Plant-based diet for autoimmune disease

Suitable food for autoimmune diseases

How diet can improve an autoimmune disease?

Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, arthritis or Crohn’s disease, always require treatment and medical supervision.

Besides medical treatment, it is highly advisable to search for an expert nutritionist or dietitian in diet therapy for these diseases. (Consult dietitians associations or universities)

A healthy and proper diet can improve many symptoms of autoimmune diseases, and also, in general, it is advisable to maintain good health.

In the control of autoimmune diseases, food plays an important role, considering that most of our defenses are concentrated in the intestines.

It has been shown how some components of food can cause immune reactions and trigger outbreaks or aggravation of these diseases.

Does diet always improve symptoms of immune disorders?

Grated carrot with lemonGrated carrot with lemon, a very simple recipe for healthy intestines

Many affectations of the intestine are related to allergic reactions, inflammation and even depression.

The diet for autoimmune diseases aims to reduce the components that may produce or worsen the health of the intestines, or improve certain symptoms.

In some cases, the diet may be insufficient to improve significantly the disease, although it should be noted that inadequate nutrition worsens the symptoms of the disease.

In addition to a proper diet, reducing stress and improving sleep quality are other factors that can improve autoimmune diseases.


Recommended feeding for autoimmune diseases


Fortunately, a recommended diet to help improve autoimmune diseases is also a very healthy diet for the whole family.

You can practice a healthy diet eating the proper foods for autoimmune diseases:

Healthy energy rich foods: rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, green bananas, buckwheat, etc.

Vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals: carrots, nettles, pumpkin, chayote, zucchini, artichokes, spinach, lettuce, purslane, dandelion, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, radishes, mushrooms, seaweed salad, creamed vegetables, grated carrot, vegetable skewers, etc.

Fruits rich in antioxidants and healthy energy: avocado, mango, apples, persimmons, pears, stewed fruit, peaches, fresh coconut, cooked pears, dragon fruit, orange, guava, custard apple, pineapple,, etc.


Mango is rich in vitamins C, E, A and folic acid

Extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin oil or other or unrefined seed oils (1a cold pressing). Avoid fried foods of any kind.

Sauces and pates: Homemade sauces, guacamole, homemade garlic sauce, mayonnaise, carrot, mushroom pate, vegetable pates in general.

Vegetable drinks with calcium, coconut milk instead of cream milk or cream

– In case of non-vegetarian diets, you can eat also: eggs, small fish (sardines, monkfish, sea bass and hake), white meat (turkey, chicken, rabbit). Avoid processed meats (sausages, cold cuts, etc.)


Herbs: Laurel, garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary, mint, cinnamon, ginger, etc, which will also help in some ways to fight infectious bacteria.. Spices and condiments in moderation. Avoid irritants such as cayenne pepper and too hot spices.

What sweets to eat or what to eat on special days?

Flourless home truffles

Flourless home truffles, with less fat and more nutrients than industrial counterparts

It is important to avoid those products that are harmful to the disease.

Industrial products contain a lot of bad fat, too much sugar, dairy, gluten or additives are not recommended. These foods are not recommended in any healthy diet.

There are healthy substitutes to industrial sweets without flour, gluten and dairy, which may also be fun to prepare and are delicious in those days when you feel like eating something special, while still eating healthy foods.

Suggested recipes: brownie without flour, cocoa homemade cream, personalized pure chocolate.

Can nuts, legumes or whole grains be eaten with immune diseases?

Whole grains, nuts and legumes are very nutritious and can be eaten, but pretreatment is recommended prior to cooking to improve their digestibility.

To reduce anti-nutrient content substances (lectins, phytates,…) and to be well tolerated, legumes should be placed in long soak at least 8 hours. At this time not only moisturize the beans, but the substances causing indigestion are removed and availability of vitamins and minerals is improved.

In the case of legumes and whole grains they will have to be given enough time to cook them properly (Not to remain hard).

When whole grains are consumed, it is recommended to wash them with plenty of water because the husks have traces of pesticides and plant protection products. They should also be organically grown,

Quinoa and amaranth should follow the same procedure. They are two pseudocereals with a lot of saponins (long soak and proper cooking).

In the case of nuts, it is recommended roasting them slightly after the long soaking, to destroy their antinutrients (Do not fry or add salt).

Even following the directions above, these foods may feel you bad or produce you discomfort or gastrointestinal reactions. In certain cases, some experts recommend removing these foods temporarily because they contain anti-nutrients. They must be reintroduced slowly, 1 to 1 to assess which one is feeling good and which one should be avoided (This must be evaluated by the physician and dietitian)

Soaked chickpeasChickpeas, lentils and other legumes should be soaked and cook for a long time. nuts and whole grains also should be soaked.

Healthy foods that can feel bad

The following foods can cause some intolerance in certain people:

– It has been reported that strawberries may feel bad because they the are the fruits that have more pesticide residues and contaminants. If consumed, only the wild ones are recommended or those orchard-grown by means of organic farming.

– The vegetables in the nightshade family (which are eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes) contain an alkaloid that is sometimes recommended, but not this rule should be strictly followed because cooking destroys this component, called solanine. Yes you should avoid eating green potatoes or those with crickets because they contain lots of solanine. Nor eat green tomatoes, which have a higher content of solanine that mature or red tomatoes.

*Related information:

Prohibited foods in autoimmune diseases

Milk and dairy for intestinal diseases

punto rojo More information on autoimmune disease diet and remedies.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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