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Ask the Dietitian: Anti-Inflammatory Soups for Psoriatic Arthritis

Living Well

November 29, 2023

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Photography by Harald Walker/Stocksy United

Photography by Harald Walker/Stocksy United

by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

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Medically Reviewed by:

Imashi Fernando, MS, RDN, CDCES

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•••••

by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

•••••

Medically Reviewed by:

Imashi Fernando, MS, RDN, CDCES

•••••

•••••

Eating more soup is a convenient way to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory ingredients that may benefit psoriatic arthritis.

Dear Jillian,

Can you recommend some healthy soup recipes with ingredients that are PsA-friendly?

— Bezzy PsA member

When you’re living with an inflammatory condition such as psoriatic arthritis (PsA), your diet can make a big difference in your overall health and the way you feel.

A diet high in inflammatory foods, such as fast food, fried foods, and those high in added sugar, can worsen arthritis symptoms and increase your risk of developing other health conditions. But choosing foods rich in protective plants compounds and health-promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber can positively affect PsA symptoms and contribute to better overall health.

Eating more soup is a convenient way to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory ingredients such as vegetables, beans, and spices. Plus, soups are comforting, easy to prepare, and modifiable to suit most any dietary need or taste preference.

Here are 4 anti-inflammatory soup recipes that are good options for people living with PsA.

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Sweet Potato and Turmeric Soup

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and coumarins, all of which can benefit the health of people with PsA.

Combining sweet potato in a soup with other anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as carrots, turmeric, ginger, and garlic, is a delicious way to increase your consumption of nutrients like fiber and vitamin C.

It can also help boost your intake of beneficial compounds that may help lower your levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, which are often elevated in people with PsA.

What’s more, some research, including a 2020 case report, suggests that supplementing with turmeric may help improve PsA-related symptoms such as joint swelling and stiffness.

This creamy, dairy-free Sweet Potato and Turmeric Soup is easy to make and is loaded with good-for-you anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium-to-large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock or chicken bone broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is semi-translucent.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, carrot, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Add the stock and let the ingredients come to a boil.
  3. Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked through.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. Once the soup is semi-cooled, transfer it into a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Transfer the blended soup back into the original pot, add the coconut milk and turmeric, and stir over medium heat until combined. Enjoy!
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Gingery Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Ginger has a warm, spicy flavor that makes it the perfect addition to savory recipes such as soups. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or craving a nutrient-dense meal or snack, this Gingery Chicken and Vegetable Soup is sure to hit the spot.

This recipe is packed with ginger, garlic, and anti-inflammatory vegetables, making it a great choice for people with PsA.

Ginger contains a variety of protective plant compounds, including gingerols, shogaols, and paradols, and has been linked to impressive anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies suggest that diets high in ginger may help reduce inflammatory markers and symptoms in people with inflammatory conditions, including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

This soup is high in fiber, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, and many other nutrients that may benefit people with PsA.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried chopped rosemary
  • 8 cups chicken bone broth or chicken stock
  • 1 pound skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces brown rice noodles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is semi-translucent. Add the sweet potato, celery, and carrot. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, and rosemary. Let the mixture cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the broth, chicken breast, salt, and pepper and bring soup to a boil.
  4. Add the rice noodles (if using), reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer, partially covered, for 30–45 minutes.
  5. Add more seasoning if needed and enjoy!

Butternut Squash and Saffron Soup

Butternut squash is a concentrated source of nutrients that may be helpful for people with inflammatory conditions such as PsA.

For example, butternut squash is rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, all of which act as potent antioxidants in your body, protecting cells against damage caused by oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress occurs when the production and buildup of unstable compounds called reactive oxygen species overwhelm your body’s antioxidant defenses. This imbalance can lead to cellular damage.

Oxidative stress plays a significant role in inflammatory diseases, so eating more foods that help protect cells from oxidative damage is essential for people with PsA.

This comforting butternut squash-based soup also contains saffron, a spice that provides anti-inflammatory compounds such as crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin, and safranal.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is semi-translucent. Add the butternut squash and cauliflower and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and saffron. Let the mixture cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for around 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly before transferring it to a high speed blender. Blend the soup until creamy and enjoy!
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Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

If you’re looking for a filling, nutrient-dense soup, try out this Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup.

Cannellini beans are packed with fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy gut.

Additionally, studies show that increasing your fiber intake can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which is critical when you’re living with an inflammatory condition such as PsA.

This soup is also loaded with fiber and antioxidant-packed vegetables, including kale, artichoke hearts, onions, and carrots, all of which can help you meet your daily nutrient needs and may help reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative damage.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow potato, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 small head curly or lacinato kale, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is semi-translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and potato and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, rosemary, sage, and red pepper flakes and let cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and pepper.
  3. Slowly pour in the broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any baked-on bits, and bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Add the beans and artichokes, then let simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat for 20–25 minutes.
  5. Optional: Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer half of the soup into a blender and pulse until smooth. Return the blended soup to the original pot with the unblended soup. This will help give the soup a creamy texture.
  6. Add the kale and cook over low heat until the kale is soft.
  7. Add additional seasoning if needed and enjoy!

Takeaway

Eating more soup is one of the best ways to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory ingredients that may help improve your overall health and quality of life when living with PsA.

Choosing more nutrient-dense foods that are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, garlic, ginger, and kale, may help decrease inflammation in your body, which could benefit your PsA symptoms.

You can try incorporating the PsA-friendly soups listed above into your diet for a delicious way to care for your health from the inside out.

Medically reviewed on November 29, 2023

9 Sources


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About the author

Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Jillian Kubala is a registered dietitian based in Westhampton, NY. Jillian holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. She runs a private practice based on the east end of Long Island, NY, where she helps her clients achieve optimal wellness through nutrition and lifestyle changes.

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