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lupus

Lupus Treatment Diet: Eating for Symptom Relief

Lifestyle choices, like the food that we consume, can play a tremendous role in supporting your immune system, especially if you have lupus. Focusing on whole foods is a great start to developing a lupus treatment diet. Whole foods keep inflammation down, prevent nutrient deficiencies, and keep your energy up.

Here are a certified health coach’s diet tips for managing your lupus flares:

Focus on Immune Boosting Foods

It's a cliche for a reason, eat the rainbow. When you're looking for a diet for lupus, it is important to ensure you are incorporating an array of colorful whole foods in your diet, like fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on vegetables.

Incorporating several servings of antioxidant-rich, colorful vegetables a day is a great way to ensure you are getting a diversity of vitamins and minerals to support your immune system.

Try adding in more foods that are high in anti-inflammatory, energy boosting and have omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish, wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, and seeds like flax, pumpkin, and hemp.

Kick off your day with high protein breakfast to fight fatigue and food cravings too. Protein is an important macronutrient that helps to regulate metabolism and prevents the breakdown of muscles.

Even those on a low to moderate protein diet must eat adequate quality protein sources to maintain kidney health. When buying meat or fish aim for grass fed, organic, pasture raised, and wild versus farmed when possible.

Plant-based sources of proteins like lentils, chickpeas, beans, organic soy, mushroom meat, nuts and seeds are also quality sources.

Avoid inflammatory foods that are processed, high in sugar, artificial sweeteners and known food allergens while your body is healing. We also suggest buying organic to limit your chemical exposure; check out the Environmental Working Group for lists of foods that contain the least pesticides and those that are best to buy organic.

Lupus Diet

Support Digestive Health

In addition to consuming foods that will support your body’s ability to lower inflammation, optimizing your digestive system is an ideal way to build a stronger immune system. 

5 Ways to Support your Digestive Health

  1. Incorporate foods high in probiotics, like apple cider vinegar, fermented vegetables, kefir, and kimchi. 
  2. Consume a diverse amount of plant foods, like onions, asparagus, seeds, lentils, and apples, to maintain adequate fiber in your diet.
  3. Practice gentle daily movement, like walking or yoga.
  4. Ensure you are getting enough restorative sleep and avoid eating your last meal too close to bedtime.
  5. Avoid known food triggers that can make you more susceptible to digestive imbalances.

Avoiding Gluten or Nightshades

If you experience arthritis, some people may feel better when avoiding a specific group of foods known as nightshade vegetables; foods in this category include tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers. 

People with celiac disease must avoid gluten altogether. For others with autoimmune conditions, such as lupus, gluten may still trigger autoimmune disease symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, constipation, neuropathy, and brain fog. A review of literature found that over fifty percent of individuals with autoimmune disease experienced a reduction in their symptoms by following a gluten free diet.

Working with a Mymee Health Coach can help you learn whether these or other aspects of your diet and lifestyle are triggering your symptoms. 

Lupus Treatment Diet

Stay Hydrated

When your body is fighting inflammation and working hard to repair itself, maintaining hydration is critical. Symptoms of joint pain, constipation, headaches, and fatigue just might be connected to your overall hydration level. If you struggle with kidney issues, maintaining adequate water and electrolyte balance is essential. Some great ways to ensure you remain hydrated include:

  • Add a squeeze of lemon or other fruit to your water for electrolyte and detox support. We suggest consuming half your weight in ounces per day as a good measure.
  • Incorporate herbal teas – we love lemon balm, ginger, and holy basil
  • Limit intake of high sodium foods, specifically those that are packaged, fast foods, cured and processed.
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol consumption. Besides being dehydrating, they can also interfere with sleep and trigger inflammation. 

Address Nutrient Deficiencies

In addition to a low nutrient diet, common medications used to treat lupus as well as stress can trigger common nutrient deficiencies. Deficiencies we frequently see in our clients with lupus include iron, b-12, magnesium and vitamin D; low levels of these nutrients can trigger your symptoms to persist, like fatigue. 

Maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D when you have lupus is important for minimizing disease activity and keeping you healthy. If sunlight exposure is a trigger for your lupus symptoms, then you may be at a greater risk for a vitamin D deficiency. 

In some cases it may be appropriate to supplement under your practitioner's supervision. For best results, work with a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor to identify what kinds of supplements and at what doses might be most appropriate for your body.

With the Mymee Core Program you will get free supplements included under the guidance of a naturopathic practitioner with your plan to help you start to feel like yourself as soon as possible.

 

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