Diet can have a profound impact on autoimmunity and inflammation. That is because food impacts the immune system in a variety of ways, including:
- Influencing the balance of species in the microbiome
- Damaging or preserving the gut barrier
- Altering inflammation through the omega-3/6 balance
- Directly activating the immune system by way of allergies or hypersensitivities.
To begin addressing these factors, the most important overarching strategy is to lean toward a Mediterranean diet, emphasizing fish, olive oil, and non-starchy vegetables.
This dietary pattern has a proven ability to lower inflammation in those with psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions. The Mediterranean diet is powerful tool because it is rich in monounsaturated and omega-3 fats that help to calm inflammation. Adding more non-starchy vegetables also helps to feed the beneficial microbes that help to regulate our immune system.
The next key element in using diet to control psoriasis and arthritis is to reduce consumption of starch and sugars that disrupt the gut barrier and microbiome. For details, see: The low starch diet for AS and other autoimmune conditions