Autoimmune diseases affect one in five families. How we eat is crucial.
This is a list I compiled when I was in college, pursuing my degree in holistic nutrition. The assignment was to compile a “new list of super foods,” so I researched and chose foods specific to autoimmune and vasculitis diseases. I’ve updated it to include the newly discovered superfoods that benefit autoimmune conditions.
Note: These are in addition to the well known nutrient-dense superfoods, such as coconut oil. (I’ve included some links to some at the end. They were the best deals I found on some of my favorite brands!)
- To top off the list: Bone Broth! (Link at end)
Recent research reveals that bone broth is an autoimmune superfood! But it can’t just be chicken or beef or fish broth, where the bones are cooked quickly, the bones need to cook for at least 6 hours and preferably longer to reap the benefits! Adding a couple tablespoons of organic raw vinegar helps extract all the beneficial nutrients! Great Grandma was onto something back in the day with taking all day or even a couple days to make that good old fashioned chicken noodle soup which is scientifically proven to fight off colds and flus as well as autoimmune diseases and many other health benefits! Run of the mill canned chicken noodle soup will not provide the outstanding level benefits as the bones are not cooked long enough. It has to be labeled ‘organic bone broth’ – or make your own. Watch for the recipe!
2. Glutathione – the mother of all anti-oxidants (link at end)
Plays a crucial role in immune function. Essential for preventing and fighting autoimmune disorders.
Studies have shown that people who have autoimmune diseases are deficient in glutathione.
Note: This is important to know if you have an autoimmune disease and you have children as autoimmune diseases run in families, so make sure your children have sufficient levels of glutathione in an effort to prevent the diseases.
When glutathione is deficient, all other antioxidants and vitamins are deficient as a result, as glutathione is necessary for their absorption.
Until now glutathione supplements fell short as it’s hard to absorb, but now we have the new ‘setria glutathione’ which is readily available and absorbable. Read the label and make sure it’s “setria.” (I’ve included a link for this type of glutathione at the end.)
Foods rich in glutathione include: spinach, potatoes, asparagus, avocado, squash, okra, cauliflower, broccoli, walnuts, garlic and tomatoes;
3. Fermented Foods
Sauerkraut, kimchi, Greek yogurt, kombucha, pickles, miso, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods. The fermentation creates probiotics, which greatly benefits gut heath! Improved gut health equals improved overall health! Autoimmune diseases and other health issues have been linked to gut health, so heal the gut with fermented foods and heal the immune system! Fermented foods also help boost and maintain energy levels.
Note: Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a fermented food. BACV (Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar) or similar brand – must be raw, organic, unfiltered, ‘with the mother.’ – Reduces moonface caused by steroids, increased energy, long list of health benefits; improves gut health and ph balance, and so many other health benefits. 1-3 T day can really help overcome fatigue as well as many other health issues! No matter what your level of health is, it’s beneficial.
How to consume raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s:
1-3 T/day, diluted in water, juice or Emergen-C. Add raw local honey if needed. I usually add 3 T to several ounces of water and sip throughout the day. But mixing with Emergen-C is the most palatable, IMHO, and it will give you quick energy without a letdown!
4. High Quality Organic Undenatured Whey Protein
It increases glutathione production, immune system support, promotes weight loss, improves cognitive performance, reduces blood pressure, controls appetite. Whey protein contains all the amino acids the body needs in the best possible balance (also alleviates the sweet-tooth!);
5&6. Sockeye Salmon & Sardines (in it’s own oil)
High omega-3’s to fight inflammation, increased brain function, combats depression and mood swings, good for memory, and blood sugar control. Also good for kidney health.
Note: I choose sockeye salmon over all others because: “it is never farmed, it’s always wild, from the pristine seas of Alaska, where they feed on omega-3 rich krill and the waters are cleaner than most anywhere on the planet. And sockeye do not live as long as other species of salmon so therefore do not accumulate the toxins that other choices may accumulate.” – Dr. Andrew Weil;
7&8. Maitake and Shitake Mushrooms – For counteracting fatigue and nausea caused by chemo drugs, as well as help prevent some of the damaging side effect of chemo drugs. Immune system support. Available in pill/capsule form;
9&10. Black and Green Tea – Black for the quick repair of damaged blood vessels; Green for reducing the risks of blood clots, strokes and weight gain and improving mood and increased relaxation. Both teas are anti-inflammatory. They are packed with powerful anti-oxidants;
11. Yerba Maté (link at end)- Has all the benefits of green tea tenfold. Plus bone Health. And a great Fatigue Buster/Energy Booster;
12. Rosemary – Fights inflammation of the respiratory system! Protects the liver, anti-biotic, anti-viral, improves brain function, memory, and disease of the head and brain;
13. Thyme – Anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, long history of relieving respiratory problems, including cough and bronchitis;
14. Avocados – Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, good for eyes and skin, contains glutathione;
15. Cherries – Anti-inflammatory, good for respiratory health and allergies;
16. Raisins – Bone health, anti-inflammatory;
17. Turmeric/curcumin – Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, protects the liver, long list of health benefits, including pain reduction (take with black pepper to increase absorption, most supplements include pepper – pepper improves absorption of all nutrients);
18. Ginger – Immune system health, anti-inflammatory, alleviates pain, alleviates nausea;
19-22. Pecans, Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts and Almonds (with skins) – High Omega-3, anti-inflammatory, helps with brain function & moods;
23. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, promotes lung health;
24. Serrapeptase (link at end)– Systemic enzyme: anti-inflammatory, lung & airway health, reduces mucous, eliminates fibrosis – when taken on empty stomach;
25. Rosehips – Reduces CRP (inflammatory marker in the blood);
26. Oil of Oregano – anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, good for immune system and respiratory health;
27. Oregano – anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, aids digestion and joint function;
28. Artichokes – heals the liver;
29. Milk Thistle – protects and heals the liver from medication damage;
30. Digestive Enzymes – gut health essential for immune system health, alleviates indigestion, digestive health;
31. Pro-biotics – gut health essential for the immune system health, stave off infections;
32. Multi-Vitamins – the disease and the medications deplete our vitamins. We need to replace them with a high quality multi-vit;
33. B Complex and extra B-12 – for energy and stress, we are deficient due to stress, disease and meds;
34. D-3 – fights disease, we are deficient, it’s a pandemic deficiency
Note: To check for medication-supplement interactions, go here.
Note: Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as processed foods and GMOs as much as possible. For more on anti-inflammatory/pro-inflammatory foods, click here.
Here’s to health ♥️
Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Lorna Vanderhaeghe, BSc, Colombia University