Some diets and dietary choices can help manage symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). However, there is not one specific diet for PsA.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic condition. There is currently no cure, but treatment can help manage symptoms.

People with PsA experience swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints, as well as fatigue and other symptoms. Many people with PsA also have skin involvement, which is the hallmark symptom of psoriasis.

No specific diet will cause or treat psoriasis or PsA, but some dietary tips may help manage the symptoms.

This article details which diets and foods may benefit a person with PsA and which foods may be best to avoid.

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Doctors do not prescribe a specific diet for psoriatic arthritis, but diets that focus on specific ingredients may have benefits.

A Mediterranean diet, for instance, focuses on fresh, plant-based foods and fewer servings of meat than a typical western diet. It does not contain a lot of processed foods or added sugars and fats, and research suggests it may benefit a person with psoriatic arthritis.

Some health conditions may also be more likely among people with psoriatic arthritis, such as celiac disease, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Choosing a diet that addresses these issues can help manage symptoms and support overall health.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of inflammation.

Read on to learn about some diets that may help people with psoriatic arthritis.

Gut-friendly diet

The balance of bacteria in the gut can affect a person’s overall health, including their immune system, metabolism, and weight. Some scientists suggest that changes in gut bacteria may increase the risk of PsA.

A study from 2015 compared the gut bacteria of healthy people with those of people with PsA. The researchers found that people with psoriasis and PsA had less diverse gut bacteria than healthy people. They also had lower levels of several healthy bacteria types.

Some foods and supplements that may boost the health of gut bacteria include:

  • Fermented foods: Kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, and miso contain beneficial bacteria.
  • Probiotics: Different types have different functions. A person should ask a doctor or dietitian to recommend an appropriate option.
  • Fiber: This can also benefit gut health and gut microbiota, according to one 2018 study.

Learn more about gut bacteria and psoriasis here.

Gluten-free diet

Some research suggests that people with psoriatic disease may be more likely to have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. The bodies of people with these conditions cannot tolerate gluten.

If tests find that a person has a gluten sensitivity, they will likely benefit from following a gluten-free diet. However, people should always speak with a doctor before adopting a gluten-free diet as it may not suit everyone.

A gluten-free diet needs careful planning because it can increase the risk of some nutritional deficiencies.

What is the link between gluten and psoriasis? Find out here.

Weight loss diet

Obesity can have an impact on the onset and severity of psoriasis. Specifically, carrying excess weight can put additional strain on joints. It also involves inflammation and may make psoriasis worse.

Maintaining a moderate weight can help people avoid obesity and other comorbidities that have an association with psoriatic diseases, such as high blood pressure, high lipid levels, and heart disease.

Following a calorie-controlled diet may help. A nonrestrictive diet that focuses mainly on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may also help a person manage their weight.

Heart-healthy diet

People with psoriatic arthritis appear to have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) give the following tips for heart-healthy eating. A person should:

  • opt for foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, and added salt and sugar
  • eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • avoid highly processed foods
  • limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks per day for males and 1 per day for females

What foods can I eat on a heart-healthy diet?

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet encourages a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish.

According to some research, people with rheumatoid arthritis who follow a Mediterranean diet may see improvements in disease activity and physical function. One reason may be that the diet contains foods that are high in antioxidants, which could also benefit people with PsA.

Not all studies have confirmed a benefit for people with arthritis, but any diet that contains plenty of fresh, plant-based ingredients is likely to have overall health benefits.

High-fiber diet

A 2022 research article notes that dietary fiber may help people with psoriasis, which is a psoriatic disease with strong links to psoriatic arthritis. It can:

  • reduce oxidative stress
  • promote healthy gut flora
  • contribute to weight management

For a high-fiber diet, a person should:

  • opt for wholegrain cereals
  • choose brown rice over white
  • focus on fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables
  • avoid added sugars, including honey and sweetened drinks
  • avoid white bread, baked goods, and other items that contain highly processed carbohydrates

Which foods can I eat on a high-fiber diet?

Other diets

Other options, including paleo and ketogenic diets, may help a person manage PsA.

Although these diets are currently popular and may provide health benefits, clinical studies have not yet proven their efficacy in specifically benefiting people with PsA.

A person who wishes to try either diet should consult a doctor first.

Learn about the differences between paleo and keto diets here.

The sections below look at these options in more detail.

Paleo diet

The paleo diet consists of foods that presumably early humans ate. It typically prioritizes minimally processed meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

A 2016 review suggests that the paleo diet may help people with weight management and metabolic issues.

Keto diet

The keto diet is typically low in carbohydrates and high in fats.

