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Foods That Help Prevent PsA Flareups

Making good choices can go a long way toward lessening symptoms.

Foods That Help Prevent PsA Flareups

If you’re living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), you probably wonder often if there’s something more you can do to tame the pain. So here’s a suggestion: Consider whether the foods you’re eating are helping or hurting your condition.

Psoriatic arthritis is all about inflammation, so the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) recommends following an anti-inflammatory menu. To be clear, studies haven’t found that the diet will cure PsA, but the NPF says it can help many people reduce their symptoms—and it’s healthy overall, to boot.

Your goal should be to avoid foods known to worsen inflammation, such as fatty red meats, dairy products, refined sugar and processed foods. Instead, stock your pantry and fridge with these smart choices.

Fish
Cold-water, fatty fish are anti-inflammatory superstars. They’re rich in eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, which not only help protect the heart—especially important for people with inflammatory diseases like PsA—but also may help curb chronic pain and joint stiffness. So, fill up on these fish: albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and lake trout.

Walnuts
You can also get omega-3s from plant-based foods, such as certain nuts and legumes. Research shows that walnuts are especially antioxidant-rich and may help ease inflammation.

Need more options? The NPF suggests flaxseeds, olive oil and pumpkin seeds as other good sources.

Colorful fruits and veggies
Your body is going through a lot of stress, especially if you’ve just had a recent PsA flareup. So even though “eat your fruits and veggies” may sound like boring advice, it may be one of your best lines of defense. They’re loaded with vitamins and disease-fighting antioxidants that provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to quench inflammation.

The NPF does advise to steer clear of nightshade vegetables, which include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. Your best bets include leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collards, as well as strawberries, blueberries, oranges and cherries. 

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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