform me of foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties. The knowledge helped me get through my schooling.
Wait, food can actually do that?
In all honesty, I didn't believe Chef Will at first. I thought he was off on his culinary game and a little out of his mind until I decided to test his "theory". Fruits and vegetables, of course hold vitamins but I decided to do more homework.
I came across all these articles and research studies about foods that fight for you, confirming what Chef Will knew. Properties of certain foods can indeed help your body feel better. My eyes were opened, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
If I didn't know this, could others living with inflamed condition still be living in the dark?
What does an anti-inflammatory diet do?
Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can fight off inflammation for good.
What does an anti-inflammatory diet do? Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. This often triggers a process called inflammation.
Choose the right anti-inflammatory foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.1
An experiment using my own inflammation
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. My research (and my experiment) including mostly fruits. I'm talking cherries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries. Knowing I liked cherries, I decided that this was the test for me.
I had 2 pounds of cherries. Over the week, I ate cherries for a snack after dinner, an hour before bedtime. Within 2 days, I noticed my swelling going down and my pain decreasing. After 7 days, I cut myself off. The next day, my fingers and toe joints were stiffer. After 48 hours, my swelling returned.
The cherries were making a difference, and I sure missed the snack. I learned more about anti-inflammatory fruits including, apricots, nectarines and peaches produced the same results.
How I incorporate these foods into my own diet and lifestyle
These anti-inflammatory fruits are now a regular staple of my diet. My cherries and peaches are crime fighters and inflammation defeaters - the ultimate superhero. I rotate fruits as much as I can. I'm from the midwest, so I've had to make exceptions for in-season fruit and what makes sense for my budget.
I add fruit to my breakfast, sometimes with oatmeal. I will add fruit into a sauce or coulee into my dinner rotation. Dessert is the ideal time to incorporate some fruit, cool whip and berries continue to be my favorite. Fruit also makes a great snack to simply just pick on.
The best way to eat these superheros is fairly natural. After adding these fruits to my diet, over time, I find myself in so much less discomfort. There is certainly not a cure, but it is a significant help.
We've talked fruit, now let's talk veggies.
Some anti-inflammatory vegetables include spinach, kale, collard greens, cabbage, sweet and idaho potatoes. I was surprised that I've already incorporated a lot of these superheroes in my diet.
Adding more veggies into my diet wasn't that hard. I find myself with more energy and the courage to exercise more.
I took to avocados. I mean, they are a great source of the good fat. I'm a huge fan of them. So much, I have a tattoo on my forearm of an avocado wearing a chef's hat. He reminds me of my chosen career and my superhero foods.
Have you tried adding some of these superhero foods to your diet?
When it comes to these types of foods, it's really not about changing up your diet completely, it's just supplementing and adding a few more in here and there.
After learning about the easiness of these types of foods, and witnessing the benefits first hand, it's important to me to empower others with this type of knowledge. No one deserves to be uncomfortable and stuck with significant inflammation.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?