Lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the body’s own healthy tissue and organs. Depending on the specific patient, lupus can cause high levels of persistent inflammation that can negatively affect various parts of the body. Lupus patients often experience tissue damage that affects the heart, joints, brain, kidneys, lungs and endocrine glands (such as the adrenals and thyroid gland).
Here are the Best Healing Foods to Eat on the Lupus Diet:
Organic, Unprocessed Foods
Consuming foods in their natural, whole form limits your exposure to synthetic additives, toxins or pesticides. These chemicals are very commonly found in packaged products and non-organic foods (even many veggies and fruit!). Because those with lupus already have weakened immune systems, reducing exposure to synthetic hormones, chemicals, medications and heavy metals is usually crucial for recovery.
Raw and Cooked Vegetables
Raw veggies promote an alkaline environment in the body which can help keep inflammation levels lower. They also supply antioxidants, prebiotics, dietary fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. Whether eaten raw or cooked, some of the best choices include leafy greens, garlic, onions, asparagus, artichoke, bell peppers, beets, mushrooms and avocado. These help supply nutrients like the vitamin C, selenium, magnesium and potassium you need. Aim for variety and a minimum of four to five servings per day.
Unprocessed fruit (not commercial fruit juices or sweetened canned fruits) are high in vitamins and other important nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin E, which can be hard to get from other foods. Berries, pomegranate and cherries are especially beneficial due to their high antioxidant levels.
Many types of wild seafood provide omega-3 fats that help reduce inflammation levels. The best choices are wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, halibut, trout and anchovies. Aim to consume these omega-3 foods about two to three times weekly, or consider supplementing. Just be sure to buy “wild-caught” to reduce intake of things like heavy metals found in farm-raised fish, plus limit intake of fish high in mercury.
Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that populate our GI tracts and help keep us healthy. Several foods that contain natural probiotics are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi.
Bone broth has been consumed for centuries and contains numerous beneficial nutrients like collagen, glutathione and trace minerals. It can help reduce autoimmune and inflammatory symptoms that are associated with lupus, including indigestion and joint pain. Consume eight to 16 ounces of bone broth daily as a beverage or as part of a soup.
Herbs, Spices and Teas
Turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, thyme, etc., plus green tea are all beneficial.
Certain foods can also help relieve skin irritation and dryness, two very common symptoms associated with lupus. Foods to help moisturize skin from the inside out and prevent free radical damage or allergic rashes include:
- Looking for ways to increase your intake? Try these avocado recipes.
- Nuts and seeds like chia, flax, walnuts and almonds (also great sources of fiber and omega-3s)
- Coconut oil and olive oil
- Wild-caught fish
- Raw milk
- Berries, cucumbers and melon. Try adding these to homemade green smoothie recipes.
- Drinking plenty of water, herbal tea and green tea