Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting about 2% of the population. Though it is not hereditary, a genetic predisposition is present which, when combined with environmental factors such as stress, infections or an unhealthy diet, might lead to the development of the disease. 

A correct diet will have a major effect on the development and progression of the disease as it must be part of the treatment.

However, there is no specific and special diet for psoriasis. Nevertheless, it is known that a diet based on the Mediterranean diet, paying attention to certain nutrients and a healthy lifestyle may help to keep the skin in better condition so that the disease is controlled better.

Low calorie diets have been reported to improve symptoms and may help in the prevention and treatment of a variety of moderate forms of psoriasis.

In order to follow a correct treatment guideline, the diet should tend to be more plant-based, but with plenty of sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as: oily fish like tuna or salmon, nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil.

A daily intake of three pieces of fruit and two pieces of vegetables guarantees an adequate intake of protective antioxidant substances.

The vitamins A; found in fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums, and vitamin C; found in stone fruits and table grapes, may also help to improve symptoms because they are essential in collagen synthesis as well as in maintaining and repairing skin cells.

Stone fruits and grapes are also a source of selenium, an essential trace element that helps to build antioxidants responsible for preventing cell damage.

A healthy lifestyle, avoiding toxic habits such as smoking and alcohol, is also good for psoriasis. Specifically, alcohol stimulates the release of histamine, which promotes inflammation and increases the severity in skin lesions. In addition, alcohol consumption has been linked to high intakes of saturated fats combined with low intakes of fruit and vegetables.

Regular physical exercise is highly advisable; walking, running, cycling, swimming (avoid chlorinated swimming pools) and relaxing activities such as yoga or stretching help to increase well-being and thus benefit people suffering from psoriasis.

To sum up, the Mediterranean diet based on: virgin olive oil, whole grains, legumes, fish, nuts, fruit, vegetables and a balanced intake of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids can improve markers of vascular inflammation and also allow the skin to be in a better condition, according to individual possibilities based on the form of psoriasis that each person suffers from.