Diet for Lupus should aim to provide your body with the best chance of recovery and reversal of disease. Because Lupus is an inflammatory condition, it also should decrease inflammation and also be very nourishing.
Truth is that most Lupus patients are malnourished. This is because we usually don’t eat real foods, but lots of processed, chemically rich food like substances that have degraded our gut lining over time.
As a nutrition student in graduate school, I too thought I was eating healthy and was exercising daily, but for some reason, I’ve always felt “tired” despite my exercise. I was struggling with having enough energy to go and do things with my friends, and always had bloating and stomach troubles like constipation and cramping routinely.
When diagnosed with Lupus, I was eating a Vegan Diet for three years and my symptoms like fatigue became a real issue. Up to the point of diagnosis, I felt sub standard but never questioned my diet because after all, I was on my way to becoming a registered dietitian.
Then when I got sick, my parents took me to a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor who looked at me and said that my “constitution” was very weak and I needed to eat meat right away, not just any meat, but specifically red meat.
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This fascinated me that our diet can have such an impact. I began to eat meat and within about a month, I was feeling better and had more energy.
Diet for Lupus should have the following:
- Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fewer fruits, and protein with every meal. When considering the vegetables, think rainbow colors, “colors” signify nutrients and phytonutrients to support our cells to thrive and heal. They are also anti-inflammatory to help our bodies recover from our Lupus pains.
- Avoid any processed foods like man made, packaged foods. Choose “real” foods like the foods that don’t have labels, like vegetables, preferably organic.
- Drink ½ of our body weight in pounds, for example, if you are 150 lbs, drink 75 oz of water per day.
- Choose good fats to cook with, like coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil for dressings ( not to cook with). Diet for lupus requires good fats.
- Choose organic meats and vegetables whenever possible as the conventional vegetables and meats contain lots of additives, pesticides, and hormones that further get our gut to degrade, inviting those toxins inside our bodies to trigger our immune system to go crazy.
- Lastly, studies prove the benefit of intermittent fasting, meaning prolonging the time where you have no food or up to 15 hours a day really allows our bodies to focus on healing rather than digesting. Digesting food is hard work for our bodies and they cause lots of damage and release free radicals, (volatile compounds) that hamper with our healing ability.
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