Lyme Disease Sufferers Should Follow Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Read on to see which foods you should eat and which foods you ought to steer clear of.
Lyme is a disease of inflammation. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is critical. The foods you want to avoid and those that should be added to your diet are listed below. The goal is to help you keep inflammation down and immune function healthy. Your doctor may have other suggestions in addition to those listed here. This is not an all inclusive list of foods.
What you should avoid:
Sugar is reported to feed bad bugs like candida, Lyme, and possibly even cancer cells. Some also believe that sugar suppresses immune function. People with Lyme need their immune systems working well.
Blood sugar balancing and keeping insulin levels in a healthy range is very important. Eating sugary foods or foods that turn to sugar quickly once eaten like simple carbs, sets you up for blood sugar imbalances. The following was taken from the site, oncologynutrition.org. “Much research shows that it is sugar’s relationship to higher insulin levels and related growth factors that may influence cancer cell growth the most, and increase risk of other chronic diseases.”
Balance your blood sugar! For great information on how to do this, I have read Dr. Hyman’s book Blood Sugar Solution and have his cookbook as well. These have been wonderful resources for me in my efforts to decrease sugar consumption and balance my own blood sugar.
What you should avoid:
Are grains the real problem or is it the way we process, genetically modify and treat them with pesticides? I don’t know, but what I do know is that many people feel much better from an inflammatory and autoimmune standpoint when they are not eating a lot of grains. Grains have been linked to leaky gut and brain problems. Another book that has supporting information on this topic is Dr. Perlmutter’s Grain Brain.
Diary from non-organic sources should be avoided. People who are allergic or sensitive to dairy may need to avoid it altogether. Good, clean dairy products can be a healthy part of your diet provided you are not reacting to it and it is not causing increased inflammation for your body.
GMO’s. Genetically modified foods are high in pesticides and have been shown to cause inflammation in the stomachs of pigs according to this study . Since Lyme disease sufferers should follow anti-inflammatory diet, it would be best to avoid eating foods containing GMO’s. The most commonly genetically modified foods are corn, soy, canola, and cotton.
Alcohol and caffeine.
Alcohol and caffeine, in excess, stress the body and work against your hydration efforts.
Trans fats are not good for your heart and are being phased out of the food supply. For the next couple of years, you should still read labels to be sure to avoid them.
Unhealthy saturated fats.
Grain fed, factory farmed animal fats are inflammatory and contain hormones and antibiotics. There are more healthy fats in grass fed animal meats and some important vitamins and minerals.
What you should avoid:
Avoid processed foods; especially those labeled low fat, sugar free, instant, or quick as this is usually a sign that the item has been highly processed and contain chemicals. One popular rule of thumb is, if it has more than five ingredients on the label or filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce, you should avoid it.
Artificial additives, colors, and dyes.
There are links between consumption of these products with behavioral and other health concerns.
Foods you are allergic or sensitive to.
You can ask your doctor for lab testing to help you determine which foods cause you inflammation. You can also try an elimination diet where you take out the possible offending foods for at least three weeks then slowly add them back in one at a time. Keep a detailed a log of symptoms intensities. Although this is challenging, it is the most accurate way to determine which foods are a problem for you. The most common food allergy culprits are gluten, dairy, soy, egg, shellfish, and nuts but anyone could potentially be allergic to any substance or food.
What should you eat:
Eat organic across the board because toxicity can be a big problem for people; especially for people with Lyme disease. When buying produce, check with the site, ewg.org and the dirty dozen, clean fifteen list before you spend extra money unnecessarily.
Broth/Stock is a healthy item is full of minerals that boost immune function, aid digestion, has collagen for joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bones and it supports healthy mucus membranes.
Fruits and Vegetables.
Eat low glycemic fruits and lots of vegetables. You’ve heard this before, but eat a rainbow. I choose berries and other low glycemic fruits due to sugar content. Berries are chock full of important antioxidants which are good for you and your immune system!
Eggs have zinc, selenium, and choline, which are important for thyroid, immune function, and our neurological systems.
Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, flax and chia seeds are a few of the good ones. Coconut oil is my favorite for its properties that help fight candida and its positive effects on the brain without stressing the gall bladder as much as some other saturated fats would.
What should you eat:
Wild caught fish.
Eat this because of the good fats. Choose wild caught fish because it is much cleaner than farmed fish which may have more chemicals and less nutrition.
Nuts and seeds.
Walnuts are my favorite in this category for all the great health benefits they contain.
Low sugar and greater than 70% cacao is best. See this link for information on a study about the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power of dark chocolate. Here are a few brands of chocolate that I like, Equal exchange, Panama, Theo, and Endangered Species.
Ginger, garlic, onion, turmeric, cinnamon.
These all have either anti-inflammatory antibacterial/antiviral properties, or both. Good stuff!
Organic grass fed meats. (discussed above)
Select mushroom varieties have some very desirable anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and immune supporting properties. You can read more about which ones are recommended in this link.
Lyme disease sufferers should follow anti-inflammatory diet. Keep in mind that the guidelines presented are general suggestions. Not everyone reacts to food the same way. This is what works best for me personally in the management of Lyme.
When I was first diagnosed, I had to be really strict with my diet. I got rid of gluten, dairy, sugar, corn, soy, and night shades. At first it was a shock and hard to do. But I knew that if I wanted to feel better I had to adhere to these guidelines. If I ate something with dairy I would have sinus congestion, stomach aches, and bloating. If I had corn, I would feel foggy.
Being away from these trigger foods for a while and healing leaky gut has allowed me to be able to have a little dairy occasionally without problems. However, I still have to use caution and moderation. I still stay clear of night shades. For me, night shades cause aching joint pain and it is just not worth it.
You may have to experiment a little or do an elimination diet to know what works best for you. Maintaining balance in all body systems and keeping stresses minimized is critical. The stressors can be chemical such as with diet as discussed here. In future posts, we will talk more about other types of stressors and how you can help yourself deal with each of them.
Disclaimer and Sources:
*Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for informational purposes. It is based on my own personal experiences and opinions. I am not a medical doctor and what is written should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. The product links are not meant to be construed as medications or treatments and you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, herbal products, or starting exercise programs.
“Sugar and Cancer.” Oncologynutrition.org. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, July 201. Web. 23 july 2016.
“Long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined GM soy an GM maize diet”. Organic-systems.org. Journal of Organic System, 2013. Web. 23 July 2016.