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Lyme is a disease of inflammation and if you are suffering, don't wait to make changes, please read this! See how a Lyme Disease Diet could help you.
Read on to see which foods you should eat and which foods you MUST now avoid.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is critical for many health conditions but for me, it was truly life-altering.
You may have heard Dr. Weill talk about this way of life and in my opinion, he is right on the money with the importance of anti-inflammatory eating for your best health.
I talk in more detail about my personal journey of healing from Lyme in another post linked here.
Right now, I assume you are here to get straight to the point.
You want to see which foods to avoid and which ones you can add to your diet.
As you read on, remember that the goal is to help you keep inflammation down and get that immune function healthy.
So, let's jump right in with details of this Lyme inflammation diet!
What you should AVOID on a Lyme Disease Diet:
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.”
These have been wonderful resources for me in my efforts to decrease sugar consumption and balance my own blood sugar.
What else should you avoid on a Lyme Disease Diet?
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.
Dairy 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 them and they are not causing increased inflammation for your body.
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 an 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 not only fats, but also some important vitamins and minerals.
Yes, there's more you should avoid on a Lyme Diet:
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 contains 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 you would slowly add them back in, one at a time.
Keep a detailed a log of symptom 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.
Celebrate! There are many wonderful foods you CAN eat!
Organics across the Board and Probiotic Rich Food
Eat organic across the board because toxicity can be a big problem for people; especially for people with Lyme disease. So many of us have been on antibiotics so taking probiotics and eating probiotic foods is critical.
Look for sour kraut and pickles made right (not just soaked in vinegar but properly fermented)
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 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. Besides all that, coconut oil does not stress the gall bladder as much as some other saturated fats would.
What else 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! Farmed fish contains 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. They can be an integral part of a holistic approach to your Lyme disease diet and treatment plan.
Anti-inflammatory Lyme 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 Lyme inflammation 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 actually feel mentally foggy.
Being away from these trigger foods for a while and healing my leaky gut has allowed me enjoy 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 with this Lyme Disease Diet
-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 stress can be chemical such as with diet as discussed here. In future posts, we will talk more about other types of stress and how you can help yourself deal with each of them.
Your doctor may have other suggestions in addition to those listed here. This is not an all inclusive list of foods and I am not a doctor, just a certified health coach, parent, and high school teacher, who has experienced the horrors of this disease.
I used nutrition and herbs along with conventional medicines to get back to functioning in the world.
*Disclaimer Lyme Inflammation Diet:
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.
Sources Lyme Diet:
"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.