Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, MS and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are painful and difficult to live with. While each autoimmune condition is unique in its mechanism, at their core, they have one thing in common: an out-of-control immune response, linked with systemic inflammation.
Food is Medicine! The right diet can help ease pain and heal autoimmune diseases. In general, avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, grains, dairy, and factory farmed meat, and focus on fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and fish.
Rather than obsessing over what not to eat, this week is all about getting in as many immune boosting foods as possible. Colorful non-starchy veggies and healthy fats are great placed to start. Also, try to get in at least one or two serving of the following immune boosting foods this week. Check the recipe below to knock out three in one meal.
One 3-ounce serving has more than a full day’s worth of vitamin D, which is linked with reduced risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Other good sources of vitamin D include salmon, mackerel, sardines, whitefish, and tuna. For vegetarian sources, opt for egg yolks or mushrooms grown in sunlight or UV light.
Supplement option: Vitamin D Supreme
This bright orange spice contains curcumin, a powerful healing compound that’s been shown to alleviate Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease by regulating inflammatory substances in the body. Curcumin is hard for the body to absorb, so to increase its availability, combine it with black pepper and try heating it, both of which make it easier for the body to use.
Supplement Option: Curcumin 500
Traditionally fermented sauerkraut is loaded with probiotics, which help balance the gut microbiome and improve the intestine’s barrier function, critical in protecting against autoimmune conditions. Studies show that people with autoimmune conditions who take probiotics feel a significant reduction in stiffness, swelling, pain, and inflammation. Other good dairy-free probiotic sources include kimchi, fermented vegetables, pickled ginger, coconut yogurt with added probiotics, and water kefir.
Supplement Option: Megaspore Probiotic
The dysregulation of T cell function is a critical factor in the development of autoimmune inflammatory diseases, and green tea has a dramatic effect on T cell function, especially their differentiation, in a way that can favorably impact autoimmunity. While further studies in humans are needed, the results are promising.
Supplement Option: EGCG 200
Wild Alaskan Salmon
It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, modulate immune activity and protect against several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis. Tuna, sardines, mackerel and other fatty fish are also good sources of omega-3 fats.
Supplement Option: Omegavail Hi-Po
Like other sulfur-rich foods (cauliflower, radishes, cabbage, onions, kale), it’s rich in a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which has been shown to help alleviate autoimmune diseases. It’s key in taming chronic inflammation and protecting against oxidative stress, and studies show glutathione status may be diminished by as much as 50% in people with autoimmune disorders.
Supplement Option: S-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy
And here’s the recipe to help you boost your immune system 🙂
Grilled Halibut with Turmeric and Garlic
In this easy and impressive 15 minute meal, grated fresh turmeric gives grilled halibut a rich golden hue. Perfect for entertaining or a night in with the family. When paired with steamed broccoli, this dish packs a triple immune boosting punch. Extra credit if you serve it up with a glass of iced green tea!
2 large cloves Garlic, grated
2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh Turmeric (from a 2- to 3-inch peeled piece, or 2 teaspoons ground Turmeric)
4 (6-ounce) skin-on Halibut steaks
2 tablespoons brined Capers, drained and roughly chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
In a large bowl, stir together garlic, oil, salt, and turmeric to make a paste. Add fish and toss until well coated. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a grill or grill pan for medium heat cooking. Grill fish, flipping halfway through, until deep golden brown and just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes total.
In a small bowl, using a fork, mash capers with lemon juice. Spoon over hot fish and serve. (If not using capers, just squeeze fresh lemon over fish before serving.
Serve with a side of gently steamed broccoli
Recipe Note: If grating fresh turmeric for the first time, be aware that it will stain your fingers, clothes, children, etc with a bright yellow hue. So plan accordingly!