Anti-inflammatory foods – The good ones
is our number 1 source of omega 3 fats, a key anti-inflammatory nutrient, not just for the skin but for our brain and joints too. The highest quality omega 3 are found in wild oily fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon.
saturated fat has got a bad rap over the years but coconut oil is a healthy type of saturated fat the most stable type of oil to cook with due to its high burning point. It’s essential to include fats in your diet to help store and absorb fat-soluble the vitamins A, D, E and K. Try this tasty Coconut oil omelette.
Flax and chia seeds
are full of fibre and omega 3 fats, these guys are ‘super seeds’ and you can add them to pretty much anything!
walnuts are your ‘top nut’ for omega 3 fats and Brazil nuts contain selenium and zinc, two of the minerals most important for a healthy functioning immune system.
Including pre and probiotic foods
supports a healthy mix of gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods like bananas (particularly green varieties), onions, garlic and asparagus help to feed the beneficial bacteria that lives in our gut, while products that contain live probiotic bacteria like yoghurt and kefir are great in combating any unwelcome bacteria that may be lurking about and help to promote a healthy immune system.
are a source of ‘phytonutrients’, low in sugar and high in vitamin C which may help to combat inflammation. Load up on strawberries, blueberries and raspberries which you can buy frozen so you always have something to brighten up your breakfast.
Brightly coloured veg
are packed with antioxidants including vitamin C, the key immune system nutrient – red peppers, aubergine, red cabbage, dark green leafy veg.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and kale
are ‘cruciferous veg’ and contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol that can help the liver to eliminate toxins.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
and olives are key ingredients in the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ and a fantastic source of omega 9 fats, which have been associated with protecting the skin from sun damage.
are soooo tasty and incredibly versatile, they’re also rich in omega 9 fats as well vitamin C and vitamin A, two important nutrients for skin healing.
Now you know about the anti-inflammatory foods.
The next chapter is about on inflammatory foods you should avoid:
Reduce inflammation by avoiding these 10 foods
is a source of omega 6 fats which work closely with omega 3. It is important to have an equal ratio of both in the body, as an imbalance – particularly towards omega 6 may encourage inflammation. There are lots of healthy options like sesame seeds, soy beans, brazil nuts and walnuts which are great to include in the diet. However there are also lots of highly refined foods containing omega 6 including fast foods like burgers, chips, crisps and cookies. Because of this processing, usually at high temperatures, margarine is not easily recognised by the body, it has also been linked to high cholesterol.
Vegetable, sunflower and corn oils
are also a source of omega 6 fat and their structure makes them very unstable at high temperatures so they are not suitable for cooking (try coconut or olive oil instead)
contains a fatty acid called ‘arachidonic acid’ which can be converted into inflammatory messengers by the immune system. Eating too much red meat may lead to an increase in inflammation and a worsening of symptoms. You don’t necessarily need to remove it completely, once or twice per week can be ok but everyone is different so monitor your symptoms accordingly. If you are going to eat red meat, try to ensure that it is grass fed and organic.
is also a source of arachidonic acid and is a common allergen that has been linked to both psoriasis and eczema. However dairy products such as live yoghurt or kefir can be a fantastic source of probiotic bacteria so if you have never experienced any issues with dairy there’s no need to cut it out altogether. However if you suspect it may be linked, try to monitor your symptoms with the help of your TREAT nutrition coach.
Sweets and chocolate
are obviously high in sugar, which we all know isn’t great for the waistline… but did you know that excess weight also promotes inflammation in the body? When we eat sugar, our pancreas secretes the hormone insulin that works to convert it into glucose for energy. If we eat a lot of sugar we produce more insulin, which in itself can be inflammatory. Then if we aren’t burning off all that additional glucose it can get stored away as fat. Most sweets and chocolate are devoid of any useful nutrients but if you do have a sweet tooth there are plenty of naturally sweet foods you can replace them with. Check out our anti-inflammatory desserts in the recipes section for a few ideas!
a lot of fruit juice is often made ‘from concentrate’ rather than whole fruit and is very high in sugar. Fruit sugar is called fructose and is processed by the liver rather than being managed by the pancreas and consumed in excess it can lead to weight gain as the liver becomes overwhelmed.
a healthy liver is fundamental for managing psoriasis and drinking lots of alcohol can put an extra unnecessary strain on this most important detoxification organ. Alcohol is also very calorific and except for the antioxidant compounds found in a good quality red wine, it is empty of nutrients.
White bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits
processed carbohydrates are much like sugar, devoid of nutrients, eating them may actually place extra stress on our body, which in turn may promote inflammation. In addition, these foods commonly contain gluten which can also be indicated in a range of inflammatory symptoms for some people.
If you have an intolerance, allergy or sensitivity to wheat or gluten, then eating it can place an extra burden on your body which may negatively affect your condition. The best thing to do is monitor your symptoms to see if it might be a contributing factor for you, this may be an area for further investigation that you can chat to your GP about.
Perhaps it’s lucky we don’t get too many opportunities for a good old barbie in the UK because chargrilling meat and veg produces ‘free radicals’ that our body has to work hard and use up a lot of our ‘in-house’ antioxidants to neutralise in order to prevent cellular damage and limit inflammation.
That was our take on common foods that cause inflammation.
Here are some tips on how to reduce inflammation in your body.