While dairy products can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms for some patients by irritating the intestinal tract, it’s important to note that this is not a universal rule. The quality of the dairy matters, and certain low-fat options may actually provide benefits for those with psoriasis.
One example of a beneficial dairy product is natural Greek yogurt, which can have probiotic effects that help reduce inflammation in the gut. However, it’s important to choose a plain variety without added sugars or artificial flavors.
If you’re managing psoriasis and curious about incorporating yogurt into your diet, keep reading to learn more about its potential benefits.
Benefits of Yogurt for Psoriasis
Yogurt is a little-known secret to bringing relief to psoriasis patients. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: Yogurt has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body, including in the skin. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and red, scaly patches on the skin. Eating yogurt can help reduce inflammation and improve psoriasis symptoms.
- Boosts Gut Health: Yogurt is a probiotic food that contains beneficial bacteria that help support a healthy gut microbiome. Studies have shown that people with psoriasis often have imbalances in their gut microbiome, which can worsen symptoms. Eating yogurt regularly can help restore balance to the gut and improve psoriasis symptoms.
- Rich in Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Yogurt is one of the best natural sources of probiotics, which can help improve gut health, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. Eating yogurt with live active cultures can provide a significant amount of beneficial probiotics.
- Contains Vitamins and Minerals: Yogurt is rich in nutrients that are beneficial for skin health, including vitamin D, calcium, and zinc. Vitamin D is essential for healthy skin, and many people with psoriasis have low levels of this vitamin. Calcium is important for skin cell growth and renewal, while zinc helps to reduce inflammation and support skin health.
- Supports Weight Management: Obesity is a risk factor for psoriasis, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce symptoms. Yogurt is a low-calorie, high-protein food that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can help with weight management. Eating yogurt regularly as part of a healthy diet can help support weight loss or weight maintenance goals.
Other useful benefits:
- Evens Skin Tone: Psoriasis can leave behind white spots and an uneven skin tone. Lactic acid found in yogurt can help cleanse the skin by removing dead skin cells and dirt, while inhibiting the production of tyrosinase. This important enzyme contributes to the production of melanin, which helps balance skin tone and improve overall appearance.
- Moisturizes and Heals Dry Skin: Yogurt is a fantastic natural moisturizer, thanks to its abundance of B vitamins, including B2, B5, and B12. Vitamin B2 also has antioxidant properties, which can prevent dryness caused by free radicals. This is especially beneficial for psoriasis patients, who often suffer from dry, itchy skin.
- Prevents Hair Fall and Boosts Hair Growth: Yogurt contains nutrients and proteins that can nourish and strengthen hair, helping to prevent hair fall and promote new hair growth. This is especially important as bad nutrition, pollution, and chemicals can damage hair.
- Blocks UV Rays Damage: Yogurt’s anti-inflammatory properties and zinc composition make it effective at protecting against sun damage. It also promotes skin cell growth, helping to prevent wrinkles and fine lines.
- Treats Scalp Psoriasis Flakes: Yogurt’s anti-inflammatory effects make it a great treatment for scalp psoriasis. It can soothe irritated areas, reduce inflammation, and ease itching. This can help prevent further flaking and reduce the risk of infection.
- Treats Skin Infections: Yogurt’s natural anti-fungal and antibacterial agents can help control and prevent skin infections. This is especially important for psoriasis patients, as inflammation can escalate psoriasis severity and make it difficult to manage.
- Acts as a Conditioner: Yogurt’s antioxidant properties can fight against free radicals in the skin, while the rich nutrients in yogurt can nourish the scalp and hair roots. This can result in smoother, shinier hair.
In addition to these benefits, yogurt can also be applied directly to specific areas to treat issues such as cracked heels, hands, elbows, and face. For psoriasis patients, using yogurt as a natural treatment can be a great alternative to synthetic treatments that can be harsh on the body.
Best Type of Yogurt for Psoriasis
- Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a good choice for people with psoriasis as it contains more protein and less sugar compared to regular yogurt. The high protein content can help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer, while the low sugar content can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. Greek yogurt is also a good source of calcium, which is important for skin health.
- Non-Dairy Options: For people who are lactose intolerant, dairy-free yogurt options like soy or almond milk yogurt can be a good alternative. Look for varieties that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D to ensure that you are still getting these important nutrients that support skin health.
- Avoiding Yogurt with Added Sugars: Added sugars can contribute to inflammation in the body and worsen psoriasis symptoms. When choosing yogurt, look for options with no added sugars or ones that are sweetened with natural sweeteners like honey or fruit.
- Organic and Grass-Fed Options: Choosing organic and grass-fed yogurt options can be beneficial for people with psoriasis. Organic yogurt is free from pesticides and antibiotics that can disrupt gut microbiota, while grass-fed yogurt contains more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation.
- Homemade Yogurt: Making your own yogurt at home can be a great way to ensure that you are consuming a high-quality, nutrient-dense product. Homemade yogurt is often less processed and contains fewer additives and preservatives than store-bought options.
Overall, the best type of yogurt for psoriasis is one that is high in protein, low in sugar, and free from additives and preservatives. Choosing organic and grass-fed options or making your own yogurt at home can also provide additional benefits.
Delicious Ways to Incorporate Yogurt into Your Diet
- Smoothies: Yogurt can be a great addition to smoothies, as it adds creaminess and protein. You can mix yogurt with fruits like berries, bananas, and mangoes, and add leafy greens like spinach for a healthy and filling snack or breakfast option.
- Parfaits: Layering yogurt with granola, nuts, and fresh fruit can make a delicious and healthy parfait. This is a great option for a healthy breakfast or snack that is high in protein and fiber.
- Yogurt Bowls: Yogurt bowls are a popular breakfast option that is both healthy and delicious. You can top your yogurt with a variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds, and even add some honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
- Salad Dressings: Yogurt can be used as a healthy alternative to mayonnaise or sour cream in salad dressings. Mixing yogurt with herbs and spices can create a flavorful and healthy dressing that is high in protein and low in fat.
- Marinades and Dips: Yogurt can be used as a base for marinades and dips for meats and vegetables. Adding herbs and spices can make a delicious dip that is high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy alternative to traditional dips.
Overall, there are many delicious and creative ways to incorporate yogurt into your diet. Whether you are making smoothies, parfaits, yogurt bowls, salad dressings, or marinades, yogurt is a versatile and healthy ingredient that can improve the taste and nutrition of your meals.