Eating Well With Psoriatic Arthritis
What You Eat Can Affect How You Feel
There’s no one diet you should follow when it comes to psoriatic arthritis, but you should focus on getting plenty of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, to ease psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Some of these foods have anti-inflammatory components, which means they may help ease joint pain and minor inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet for psoriatic arthritis is meant to be a tool—not a cure—to help control psoriatic arthritis symptoms and live well with this condition.
You may need to do a little experimenting with what you eat so you know what foods trigger pain and inflammation and what foods help you feel well. For example, if you notice that your psoriatic arthritis flares up after eating sugary foods (eg, baked goods), stop eating them for a week and note how you feel.
A good way to document how you feel after you eat is with a daily food journal.
Before you modify your current diet, have a conversation with your doctor and/or registered dietitian (RD), licensed nutritionist, or certified nutritional specialist. Your doctor or RD will give you healthy eating tips for psoriatic arthritis and let you know what to eat to ease the joint pain and swelling.
These tips can also help you keep a healthy weight, too. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential because being overweight can put pressure on your joints. Of course, not everyone with psoriatic arthritis needs to lose weight, but if you do, getting to a healthier weight by eating a nutritious diet can be helpful in dealing with psoriatic arthritis.
Foods that May Help Ease Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Fruits and vegetables: These foods are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (natural chemicals in some plant-based foods), which may help reduce joint pain, swelling, and other psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Because they may have anti-inflammatory benefits, fruits and vegetables should make up the majority of your diet.
Strawberries, oranges, onions, and kale1 are some examples of fruits and veggies you should eat daily. And lucky for you, if you don’t like a particular fruit or vegetable, there are plenty to choose from.
Herbs and spices:Turmeric, curry powder, and rosemaryhave anti-inflammatory properties1, and eating them may help ease psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Bonus: These herbs and spices are bursting with flavor, and they’re virtually zero calories.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Wild Alaskan salmon and other foods withomega-3s1 (essential fatty acids that may help ease pain and inflammation) can help you managepsoriatic arthritis symptoms. Omega-3s are also found in walnuts, freshly ground flaxseed, and extra virgin olive oil.1 You can take an omega-3 supplement if you don’t get enough omega-3s in your diet.
Vitamin D: Eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods, such as fortified yogurt and breads,all contain vitamin D. This vitamin is important because it may help you manage psoriatic arthritis-related pain. As with omega-3s, if you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may want to consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement.
Foods to Limit with Psoriatic Arthritis
In general, with psoriatic arthritis, you should limit alcohol, foods high in sugar (eg, baked goods), and artificial sweeteners that contain aspartame. Also, limit the amount of processed foods (eg, hot dogs) and foods high in saturated fats and trans fats (eg, fatty cuts of meat) you eat.
These foods may have the potential to exacerbate joint pain, swelling, and other psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
An Anti-inflammatory Diet for Psoriatic Arthritis
Instead of sticking to a very strict anti-inflammatory diet, eat well-balanced meals that help you feel good. Eating this way will also help you keep a healthy weight.
Eating well is part of an overall healthy lifestyle—regardless of whether you have psoriatic arthritis—but it may help to relieve or prevent joint pain, inflammation, and other psoriatic arthritis symptoms.