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rejigging your health will ONLY come down like a stack of cards if you wear floral tights

Perhaps you thought I’d dropped this series? Nope. Just taken a spell.

But I just came across this rundown of tips for eating for auto-immune disease from Melbourne naturopath Gill Stannard. Definitely worth a bit of a share.

I’ve cut out the salient bits:

* The “Mediterranean Diet” is a good model to eat by. This lowers inflammation and is based around eating plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes and other unrefined carbohydrates, fish fresh from the sea, local olive oil unheated on salads and a little sheep’s milk yoghurt.
* Oils – fish, fresh nuts, seeds and raw plant oils, especially omega 3’s. Avoid polyunsaturated, animal fats, margarines and heated oils (anti-inflammatory)
* Eat lots of green and orange vegetables (organically grown when possible).
* Shitake mushrooms provide good immune support.

Again, another great gluten reminder….

* Some people with AI diseases feel better on a gluten-free diet. Follow the guidelines for coeliac disease. You need to be entirely off gluten – wheat, rye, barley, oats (though the issue with oats tends to be cross-contamination), spelt, kamut, for at least six weeks to assess this for yourself. If you are unable to contemplate being gluten-free initially, go on a strict no-wheat or refined grain diet (i.e.: nothing made from any kind of flour). People with thyroid anti-bodies are most prone to being sensitive to gluten.

* Those with any type of joint degeneration/arthritis should avoid members of the nightshade family – potato, eggplant, capsicum, chili, tomato and tobacco.

* Smoking triggers some AI conditions.
* Many sources list Echinacea as contraindicated in AI conditions. While some people with AI diseases can have a flare up when using this herb, others don’t.

Gill also posts this:

What foods decrease inflammation?

Ginger & turmeric: members of the same family these herbs both have power anti-inflammatory properties. Research on these herbs includes treatment of arthritis, asthma, prostate cancer, diabetes and much more
Celery: a great “alkalizer”, long used in the treatment of arthritis.
Omega-3 rich fish
e.g.: sardines
Oils from seeds and nuts e.g.: flaxseed and walnut oil: best taken with a multi-vitamin to encourage the anti-inflammatory action
Fruits – most deeply coloured fruits like blueberries, cherries and pomegranate seeds
Fresh, raw seeds and nuts
Most vegetables

Drinking your recommended 2 litres of water a day is also important.

What foods should you avoid to reduce inflammation?

Sugar
Refined foods e.g.: flour
Alcohol
Meat especially beef and pork
Caffeine
Preservatives
Nitrates (e.g.: in cured meats like ham, bacon and salami)
Solanine – a specific trigger for joint pain (a plant chemical in tomato*, eggplant, capsicum, chilies, potato and tobacco)
Heated oils
Animal fats (including dairy products)

* Tomatoes are a clear trigger for arthritis though other research shows they can help protect against prostate cancer. I’d suggest you totally avoid tomatoes and tomato products if you have active arthritis. Otherwise enjoy fresh tomatoes in season.

Hope this is food for thought….

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