People with autoimmune diseases such as lupus and RA are seeking to ease their symptoms with foods, drinks or supplements. Is there any link between nutrition and autoimmune diseases? The answer is yes, though researchers say that most autoimmune diseases are incurable. In fact, certain foods and drinks can help reduce inflammation in the body. Also, they can help keep the immune system balanced and prevent an autoimmune flare. Before sticking to a special diet or taking supplements, though, consult your doctor. This can help lower your risk of harmful drug interactions and side effects.
Here are ten ingredients you need to eat and drink for beating an autoimmune disease.
Foods and Drinks to Help Autoimmune Diseases
Can soy prevent or activate autoimmune disease? There is always a big confusion. Some studies show that soy has been linked to thyroid suppression and hormone imbalance. If you have lupus or an autoimmune disease that affects hormones, soy may activate the disease and make symptoms worse. But, some research also show that estrogen in soy can protect you against breast cancer. If you’re diagnosed with this, eating soy can lower your risk of breast cancer recurrence.
There is a bioactive molecule called lycopene in tomatoes. It can starve tumors of blood supply, preventing cancer from growing. A recent study in the US has shown that eating 470-700ml of cooked tomatoes each week can cut risk of prostate cancer by 30%. Tomatoes are also a rich source of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K and potassium. These are known to protect heart health, aid digestion, improve vision and help with diabetes. If you are living with lupus, eating tomatoes can help treat rashes and keep your skin firm and youthful.
Sauerkraut is very nutritious. It is loaded with probiotics, which can fight off toxins and harmful bacteria. Plus, sauerkraut can aid digestion and improve your overall health. Experts say that probiotics can help reduce IBD symptoms related to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Sauerkraut also contains vitamin B6, C, K, iron, manganese, folate, and potassium. These can help you lose weight, reduce stress and maintain brain health. If you eat more than 3 servings of sauerkraut per week, you can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 72%. People with RA can also feel a significant reduction in pain, swelling and inflammation when eating sauerkraut.
Broccoli is rich in antioxidants like glutathione, lutein, zeaxanthin, and glucoraphanin. These have been shown to help alleviate autoimmune diseases. Besides, they can reduce inflammation and protect against certain types of cancer. Some studies also state that broccoli can support healthy heart, joint, brain and bone. If you’re living with an autoimmune disease like lupus or RA, you should add more broccoli to your diet.
This spice contains an active ingredient called curcumin. It’s been shown to fight inflammation and control autoimmune diseases, like:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- multiple sclerosis
- inflammatory bowel disease
Besides, turmeric can work to prevent cancer, and lower risk of heart or brain disease. Turmeric can also help the symptoms of lupus. If you have arthritis or Alzheimer’s disease, add turmeric to your diet. It can help treat pain and fight against depression.
6. Green tea
To help beat an autoimmune disease, don’t forget to drink green tea. It is loaded with a compound called EGCG which can help prevent cell damage and offer other benefits. Research shows that green tea can:
- Improve brain function
- Prevent cancer
- Treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Treat type 2 diabetes
- Help with heart disease and stroke
You can also drink black tea to get the same health benefits.
7. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is very nutritious. It’s rich in cocoa, a fatty acid which can:
- improve brain function
- protect your skin from the sun
- reduce heart disease risk
- treat diabetes
- improve blood flow
- lower blood pressure
People with lupus and arthritis also get rid of joint pain when eating this chocolate.
Halibut is a great source of vitamin D, which can help reduce the risk of:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- multiple sclerosis
- other autoimmune diseases
Eating one 3-ounce serving of halibut per day can help fight inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease.
9. Wild-caught salmon
Salmon is wonderful to help beat autoimmune diseases. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and other essential nutrients. These are known to offer a variety of health benefits:
- Fight joint inflammation
- Promote healthy skin
- Cure cancer
- Improve heart health
- Protect brain health
- Help thyroid diseases
Tree nuts are loaded with healthy fats and other nutrients. Research shows consuming two servings of nuts per week can lower the risk of colon cancer. Besides, it can help prevent ageing, reduce cholesterol and help you live longer. A study has found that several kinds of nuts can protect against cancer. These are walnuts, almonds, pecans and peanuts.
Learn more: 10 Cancer Symptoms Women Often Ignore
Along with eating a healthy diet, you can take supplement to beat autoimmune diseases. LupuFree is one of the best supplements for lupus. It can help improve immune system and treat pain. If you’re having the condition, talk with your doctor before using it.