Research indicates that diet may play a significant role in psoriasis. For example, in one study,1,206 people with psoriasis showed that certain dietary modifications helped improve skin conditions in the majority of participants. There is a great deal of evidence to support the idea that healthy eating i.e, removing foods that contain gluten or natural Salicylates from your diet, cutting down on alcohol, smoking, sugars, red meats etc, while at the same time increasing the intake of high antioxidant foods, will play an active part in reducing the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema for a great many sufferers. Despite Psoriasis being an auto immune disease and eczema mostly an allergen based disease, the food that we eat has a large impact on our general health and well being and can’t be ignored as an important tool for managing the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema.
But Healthy Eating is not the same as Healthy Elimination and that’s where detox diets come in.
Cleansing and detox make sense, regardless of how you feel, whether you feel OK or ill, regardless of the cause of your ill health, because regular detoxification helps to free up your body’s resources and improve all of its functions.
There is evidence to suggest that those who detox once per year dramatically reduce their chances of developing a recurrence of their psoriasis. Detoxification was not taken seriously by many health experts up until fairly recently, but this is now changing.
The various Detox diets for psoriasis and eczema can last from 5 days up to 3 weeks.
LIVER DETOX DIETS
How can a skin condition like psoriasis be connected to the liver? The liver is designed to filter and detoxify our blood. After food has been digested and has entered the blood stream, the liver has the task of filtering out toxins from usable vitamins and nutrients. However, when the liver is damaged, the liver becomes overloaded with toxins which then begin to accumulate in our blood. This forces the skin, kidneys and lungs to take over the job of ridding the body of toxins. These excess toxins in turn start to aggravate the immune system, prompting inflammatory responses in the body. One of these responses can manifest as psoriasis.
The liver detox psoriasis-related process requires the patient to remove alcohol, caffeine, red meat, spicy foods, shellfish, processed foods, refined sugar and tea from their diet.
Instead you should only drink herbal teas such as:
Peppermint to break down fats
Turmeric used as a powerful liver protector
Dandelion to support detoxification
and, of course, plenty of water. The more hydrated you are, the easier it is for the liver to filter toxins.
Antioxidant rich food such as fruit and green vegetables aid the liver in the dilating and contraction of toxins out of the body. If you don’t want to eat a vegan, plant based diet, then buy organic chicken and fresh, oily fish like salmon or sardines.
It is recommended that you take a good quality supplement containing the vitamins A, D, E and K and possibly a milk thistle extract. Milk Thistle is considered an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory and is a supplement commonly used for liver issues.
In order to minimize the amount of damaging toxins being released through the skin and to maximize the efficacy of the liver, you should consider a three week detox diet such as Miriam Young’s Liver Flush Detox Programme
In the long term, proper diet, reduced stress, increased hydration, and exercise can all contribute to increased liver health.
Panchakarma is an ayurvedic therapy designed to remove toxins and restore the natural balance of the body. The word literally means ‘Five Detox Process’ in Sanskrit. Our bodies accumulate toxins from our food, our drinks and our environment. In its purest form, Panchakarma is a fairly invasive and difficult programme of purging. This is not recommended anymore, but variations of Panchakarma cleansing and rejuvenation treatments used in Ayurveda (the sister science of yoga) are readily available. Panchakarma is typically done once a year for disease prevention and emotional and spiritual growth.
We recommend www.ama-veda.com
Their 7 day and 5 day programmes are carefully detailed, balanced and gentle. They are designed to cleanse, nourish and reset the digestive system, support your immune system, encourage appropriate weight loss, eliminate cravings, decrease inflammation, tone and nourish the liver and kidneys, boost your energy and your overall sense of well-being.
They also organise detox retreats in beautiful settings around the world.
THE ALKALISING DETOX DIET
An alkalising detox can range from 5 – 10 days.
Naturopaths believe that the conditions of eczema and psoriasis are acidic in nature and that the best way to prevent them is to reduce acid forming foods and increase alkaline forming foods. It is a well-documented fact that when the body becomes more acidic, the body’s organs have to work harder to balance the internal pH level. When your pH levels are more acidic, the body begins to use up the minerals the body has stored.
