No matter what you hear and read, there is no established lupus diet. However, good nutrition plays an important role in the overall treatment of any disease. So as with management of any disease you should try to have healthy foods as much as possible. Having certain foods may help some people manage their symptoms better than others. Make your own lupus diet by checking what foods give you more relief.
List Of Foods To Include In Your Lupus Diet
Avoid red meat and have fatty fish
Red meat may lead to heart disease as it is full of saturated fat. Fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Include them in your diet especially tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines. These omega-3 fatty acids protect you against stroke and heart disease. They also help to reduce inflammation.
Foods rich in calcium
You may take steroid drugs to control lupus. These can make your bones thin as a side effect. As a result, you may become vulnerable to fractures. In order to avoid fractures, include foods rich in vitamin D and calcium in your lupus diet. These nutrients help to strengthen your bones. You can have cheese, yogurt, tofu, beans, low-fat milk and dark green leafy veggies like broccoli and spinach. If you are not getting enough of these nutrients from food alone, you can consult your doctor about taking a supplement.
Limit the intake of saturated and trans fats
Not just people with lupus but everyone should eat foods that are low in saturated and trans fats. More so for people with lupus. It’s important to watch what you eat as steroids you take can increase your appetite and as a result your weight as well. Hence you should focus on having foods that will fill you up like fruits, raw veggies ad air popped popcorn.
Avoid garlic and alfalfa
If you have lupus, you should completely avoid garlic and alfalfa. Garlic contains thiosulfinates, allicin and ajoene where as alfalfa sprouts contain L-canavanine which is an amino acid. These can send your immune system into over drive and result in lupus flares.
Avoid nightshade veggies
Even though there is no scientific proof, some people with lupus have complained about sensitiveness to nightshade veggies like tomatoes, sweet & hot peppers, white potatoes and egg plant. Maintain a record of what you eat. Avoid the veggies that causes lupus flares each time you eat them.
Control your alcohol intake
Occasional intake of beer or red wine is fine. But you need to know that alcohol may interact with some lupus medications. Alcohol intake while taking certain NSAID drugs like naproxen, ibuprofen can increase your risk of ulcers or stomach bleeding.
Eating too much salt increases your BP as well as your risk of heart disease. Due to lupus, you are already at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Try to cut down on salt intake.
Lupus affects each person differently. Hence a diet that works for others may not work for you. Maintain a food journal and have an open dialogue with both your doctor and dietician. This helps you to know which foods help or hurt your lupus symptoms.