Zero energy, bone crushing fatigue, achy joints, no desire to move from the spot you’re posted up in. I TOTALLY get it. A flare up can wreck your day (or week) and make you want to expel as little energy as possible. It is in these moments, that we must ensure we’re taking the best possible care of ourselves, especially from the inside out!
Each of us has our own tricks for successfully getting through a flare. We may have our go-to heating pad and ice packs, our ointments or rubs that we use for inflammation, as well as other tools and tips we can draw upon. But are you also thinking about your food choices during these times? Is food one of your top “tricks” for helping to ease your discomfort?
What foods should we avoid during flares?
I don’t believe there is one diet that fits all. Any chronic condition, like psoriatic disease, can affect two people very differently. Therefore, it’s hard to give an exact list of the foods that will help everyone fight off a flare. However, during these times, there are some general foods or food groups which tend to be better for you and foods we should all avoid for overall health.
_As a guideline, one may consider steering clear of: _
We should do our best to avoid these foods regularly, but especially when we’re in a flare. Why? Because we need to help cut down the overall inflammation in our bodies. The best thing we can do for this is to create an environment where our immune systems can calm down and regain control of what they should be doing. Until science gives us the magic key to accomplishing that feat, we can help support our bodies by giving it the fuel it needs to thrive.
Which foods should we gravitate towards during a flare?Digestion takes a lot of energy from our body. By choosing optimized foods, we take the load off our digestion system, and free up energy for our body to use in other places - like fighting off our flare!
_What are some go-to foods? _
- Omega 3 Filled Foods
Omega 3’s are natural anti-inflammatories. They are our friends - especially in a flare! Foods like chia seeds, flax seed, wild caught pacific salmon and walnuts are great natural options when adding omega 3’s into our meals. By incorporating these foods into our daily routines, we can promote a more anti-inflammatory environment in our body. When we’re flaring, it’s exceptionally important to focus on these foods.
- Fresh Fruits & Veggies
There are so many phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables it can seem like a no brainer to turn to these foods. By supplying our body with the nutrients it needs to do its job, we’ll better equip our bodies to get over the flare more quickly.
Low on energy? Turn to fruits! Many people shy away from fruits because of the high sugar content, but the sugar and carbs in fruits are extremely beneficial for our body. Our body is so efficient at digesting and using these carbs, they’re a great go-to. Oranges, bananas, wild blueberries - eat all the fruits!
- Easy To Digest Foods
Cooking our food changes the nutrient content in our food, therefore the best way to get the nutrients you need are to eat a mix of raw and cooked vegetables**.** If your digestive system can handle it, try eating as many raw foods as possible. But, with autoimmune conditions, many times our digestive systems aren’t working efficiently enough to deal with all raw foods. That’s where smoothies, juicing, steaming, roasting and sauteing your food can come in handy. Whatever you decide, just load up on your fruits and veggies because this is exactly what your body wants and needs!
Some final tips
Plan ahead! Whenever you make a nutritious meal, freeze a few portions so you have them on hand. That way when you’re not feeling well you can just warm it up and eat!
Make a smoothie. Grab some fruit, coconut water and chia seeds! If you want to help balance out the smoothie, feel free to add some greens or celery. A smoothie will not only pack an energy punch, but will fill you up and help you in your flare. Coconut water replenishes your electrolytes, chia seeds fight inflammation and raw fruits and vegetables flood your body with awesome nutrients! Keep in mind to add smoothies to your diet in moderation, to avoid overloading on natural sugars or high-carbs.
Check out these two dinner options on my blog. These are my go-to meals when I’m low on energy, but need a nutritious meal! I have a few more tips on there as a bonus to this post.
The most important fact to remember during a flare is that you’ll get through it! Look at your track record: you’ve made it through 100 percent of the challenges you’ve encountered so far in life. This one will be no different! Honor yourself, make the best possible choices you can and allow your body to rest.
If you’re looking for more information to help you determine exactly what foods are good and bad for you, I’d suggest you check out this post on how an elimination diet can help your psoriatic disease.
Julie Cerrone is a Psoriasis HealthCentral Social Ambassador, certified holistic health coach, ePatient advocate, yoga instructor, autoimmune warrior and the blogger behind It’s Just A Bad Day, NOT A Bad Life. Helping chronically fabulous patients realize they can live their best life possible, Julie stresses the importance of finding your own personalized treatment plan. Check out her Elimination Diet 101 eCourse which will help jump start creating your own plan.
Julie Cerrone is a Psoriasis HealthCentral Social Ambassador, certified holistic health coach, patient empowerer, yoga instructor, autoimmune warrior, and the blogger behind It’s Just A Bad Day, NOT A Bad Life. When she’s not empowering chronically fabulous patients to live their best lives, she can be found traveling, cooking, geeking out over health-related things, or enjoying life in Pittsburgh. Julie loves social media, so make sure to connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.