While the autoimmune diseases may not be completely curable, removing their triggers can significantly reduce symptoms—or even complete remission. Use the following guidelines to remove the triggers from your diet and lifestyle.
Remove foods that may trigger or exacerbate an immune response.
Follow our Paleo or Lectin-Free diet with the additional foods removed completely:
(both yolks and whites)
Nightshade fruits and vegetables
White and red potatoes (sweet potatoes are not nightshades), tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne pepper (but not black pepper)
Dairy products (except for ghee)
While nuts are widely recognized to be nutritious and beneficial to health, a 30-day elimination may be a good option if you have an autoimmune disorder.
• Nuts are among the most common allergens, and people with autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop allergies and sensitivities.
These are all healthy foods when tolerated, but they may provoke or perpetuate inflammation in those with an autoimmune disease. That said, not everyone with autoimmune disease will have trouble with them, so the key is to experiment to determine where you fall on that spectrum. Remove these foods for a full 30 days, then reintroduce them one at a time to see which ones you react to—starting with egg yolks, then egg whites, nightshades (do them one at a time), nuts, and finally dairy.
Supplement nutrients that promote optimal immune function
Glutathione — supplement with 500 mg per day of liposomal or 200mg 2–3 times per week of injectable glutathione
• Standard, oral glutathione supplements are generally ineffective. Glutathione is a tripeptide, a molecule composed of three amino acids: glycine, cysteine, and glutamate.
• When reduced glutathione is taken orally, these amino acids are broken down and absorbed individually in the digestive tract—which means the glutathione molecule is not absorbed intact in the cells where it’s needed.
• Taking glutathione in a liposomal or injectable form ensures that the molecule reaches the target cell intact.
Vitamin D3 — supplement with 4,000 IU per day
Vitamin A — supplement 10,000 IU per day
Vitamin C — supplement with 500–1,000 mg per day
Zinc — supplement with 20 mg per day
Selenium — supplement with 200 mcg three times per week
Omega-3 Fats (EPA/DHA) — consume at least one pound of cold-water, fatty fish per week, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines and/or supplement with 1,000 mg per day of combined EPA and DHA
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”
Increase your intake of foods that support a healthy gut microbiota
Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria and yeasts. These probiotics don’t just support gut health—they also regulate and balance the immune system. Fermented foods include sauerkraut (and any other fermented vegetables), beet kvass, kombucha, yogurt, kefir (water or dairy), kimchi, and more.
• Aim for one to two tablespoons at each meal, plus other fermented foods like kombucha or yogurt throughout the day.
Soluble fibers naturally found in fruits, vegetables, starches, nuts, and seeds provide a food source for the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
• Starches like sweet potatoes, plantains, taro root, and yuca are excellent sources of soluble fibers.
Bone broth is rich in nutrients that have a soothing and healing effect on the gut. Aim for ½ to 1 cup of beef or chicken bone broth per day.
Make lifestyle changes that can aid your recovery
Regular aerobic exercise and strength training have been shown to increase glutathione levels in both healthy and sick people. Exercise also releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are similar in chemical structure to morphine and opium, and they’re responsible for the “runner’s high” that some people experience with intense exercise. However, we now know that endorphins also play an essential role in regulating the immune system. Endorphin levels are low in animals with autoimmune disease, and medications that increase circulating endorphin levels improve autoimmune disease in humans. Follow one of our GoalsRx exercise programs for health and wellness.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been shown to decrease immunity and contribute to the development of an autoimmune disease. Make seven to nine hours per night of high-quality sleep a top priority. Reference our GoalsRx sleep guidelines for more information.
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