How a 'Vegan Paleo' Diet Can Help Your Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

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The paleo diet is a hot topic these days. Many autoimmune patients try it and see great results. Why? Because the diet eliminates many of the top trigger foods that can cause inflammation in our bodies.

Seventy-five to 80 percent of our immune systems live in our guts, so we need to be cognizant of what we’re eating. Grains, dairy, refined sugars, legumes, and other foods can cause autoimmune patients many problems because they invoke immune responses. A vegan paleo diet goes an extra step and cuts out even more trigger foods.

Here are a few of the top foods cut out by the vegan paleo diet, and how that can help psoriatic disease patients.** Legumes**

Lectin proteins in legumes (and grains) cause problems for several reasons. First, they’re extremely hard to digest. These proteins were created to protect the seed from being destroyed by predators. Therefore, our digestive systems aren’t equipped to properly break them down.

Because they can’t be properly digested, there’s a trickle-down effect that can cause inflammation. These undigested (or half-digested) food particles can then cause imbalances in your GI tract. Imbalances, such as bacterial overgrowth, will then stimulate your immune system. And when you have an overactive immune system to begin with, this is something you want to avoid! Soy, lentils, peanuts, beans — these are all examples of things that should be omitted from your diet.

Grains

Cutting out gluten is a MUST for all autoimmune conditions — even if you don’t see an immediate change. Going the extra step and cutting out all grains is really a wonderful thing you can do for your body.

As I mentioned above, the proteins in grains are very difficult to digest. Phytates and phytic acid, which are found in grains, can interfere with our digestive process and immune system. These can result in higher inflammation levels, mineral deficiencies, and other problems. Best solution: sub in “rice cauliflower” or almond flour in your recipes.

Meat

As countless people keep telling us these days, bone broth can be healing. But meat (even organic) holds many toxins, antibiotics, and other irritants that will interact with your immune system. It’s not that these foods were inherently bad for us, but once our society started adding additives and other pesticides to food, our bodies started reacting negatively.

If you’re going to eat meat, you MUST make it organic. Then you’ll have fewer irritants invoking an immune response. But the fact is, there are so many pollutants in and on the earth that each cow, pig, chicken, or turkey that we eat is probably picking up something that's not good for us. Cutting out all of these toxins, and sticking with an organic fruit and veggie-based diet, will have your body thanking you tremendously.

Fish

Fish can be extremely beneficial because of their high omegas, but the problem with fish lies in the high levels of mercury and other metals they pick up in our oceans. Sure, you may be feeding yourself anti-inflammatories, but the metals that you’re consuming can be equally -- or more -- harmful in the long run.

Fish oil supplement, meanwhile, concentrates the metals ten-fold. There currently is no way to ensure that a supplement is free from these toxic metals — no matter what the packaging might claim. Instead of fish oil supplements, look for plant-based, algae-derived omega supplements. (Like the one shown here!)

Eggs

When you’re trying to cut down your inflammation and give your body the best chance to heal, cutting out eggs is critical. Eggs are a top inflammatory food and can spark allergic reactions in many people. Did you know that eggs can carry viruses, bacteria, yeast, mold, candida, and other fungi? They’re often touted as a great source of protein, but when you have health problems, you should definitely steer clear. And remember, eggs are ingredients in many other foods, as well:  baked goods, pastas, etc.

Dairy

Our bodies were never designed to digest another animal’s milk. We’re not well equipped to break down dairy’s proteins. Dairy is full of fat and sugar which can wreak havoc in your system. Mucus, a major cause of inflammation and allergies, is something that dairy helps promote in our bodies. Not only do the core components (casein, lactose and other proteins) of dairy cause problems within many individual’s bodies, but cows that produce much of our dairy products are fed antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, soy, corn, and gluten. Do your body a favor and order your food sans cheese or cream next time. What’s the worst that could happen? Your joint pain lessens and your skin clears up!

Each and every one of us reacts to foods differently, but any chronic-condition patient can benefit from cutting out these food groups. If you want to find out exactly what foods are your triggers, complete an elimination diet. This will allow you to identify your exact problem foods.

Stick with plants! Fruits, veggies and nuts and seeds are great options and readily available. Don’t think you can get all your protein without meat? That’s a misconception. If you eat enough calories with your fruits and vegetables, you’ll hit your protein (and your vitamins, amino acids, and every other nutrient that you need) levels easily.

Learn more about why diet is important in fighting psoriatic disease here.** Want to learn more from a Vegan's perspective on completing the Paleo Diet? Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.**


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 eCoursewhich will help jump start creating your own plan.