Fighting Through Flares, Treatment

4 Foods Making Your Lupus Worse (You won’t believe #2)

We all know that what we eat affects our health but did you know that there are foods that can make your lupus worse?

Here are four foods that can trigger lupus flare-ups and make your symptoms worse.

1. Alfalfa

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Alfalfa seeds and sprouts contain a non-protein amino acid, L-canavanine.  L-canavanine has been known to produce autoimmune effects.  This amino acid is chemically similar to another amino acid, arginine.  It mimics it so well, it can be fused to the proteins that make the cells of the immune system, in place of arginine.  This leads to a change in immunoregulatory function which causes a flare-up.  Lupus patients should avoid alfalfa seeds and sprouts which finally feels like something we are willing to give up for the disease.

Lupus patients should avoid alfalfa seeds and sprouts which finally feels like something we are willing to give up for the disease!  Be careful that it doesn’t show up in sneaky places like supplements or herbal teas.  Always read labels and be aware of what you are exposing your immune system to through your mouth.

2. Quinoa

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Quinoa, like all surviving things in nature, has developed ways to protect itself from being eaten.  It is covered in a soapy like substance called saponin that tastes awful to predators. The problem in consuming saponin is that it damages the lining of the gut, causing it to leak its contents into the blood stream.  Your immune system recognizes these foreign intruders and goes into overdrive to correct it.  In research studies, immune response was shown to be increased on a cellular level in mice after being fed quinoa.

It has been my personal experience that avoiding not just gluten, but all grains is helpful in reducing autoimmune symptoms. Whether you are willing to commit to an extreme restriction of grains or not, we can all agree quinoa is not a good option for lupus patients, and should be avoided.

3. Sugar

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Sugar is a harmful, addictive poison that has, in copious amounts, leaked its way into the most unlikely places.  It’s not just candy and sweets that you need to watch out for anymore.  Spaghetti sauces, yogurts, and granola bars are able to rival the known culprits like soda and snack cakes.  Sugar by any other name is just as harmful.  It doesn’t matter what you call it because it is all metabolically identically going through your body.

Sugar by any other name is just as harmful.  It doesn’t matter what you call it because it is all metabolically identically going through your body.  Forget just replacing it with toxic chemical storms like aspartame as well.  Do you know what your body does with substances it doesn’t recognize and finds hard to break down?  It turns it into fat.  That’s right, if you use artifical sweeteners you’re carrying them around on your hips so put down that ridiculous diet soda.

Sugar weakens the entire body.  It feeds cancer cells, yeast overgrowth, depletes vitamin C levels, weakens the immune system, hurts the digestive system, and contributes to a myriad chronic illnesses such as autoimmune disease, heart disease, osteoperosis and more.  Stay away for the love of your body!

4. Hydrogenated oils

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Hydrogenated and partially hydrogentated oils include corn, sunflower, safflower, canola, cottenseed, soy, vegetable, peanut, and margarines.  These oils are loaded to the brim with trans-fats which make them harmful for anyone to consume.  They pose an even greater harm to lupus suffers, and autoimmune disease patients in general, because they are high in Omega-6’s.  An imbalanced ratio of Omega-3’s to Omega-6 fats translate in laymans terms to one word, “inflammation”.  The typical diet is loaded with 6’s that come from meats and oils and barely filled with its counter balance of 3’s that come from foods such as wild-caught cold water fish. Consuming these oils in excess is the equivilant of taking an inflammation pill.  Inflammation is a root problem of autoimmune disease because it is an immune response. The more the immune system has to send out cytokins the more it attacking your own body.

An imbalanced ratio of Omega-3’s to Omega-6 fats translate in laymans terms to one word, “inflammation”.  The typical diet is loaded with 6’s that come from meats and oils and barely filled with its counter balance of 3’s that come from foods such as wild-caught cold water fish. Consuming these oils in excess is the equivilant of taking an inflammation pill.  Inflammation is a root problem of autoimmune disease because it is an immune response. The more the immune system has to send out cytokins the more it attacking your own body.

Consuming these oils in excess (think fast food, restuarants, and cooking with them at home) is the equivilant of taking an inflammation pill. Inflammation is a root problem of autoimmune disease because it is an immune response. The more the immune system has to send out cytokins the more it attacking your own body.  Reduce inflammation and reduce immune response by avoiding hydrogentated and partially hydrogentated oils.  Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just switching to healthier alternative such as olive and coconut oil because these trans-fat oils hide in processed foods under all sorts of sneaky names.  So buyer beware and be sure to read labels.

These foods should be avoided in particular if you have been diagnosed with lupus but the last two are harmful in all autoimmune patients.  There are many other things that cause problems in other autoimmune diseases so choose how to nourish your body lovingly and carefully.

 

Sources

Dinicolantonio, James J., and Sean C. Lucan. “Sugar Season. It’s Everywhere, and Addictive.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/23/opinion/sugar-season-its-everywhere-and-addictive.html?_r=0>.

“How Artificial Sweeteners Confuse Your Body into Storing Fat.”Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/23/artificial-sweeteners-confuse-body.aspx>.

Rall, Laura C., Ph.D. R.D., and Ronenn Roubenoff, M.D. M.H.S. “Diet and Lupus: Fact versus Fiction.” BCLupus.org. BCLupus, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <http://www.bclupus.org/reference_library/Articles%20-%20Lighthouse%20&%20other%20sources/20011001-Rall%20Laura%20C%20PhD%20RD%20Roubenoff%20Ronenn%20MD%20MHS-Diet%20and%20Lupus%20Fact%20vs%20Fiction.pdf>.

“The 76 Dangers of Sugar to Your Health.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx>.

“The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Waste and Hydrogenation Lower Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fat Intake Estimates for Soybean Oil. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/4/1152.full>.

“The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids.”National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909>.

“Trans Fats Are Hiding All Over Your Grocery List.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://time.com/3894216/trans-fat-hydrogenated-oil/>.

Verza, S. G., F. Silveira, S. Cibulski, S. Kaiser, F. Ferrierra, G. Gossman, P. M. Roehe, and G. G. Ortega. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22394456>.

 

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