A 2021 study of 30 people with psoriasis found that a very low-calorie ketogenic diet significantly lowered certain markers of inflammation after 4 weeks. However, doctors need more research before they can recommend the keto diet for people with psoriatic arthritis.

The keto diet may help people reach and maintain a moderate weight. This can have a positive effect on the symptoms of PsA.

The foods and dietary habits that may benefit people with PsA are similar to those that reduce the risk of metabolic conditions.

Chronic inflammation appears to play a role in various types of arthritis and several metabolic conditions and may worsen symptoms.

Consuming foods containing fiber and antioxidants may help reduce inflammation and associated symptoms.

The sections below look at some foods to eat with PsA in more detail.

Anti-inflammatory foods

Some anti-inflammatory foods that may help include:

Find some anti-inflammatory recipes to try here.

Fiber and antioxidants

The Arthritis Foundation encourages people with arthritis to eat fiber as it may reduce inflammation.

It also recommends following a diet that is high in antioxidants. These can help lower inflammation by removing free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of many bodily processes that can adversely affect health.

Some foods that provide fiber and antioxidants include:

What are antioxidant foods? Find out here.

Healthy fats

A person’s diet should also include healthy fats, such as:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • other vegetable oils

Fish such as salmon, trout, and herring contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit heart health.

A review from 2018 reports that fish oil may benefit people with psoriasis.

Vitamin D

Another 2018 review suggests that people with psoriatic disease have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency than other people. Vitamin D plays a role in maintaining skin health.

Although most vitamin D comes from sun exposure, dietary sources are also important.

Some good food sources of vitamin D include:

  • egg yolk
  • fortified dairy products, cereals, and orange juice
  • oily fish

Learn more about vitamins that may help with psoriasis here.


Ginger is high in antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant compounds present in ginger are gingerols, shogaols, and paradols.

A 2015 study suggests that ginger may help reduce the pain that results from osteoarthritis. However, it does not mention PsA specifically.


Curcumin is a chemical in turmeric and could be of benefit to people with PsA. One 2018 review lists curcumin as a natural remedy that may help people with psoriasis.

For more science-backed resources on nutrition, visit our dedicated hub.

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The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that people with psoriasis follow a heart-healthy diet, as outlined by the American Heart Association. This involves avoiding fatty meats, high-fat dairy, refined grains, and added sugars.

Also, processed foods may contain a highly processed type of fat known as a trans fat. This is not a healthy fat.

In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared trans fats “no longer recognized as safe.” Manufacturers in the United States can no longer add trans fats.

Learn more about the different types of fats here.

A 2018 review suggests that losing weight through diet and exercise may decrease overall inflammation and help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis and PsA. However, the authors call for more evidence to confirm this.

Foods that may contribute to weight gain include fried foods, refined grains, added sugars, and alcohol.

For this reason, people with PsA may wish to avoid:

  • foods and beverages with added sugar, including soda and candy
  • white bread, white rice, and other processed bread and cereal products
  • packaged cookies, cakes, and snack foods
  • processed meats, such as bacon, sausages, and hot dogs
  • fried foods
  • alcoholic beverages

Here are some questions people often ask about dietary choices for psoriatic arthritis.

Which anti-inflammatory foods are good for psoriatic arthritis?

Plant-based foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, provide antioxidants that can help manage inflammation. A person should choose a range of types and colors and avoid adding sugar, fat, and salt to the food.

Highly processed foods are less likely to provide antioxidants. People should always opt for fresh, unprocessed foods where possible.

Which intermittent fasting foods should I avoid with PsA?

A small 2019 study suggested that intermittent fasting might help reduce inflammation of the joints due to psoriatic arthritis. However, the researchers did not look at which types of foods are beneficial during this type of fasting.

Researchers need more investigations to find out if intermittent fasting is helpful for people with psoriatic arthritis. A person should check with a doctor before trying this approach.

Which diet is best for a person with psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory condition. Freshly prepared foods that are rich in antioxidants may help manage inflammation.

Doctors do not recommend a specific diet, but the Mediterranean diet — high in fresh, plant-based foods — can be a good source of antioxidants and a suitable option for people with psoriatic arthritis.

Other diets, such as a weight loss diet or a gluten-free diet, may help people if they have specific conditions that have links to psoriatic arthritis.

Healthcare professionals do not recommend a specific diet for PsA, but a person may benefit from a diet that:

  • boosts overall health
  • reduces inflammation
  • increases fiber intake
  • is heart-healthy
  • enables them to manage their weight
  • is low in added sugars
  • contributes to healthy gut bacteria

In general, a diet that emphasizes plant-based foods while limiting the intake of processed foods is likely to be beneficial.

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