The pH level simply refers to the acid/alkaline balance.
The pH range is from 1-14. A neutral balance level is 7. Anything below 7 is rated as acidic. The lower the number – the higher the amount of acidity. The alkaline level is anything above 7 and the higher the number – the higher the alkaline level. The natural way to alkalize your body is through your diet and the body requires a diet that is 70-80% alkaline and not more than 20-30% acidic in order to maintain a healthy balance.
The concept of acid and alkaline foods is a confusing one. For instance, lemons are sour and acidic, yet they have an alkalising effect on the body. This is due to the lemon’s mineral content, and the influence these minerals have on our pH, or the acid/alkaline scale. The upshot is acidic tasting foods can be alkalising.
A good alkalising detox programme will suggest that you avoid:
Alcohol – which is toxic to all cells
Sugar – as it is acid forming
Grains – all are acid-forming
Animal protein – including eggs and dairy
Coffee – as it is a stimulant
But you can Enjoy
Vegetables (the greener the better – spinach is the most alkaline vegetable)
Fresh seasonal fruit – Acidic to start but become very alkalised once they are metabolised in the body
Tofu and tempeh
A selection of nuts and seeds
Ricotta as it is made from the alkaline portion of dairy products
Oils – coconut, virgin olive
Herbs and spices – eg turmeric, oregano, mint, parsley, garlic
Try and include a Green Juice every day.
By learning which foods are alkaline and which foods are acidic you can adjust your diet to compensate for the excess of acidity in your body. As a result, you will begin to neutralize and restore the body’s homeostasis or equilibrium.
Juicing to Cleanse and Detox
All people dealing with psoriasis (and psoriatic arthritis)- should have a juicer at home! Freshly prepared juices extracted from fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to nourish your intestinal health. Juicing provides the body with all the nutrients it needs such as vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, etc, without over burdening the digestive system. Because it is all fluids, it allows the digestive system to take a break enabling the intestinal walls to repair and rebuild. It is like drinking a pure alkaline solution to alkalise and rejuvenate your body.
Overall benefits of juices include:
- Alkalizing your body and reducing inflammation
- Aiding the digestion process
- Supporting body metabolism
- Stimulating circulation of the blood and lymphocytes
- Assisting in the elimination process
- Treating leaky gut by providing nutrition to the cells that line the gut walls
- Flushing the kidney and enabling the liver to function more efficiently
Some juice detox programmes suggest drinking only juices for 2-3 days and recommend doing this every 6-8 weeks.
Drinking vegetable juices is one of the most effective ways for liver detoxification. The vast majority of vegetables, and in particular, the green coloured vegetables are alkaline in nature. They help to emulsify and eliminate the acidic toxins from your body. Because of this, green juices are some of the best healing foods for nourishing and hydrating the cells and putting our bodies back to the best Ph balance.
Other ingredients that are vital to juicing for psoriasis are:
Cucumber – allays bile and has a soothing effect.
Beetroot – improves the quality of the blood and helps to cleanse the stomach and intestine.
Apple – For body detoxification and cleaning the intestinal tract. Sweet apples only.
Ginger – Well known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and liver-detoxifying properties
Avocado – Anti inflammatory and heart healthy
Green Tea – add turmeric to create intense anti-inflammatory compounds
Spinach – high in antioxidants but needs sweetening
To start your 2-3 day juicing detox programme, find some interesting recipes for juices that are specific to the healing of psoriasis and eczema symptoms
Don’t add sugar (refined white sugar), artificial flavours, colours or preservatives in your juice recipe. These offer nothing but empty calories and toxins.
Try to include a whole range of recommended vegetables and fruits in your juice recipe and don’t use too much of any particular one. Make your juices interesting and nutritious by including several healthy vegetables and fruits each time.
AFTER THE DETOX
It is very important to bear in mind that, although detoxification of the body is an important process for psoriasis healing, it can’t really work if we immediately go back to our old eating habits and accumulate these toxins in our body all over again. It is necessary to make permanent changes to our diet and lifestyle to ensure that the healing process is effective in the long run.