Proper nutrition is important in the management of autoimmune disease. Giving your body adequate high quality fuel to improve move and facilitate recovery will make it possible for it to function at its highest level. This shouldn’t be an overwhelming task, and should be something you can follow for a lifetime. There are many different diets that you can read about that promise to “cure” whatever ails you but most of them are too difficult to maintain forever. Instead of trying to follow a ridiculous set of rules that reduce your ability to enjoy social situations it is better to follow a sane set of recommendations that you can live with. After all, what is the point of being healthy if you are not able to socialize over a good meal or enjoy a party?
EAT MORE PLANTS
Yep, that’s the basic nutrition philosophy you need to follow. The more natural and less processed the food the better. Fresh is best but frozen is ok too if fresh isn’t available. Organic is even better but don’t let it limit you. Prepare them any way you enjoy them, they don’t have to be eaten raw but don’t cover them with cheese or bacon. Eat a wide variety of things to give your body all of the different nutrients it needs.
It is trendy for many diets to ban fruit, saying that it raises blood sugar and is bad for you. Although fruit does contain sugar the fiber in it blunts the blood sugar spike. Because of the health benefits of the fiber in the fruit as well and the antioxidants and phytonutrients it is not necessary to avoid it.
The body also needs carbohydrates in order function properly. Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for the muscles and the only source of energy for the brain. The quality of these carbohydrates does matter, however. They should be minimally processed so that they are digested slowly and don’t cause a large blood sugar spike. The best way to think of this is to stay away from white carbs and eat things such as brown rice, baked sweet potatoes, carbohydrate rich vegetables and beans. Also, be aware of serving sizes and follow them, many people tend to overestimate the proper amount. Consuming carbohydrates in combination with protein will also help to slow digestion and keep your energy levels consistent.
Make sure you are eating an adequate amount of protein. Meat should be grass fed and never fried. Don’t forget to consider beans, nuts, eggs, greek yogurt and tofu. Many people consider dairy products to be pro-inflammatory, and therefore something to be avoided. Because intolerance to dairy is common you may want to consider limiting it. Protein is important for muscle repair and keeping you from feeling hungry, so consume some with every meal.
Healthy fats are also good for maintaining optimal health. Healthy fats are found in things such as olive oil, nuts, avocados and fatty fish. These contain omega 3s which are important for cellular integrity, heart health, lowering cholesterol and decreasing inflammation. Increasing seafood consumption to at least twice a week is an easy way to help improve health.
Eating a balanced diet which adequate calories to help your body heal is one of the best ways to lower the auto-immune symptoms. Spread your meals out over the course of the day so that you don’t get to hungry and overeat. Keep a wide variety of things in your kitchen so you won’t get bored. Carry snacks with you in an insulated bag so that you always have something on hand and don’t get so hungry. Remember that calories are not the enemy but just a measure of energy which you need for proper function.