Lupus is a chronic disease that is caused by an autoimmune disorder. Some of the common symptoms of lupus include swollen joints, skin rashes, depression, fatigue, fever and nausea. People who are diagnosed with lupus experience a lack of appetite and weight loss. Also, they have high risk for heart disease.
Good dietary choices can help reduce lupus symptoms. Simple and inexpensive diet changes will help you get rid of lupus and live a pain-free life again. Remember, good nutrition plays an important part in the treatment plan of the lupus disease.
Diet for Lupus Patients
Foods For People with Lupus to Avoid
Avoid drinking energy drinks and alcohol. Ditch foods that contain unhealthy preservatives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). In addition, reduce your consumption of processed foods to improve your overall health. Avoid fatty foods that contain trans fats, saturated fats and mono saturated fats.
The chief sources of saturated fats are creamed soups and sauces, high-fat dairy products and processed meat products. Examples of fatty foods include junk foods, baked foods and fried foods. Avoid white flour, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, sugar and salt. Plus, avoid foods that fuel inflammation such as refined grains, dairy products, high-fructose corn syrup and sugar.
Foods for People with Lupus to Eat
Eat natural whole foods such as fruits and vegetables in their raw form. According to Phyllis Balch, author of ‘Prescription for Nutritional Healing’, including raw fruits and vegetables in the diet helps reduce lupus symptoms. Also, raw fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that help make your immune system stronger.
Choose foods that are easy to digest such as soups, salads and soaked almonds. Take digestive enzymes and probiotics to boost your digestive powers. Increase essential fatty acid intake as it helps reduce inflammation pain and avoid flares.
Include antioxidant-rich foods, alkaline-rich foods and anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids such as ground flaxseed, olive oil, canola oil and nuts are effective in treating lupus.
Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include herring, mullet, pecans, walnuts, bluefish, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna and halibut. According to new research study, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce your risk of heart disease.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-3-rich flax seeds help alleviate tissue inflammation. Also, flax seeds help improve kidney function, thereby reducing the risk of lupus nephritis.
Eat foods rich in vitamin D and calcium as they are essential for bone health. Also, they help counteract the bone-damaging effects of corticosteroids. Prefer to buy low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as low-sodium yogurt, low-fat cheese etc. Switch to milk alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk and lactose-free milk. Eat green leafy vegetables, fortified breads and cereals as they are high in folic acid.
Gluten-containing foods such as wheat and rye increase inflammation and gastrointestinal distress. Therefore, replace these foods with gluten-free foods such as buckwheat flour, rice flour, rice and cornmeal.
Benefits of Eating a Lupus Diet
A lupus diet helps reduce body fat, inflammation, pain, swelling, muscle pain and tissue damage. Also, it helps improve cognitive functioning, memory, energy, stamina and mobility and relieve irregularities, bloating and constipation. In addition, a lupus diet helps maintain strong bones and muscles, combat the side effects of medications, maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of heart disease.