Foods For Autoimmune Disease

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Autoimmune diseases include over 80 different health conditions affecting an estimated 23.5 million people in the US. If you or a loved one are facing this diagnosis, you know just how frustrating and debilitating the symptoms can be.

The most common types of autoimmune disease are:

  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Lupus
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type I diabetes

While scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes them, we do know that our genetics and environment are both factors in the development of these conditions — making lifestyle changes, like incorporating specific foods in your diet, a powerful part of your treatment plan.

Foods for Calming Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Inflammation is natural part of your body’s immune response, and an unhealthy digestive tract can often be the culprit. When the cells that line your digestive tract become loose, undigested food and bacteria can leak out into your bloodstream, irritating your body and triggering painful inflammation.

Eating anti-inflammatory foods that nourish your gut is one of the best ways to calm symptoms of autoimmune disease, support healthy immune function and heal your body.

Leafy Greens

Caffeine and stress deplete magnesium, so incorporating food sources that add these nutrients back into your diet is increasingly more important in our fast-paced world. Try adding a salad to lunch or dinner, scrambling your next batch of eggs with spinach or tossing some arugula in with whole-grain pasta. These dark leafy greens are high in nutrients and antioxidants that protect healthy cells from damage and reduce inflammation. They’re also a good source of magnesium, an essential mineral required to support healthy immune function.

Turmeric

Studies show that curcumin is beneficial in the treatment of several autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis. This compound, which is most easily found in the root-based spice turmeric, is commonly used in Indian and Asian cooking. Since turmeric is best absorbed by your body when combined with a source of healthy fat and black pepper, try adding black pepper and turmeric to scrambled eggs, stir-fry dishes and soups.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Cauliflower and other sulfur-containing vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale protect your body against cellular damage. Try adding these foods to your diet by roasting cauliflower and broccoli in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, adding cabbage to vegetable soup or shaving Brussels sprouts to use as coleslaw.

Salmon

Making foods that are high in omega 3s and protein — such as salmon, walnuts, chia and hemp seeds — a regular part of your diet can help relieve painful symptoms. Shop for wild salmon to top your salad and add chia and hemp seeds to smoothies.

Berries

When it comes to foods that can help you manage your autoimmune disease, all berries make the list. Adding blueberries to oatmeal or topping your next spinach salad with strawberries will provide your body with important prebiotic fiber and act as an antioxidant.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut and other fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, yogurt and kefir are good sources of healthy bacteria. These probiotics can fight off bad bacteria and help synthesize some nutrients. Liven up a simple sandwich with sauerkraut, pair your lunch with a small glass of kombucha or layer berries and yogurt for a breakfast parfait.

Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy You

Whether you’re just starting to improve your lifestyle or are looking to boost an already healthy daily routine, choosing foods that can help your body heal — and control your autoimmune disease symptoms — is a great step toward achieving whole health. Find the support you need, no matter where you are on your health journey, from our compassionate team.

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