Kim Kardashian says her vegan diet helps with psoriasis. We asked an RDN to weigh in.


Kim Kardashian recently revealed that following a mostly plant-based diet has helped her manage her psoriasis symptoms.

In the past, the reality TV star and business mogul has been open about her struggles with psoriasis on social media and on Keeping up with the Kardashianss. In a post on her sister Kourtney’s lifestyle blog, Poothe 41-year-old shared that her mostly vegan diet, especially vegan tacos, has kept her psoriasis flare-ups at bay.

Kardashian added that she does her best to stick to her plant-based diet, except on “treat” days or when she’s at a restaurant that can’t accommodate her. She notably cooked meat in the first season, episode one of Paris Hilton’s 2021 cooking show, Cooking with Paris.


Can a vegan diet help with psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a lifelong autoimmune disease that causes red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin and currently there is no cure. Celebrities make health claims all the time, we should watch their claims with some care. So, is there any evidence to back up Kardashian’s claim?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it can be managed with a proper treatment plan, which may include avoiding certain foods. We also asked Amy Lawson, RDN, LDN and Founder of Thrive Nutritionfor more information.

“Certain foods can help relieve the inflammation associated with psoriasis. The foods that have the greatest impact on skin health are those with anti-inflammatory properties, all of which come from plants,” Lawson told VegNews However, not all plant-based foods are on the table.Simple sugars and simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, can trigger a flare-up.

Psoriasis can also be triggered by several factors and it is important to learn how to manage them. According to National Psoriasis Foundationthe most common triggers are stress, weather (especially when it’s cold or dry), skin damage (sunburn, insect bites, scratches), illness, allergies, smoking, and certain foods.

In a 2017 study published that looked at the effects of diets on psoriasis, the most commonly eliminated foods included meat, dairy, gluten, and sugar. Patients who eliminated these foods and those who followed the Pagano, vegan, and Paleolithic diets reported improved skin condition.

A systematic review of 55 studies and 4,534 patients published in JAMA Dermatology concluded that adults with psoriasis may benefit from dietary interventions in addition to their standard treatments.

In short, avoiding foods that trigger psoriasis and incorporating foods that can help relieve symptoms can complement a regular treatment plan. You should always consult your doctor or specialist when developing a treatment plan and before making any major changes to your diet.


Foods to avoid if you have psoriasis

The foods below have been reported to trigger flare-ups, but it should be noted that they may not negatively affect everyone with psoriasis.

“Studies have shown that certain foods can promote the inflammatory response in the body and worsen skin disorders, such as psoriasis. Foods that promote inflammation include saturated fats such as those in red meat. Of course, if you’re on a plant-based diet, red meat isn’t an issue,” Lawson says.

Red meat, dairy products and eggs

Avoiding red meat, dairy products and eggs could help reduce the severity of psoriasis lesions.

Red meat contains a polyunsaturated fatty acid called arachidonic acid, which is known to aggravate psoriasis. Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, also contain arachidonic acid. To research suggests that the arachidonic acid found in dairy products can even irritate the intestinal lining, leading to more severe flare-ups.

Eggs also contain arachidonic acid, so reducing or eliminating these three can lead to overall improvements.


Like celiac disease, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. People with psoriasis have a higher risk of gluten sensitivity. So if you have both, you might benefit from cutting out gluten-containing foods altogether, including wheat, barley, rye, pasta, and beer.

See our guide to a gluten-free vegan diet for more details on what you can and can’t eat.


Nightshades are a plant family that includes tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, white potatoes, and pepper-derived spices like paprika and cayenne pepper.

Some people believe that an alkaloid called solanine, which all nightshades contain, can trigger inflammation. However, there is little evidence to suggest this. Conversely, to research shows that solanine can actually reduce inflammation, but more evidence is needed to draw a conclusion.

Many people with psoriasis have reported having a reaction to nightshades. So what’s the verdict? Breakouts can be caused by a food intolerance or allergy.

Ultra-processed foods

The term “ultra-processed foods” covers a wide range of foods high in salt, fat, and sugar. These include:

  • Baked goods, such as cookies, croissants and cakes.
  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Meals and prepared foods, such as ready meals, canned soups
  • Processed meats, including bacon and sausages
  • So-called “white flour”/refined carbohydrate foods, such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice
  • A soda


It may be wise to avoid beer, wine, spirits and cocktails if you have psoriasis. Few studies have investigated the link, but alcohol is thought to trigger flare-ups in several ways. Psoriasis involves inflammation and alcohol makes it worse. One theory is that it affects neurotransmitters in your brain, which then causes inflammation. But, more research is needed to understand the role of alcohol in psoriasis flares.


Foods to eat if you have psoriasis

While psoriasis is marked by inflammation, a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help improve your symptoms.

“In general, replacing processed foods, simple carbohydrates, and simple sugars with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes will help maintain healthy skin and reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis,” Lawson says. .

Fruits and vegetables

Produce is often high in antioxidants, which help fight oxidative stress and inflammation. Many anti-inflammatory diets are very fruit and veg-based, but some of the best you can eat include:

  • Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, which contain antioxidants called anthocyanins
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
  • Dark fruits like tart cherries and grapes. The latter contains resveratrol, a polyphenol known to fight inflammation.
  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens

Broccoli, peppers, and fruit are also high in vitamin C, which can benefit the skin, Lawson says. “It helps in collagen formation, it’s an antioxidant, and it’s important in wound healing,” she says.

Healthy oils and fats

Oily fish is one of the most recommended foods in a psoriasis-friendly diet. But, as part of a vegan diet, you should embrace heart-healthy oils and fats. Those with a high ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, including extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil.

The fat from avocados is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. These oils, including avocados, are known to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol — the bad kind — and increase high-density lipoprotein. Research shows that nuts, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, also help reduce inflammation.

Lawson adds that many of them are rich in vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and spinach. “Vitamin E has important antioxidant properties and is found in our sebum, or our skin oil, which creates the skin’s natural barrier,” Lawson says.

Lentils and beans

Vegetable proteins such as lentils are rich in alimentary fiber, protein, and antioxidants, so they’re frequently recommended for anyone looking to add more anti-inflammatory foods to their plate. Minimally processed soy foods like tofu and tempeh are also good. Soy is rich in plant compounds called isoflavones, which are known to fight inflammation.


Gluten-free whole grains such as oats, brown rice, teff, and sorghum are loaded with anti-inflammatory dietary fiber. As a bonus, grains are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

With psoriasis, it’s important to understand your triggers and that what sends a person into a flare-up may be harmless to you. Health experts and groups like the National Psoriasis Foundation recommend limiting highly processed foods, meat, eggs, and dairy while adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.

To learn more about vegan nutrition, read:
Vegetable or animal protein: which is better?
6 easy ways to relieve bloating on a vegan diet
Vegan probiotics for a healthy gut

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