Which of the nuts and seeds can trigger psoriasis flareups and how to reduce the harm?
Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense and rich in unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality vegetable protein, fibre, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. Epidemiologic studies have associated nut consumption with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and gallstones. However, be aware of the below, because they can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
Both Sunflower seeds and peanuts are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and highly beneficial to human health. However, roasted, salted or sugar-coated, they may not have the same benefits as unroasted seeds. Roasting nuts and seeds may damage their healthy fat, reduce their nutrient content and lead to the formation of a harmful substance called acrylamide which may worsen inflammatory conditions.
Another disadvantage is that both may contain toxin harmful to liver. A team of scientists documented the frequent instances of a toxin called aflatoxin, produced by Aspergillus moulds, found in sunflower seeds and their products. Aspergillus moulds commonly infect corn, peanuts, pistachios and almonds. Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which commonly infect food crops such as maize, peanuts, and tree nuts. They cause liver cancer and aflatoxicosis in humans and animals.
- Also, both contain anti-nutrients:
- Sunflower seeds: Phytic acid, Alpha-amylase inhibitor, and Cyanide.
- Peanuts: Phytic acid, Saponins, Cyanide, Tannins, Trypsin inhibitor and Oxalates.
These anti-nutrients can cause nutritional deficiencies when consumed in high quantities and over time, lead to inflammation in the digestive tract, and in the case of psoriasis where digestive tract inflammation is common, these anti-nutrients can worsen inflammation and aggravate psoriasis flares.
Should you avoid peanuts and sunflower seeds if you have psoriasis?
Be aware and observe your reaction. Avoid during flare-ups, and if you consume them, consume in moderation, unroasted and unseasoned. This apply to other nuts and seeds too. Roasting and seasoning them does not add any nutritional value but takes away.
 Nematollahi, A., Kamankesh, M., Hosseini, H. et al. Investigation and determination of acrylamide in 24 types of roasted nuts and seeds using microextraction method coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry: central composite design. Food Measure 14, 1249–1260 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11694-020-00373-9
 Mmongoyo JA, Wu F, Linz JE, Nair MG, Mugula JK, Tempelman RJ, et al. (2017) Aflatoxin levels in sunflower seeds and cakes collected from micro- and small-scale sunflower oil processors in Tanzania. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0175801. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175801
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