I am a 29 year old male who has long toyed with the idea of vegetarianism. In fact, for much of my adult life, I have bounced back repeatedly between vegetarian and carnivorous diets.
On the one hand, vegetarianism is something which benefits me in a multitude of ways – whilst also leaving me with the feel-good factor of understanding that I am not actively contributing towards the decimation of wildlife, ecosystems and the factory farming culture. Factory farming remains a huge problem not just for the animals endlessly raised for slaughter, but for the consumer, too. One of our older articles explores this in more depth than we will here.
On the other hand, I also live with psoriasis and I have found that a meat-free diet benefits my skin enormously. Though I have toyed with carnivorous diets over the past decade, I have long since cut out red meats, as they wreak havoc upon my autoimmune system and leave my skin resembling something more akin to a walking snowman than an actual human being.
Embraced A Vegetarian Diet: A Journey to India’s Vegetarian-Friendly Culture and Psoriasis Relief
India and Vegetarianism
I recently moved from a very wet and windy Wales to the vast sunlight of India to be with my long-term fiance and soulmate (who is now my wife). Here, I have very quickly learned that India is a haven for vegetarians and, perhaps more so, a haven for psoriasis sufferers. Whereas the jury is still out on whether a vegetarian diet truly benefits someone with psoriasis (numbers suggest that it works with varying degrees of success for different groups), one thing universally accepted among psoriasis sufferers is that sunlight benefits us enormously. If India is known for its vegetarian foods, it is even more known for its heat and sunlight.
India’s rich religious and cultural traditions have long celebrated vegetarianism as a fundamental aspect of daily life. Rooted in the country’s diverse belief systems, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, the reverence for vegetarian foods is deeply ingrained. Hindus, in particular, consider non-violence (ahimsa) a core principle and extend this philosophy to their dietary choices, eschewing meat in favor of plant-based nourishment.
The diverse regional cuisines of India reflect this commitment to vegetarianism, with a dazzling array of dishes that embrace vegetables, legumes, grains, and spices. In temples across the nation, vegetarian offerings are an integral part of religious rituals and communal feasts, symbolizing purity and spiritual devotion. The tradition of vegetarianism in India not only exemplifies a harmonious relationship between culture, spirituality, and culinary artistry but also continues to inspire and welcome individuals from all walks of life to explore the rich tapestry of flavors that this country has to offer.
Psoriasis Before and After Moving to India
Make no mistake: sunlight and vegetarianism are not a cure for psoriasis. There is no known cure and there likely never will be. Technically speaking, there is also no known universal treatment – certain ointments might work for one person, but not for another. Similarly so for some of the oral treatments available. Psoriasis sufferers often have to figure out a method which works for them. For me, sunlight and vegetarianism works best. Before moving to India, I had spent a month back in Wales after three months in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, I was receiving much more sunlight and my skin was improving as a result. However, very quickly after returning to the wet of my beloved Wales, my skin very quickly began deteriorating and I became quite frustrated, as a result.
Within a week of moving to India, my skin has cleared up by a whopping 70% (my math) and I feel much better as a result. The results have been so much more drastic since moving here than my three months in New Hampshire (where I was regularly consuming meat and dairy) that I can only conclude that the vegetarian diet has supplemented the sunlight in paving the way for my skin improvement. I feel healthier, brighter and with more energy than before simply because of the change in diet and the increase in vitamin D.
So, Why Vegetarian?
How did I come to learn that vegetarianism greatly benefits my psoriasis? Well, firstly, I like to experiment on myself. It is that simple. Over the years, I have experimented with many different fads and diets in an effort to figure out what works best for me. What I learned in this time is that vegetarianism – and more particularly veganism – has benefited me most. Whilst veganism is likely the best diet for me, I have been unable to commit to it – simply finding it far too difficult to maintain. In turn, vegetarianism is a good middle ground with proven results.
Additionally, I have since come to learn that vegetarianism is widely regarded as a great diet for psoriasis. It doesn’t just work for me; it works for many psoriasis sufferers who concede a life of bacon for a life of clearer, healthier looking skin. For me, that is a worthwhile sacrifice to make (I never liked bacon anyway). Now that I live in India and have easy access to an amazing, vegetarian Indian cuisine, I never need look back – I am well-fed and happier for it.
Featured Image Credits: StyleCraze