Reversing Autoimmune Disease – Diet
For anyone with digestive disorders like Celiac, Crohns, and IBS, you know that finding the right foods to eat can be difficult. When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease I started eating on the Gaps diet. I thought it was a foolproof diet. I continued eating aged cheese, beans, and even small amounts of alcohol. Well, several years later I realized I never fully healed my gut. A recent check-up with my doctor indicated that my immune system was still under attack. I sat there scratching my head wondering what it could be! Well, it turns out that there is an even more in-depth diet catered especially for people with autoimmune diseases. Reversing autoimmune disease benefits include healthier digestion, improved skin, more energy and more comfort in social situations
The fact is, the Gaps diet isn’t exactly a simple diet. The inclusion of cheeses and allowances of alcohol make it a complex diet. This isn’t me saying that dairy and alcohol are bad, this is me saying that they are a complex facet of nutrition. And seeing we are interested in healing our guts, a better play may well be simplifying the diet. In the case of curing ailments via diet, less is often more. It allows you to more easily diagnose what might be of issue to you. It allows you to easily pinpoint allergens. It also gives your stomach and digestion a break from complexities in proteins and carbs, which might be fueling your stomach issues.
The autoimmune paleo diet consists of eating meat, vegetables, and fruit. The idea of the diet is to eat very basic food for about 3-12 months so your gut can fully heal. Then you slowly start introducing foods back in one at a time. Each new food you gauge your reaction good or bad. This diet has in many cases reversed autoimmune symptoms or lessened the attack.
So I decided to try this diet out because deep down I felt like it was what my body needed. Here is a list of food that is allowed on the autoimmune paleo diet.
All Natural Meat: Pork, Lamb, beef, bison, rabbit (these are excellent sources of proteins and good fats, so long as they come from grass-fed sources. In most cases, rabbit is going to come from a natural, free range source, as opposed to being raised in a pen, allowing the animal to collect unhealthy fats).
Poultry: Duck, chicken, turkey, and even geese (more of the same in terms of excellent sources of proteins)
Organ Meats: heart, liver, and even kidneys(organs are extremely nutritionally dense. Although many people feel uncomfortable with organ meats, these meats are loaded with magnesium, potassium and zinc, among many other things)
All Seafood: Salmon, tuna, catfish, trout etc. (seafood is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to be anti-inflammatory and help with weight management and cancer prevention)
Avoid: deli meat, cured meats (processed meats have been linked to high rates of cancer)
Eat: artichoke, asparagus, bok choy, butternut squash, carrots, cabbage, beets, lettuce, okra, mushrooms, onions, plantains, rasish, spinach, sweet potato, turnip, cucumbers, garlic, fennel, jicama, kale.
Don’t Eat: Nightshades such as tomatoes, potatoes, pimentos, bell peppers, and eggplant – legumes such as black beans, peanuts (yes, I know, they are beans not nuts), lentils, chickpeas.
Enjoy: grass fed meats such as geese and tallow and duck.
Unrefined Oils: Think avocado oil and coconut oil. You can also go with olive oil, but caution, by high quality.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs: bay leaf, sage, lemon balm, basil, rosemary, thyme, lavender.
Spices one should Avoid:
chili powder, red pepper, and of the ones which contain nightshades inside of their ingredients.
Seeds: annatto, coriander, fennel, mustard, sesame seed, poppy seed.
Fruits: caraway, cardamon, peppercorns, vanilla bean
Spices to eat:
clove, ginger, mace, horseradish, cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, sea salt
Enjoy: (1) All fruit except Goji berries. Limit fruit intake to 2-3 servings a day. If you are not tolerating starches very well like sweet potatoes then add in a few more servings of fruit.
In the end, it comes down to having a solid base and consistency in your diet. When you add something in, you should monitor it and make sure that it sits well with you. If something makes you tired or causes issues on your skin or inside your digestion, that’s an indicator that even though it is on the “good list,” it may not be right for you. Again, common sense should lead to practical application. These lists shouldn’t be considered the bible, merely a solid starting point for you to go by. In the end, it is up to you to lead a healthy lifestyle that you can live with.