Been diagnosed with Lyme Disease? Don't forget to make your diet an important part of the healing process. While thinking "What should I eat to regain my health?" may not be your first question, it could be your most important one; especially when it comes to healing the pain and turmoil going on in your body.
Poor Food Choices = Inflammation. Why does this Matter?
Inflammation protects the body from harmful things like foreign matter, viruses, allergies, and bacteria. In a healthy immune system, inflammation is kept in check (ie: the body senses something unhealthy, responds accordingly, and moves on). In an unhealthy body, inflammation festers....causing pain, muscle aches, cognitive problems, swelling, and exhaustion.
Research shows, rampant inflammation makes illness and pain inevitable. Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Heart Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis all have roots in chronic inflammation. Put simply: Your body (a machine) requires clean fuel to perform (ie: foods without chemicals, hormones, neurotoxins, preservatives, etc). If you keep putting junk in the tank, it's only a matter of time before your engine stops and sputters.
So, What CAN I Eat?
The best answer for healing and eliminating inflammation associated with illness? A low-glycemic, gluten-free, sugar-free, yeast-free diet -- packed with protein, vegetables, and nuts (think Paleo not processed). As an example, below are a few of the things I eat most regularly. Over seven months (the amount of time, I've been religiously following this plan) -- my pain and symptoms have greatly lessened.
(Note: I am not a doctor or nutritionist. This is my opinion of foods that work based on research and recommendations by my medical team. To find out what foods are best for you, always consult a professional).
2 Organic Eggs Scrambled in Olive Oil
3 Pieces of Nitrate/Hormone Free Bacon -- in moderation (substitute 3oz other organic protein appropriately)
Grilled or Steamed Vegetable--Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus
1 cup Organic, non-BGH, Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
1 cup Organic fruit -- Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Pineapple, Raspberries, or Watermelon
Smoothies made with any of the following ingredients: Almond Milk; Organic Fruits: Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Pineapple, Raspberries; Coconut; Carob Powder. ALWAYS add Almond Butter, Yogurt, Nuts, Spirulina--something for protein (I try to get 20 grams per meal). If needed, sweeten with Stevia. You can also use protein powder, but make sure you get one that's sugar/chemical/and preferably dairy-free (except for Greek yogurt, dairy should be done in limited doses).
Lunch and Dinner Options:
3 oz Organic protein: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Turkey, Buffalo; or Wild Salmon
Double Serving of vegetables: Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussell Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Kelp, Onions, Rutabaga, Turnips
Homemade chili made with Organic (preferably not canned) Black Beans, Pinto Beans; Organic Meat; Fresh Organic Tomatoes, and Spices*
Organic Spinach with 3 oz. Organic protein (see above), nuts, and Olive Oil
1 Organic Green Apple with Organic Almond Butter
1 oz of Organic Almonds or Pumpkin Seeds
Organic Veggies with Hummus
Filtered room tempature water with fresh squeezed lemon
Fresh made (unprocessed) vegetable juice
Lemon Balm Tea
*Season and cook foods in Olive or Coconut Oil with any of the following: Garlic, Hot Peppers, Sea salt, Turmeric, Chili Powder, Ginger, Honey, Horseradish, Mustard, Nutmeg, Oregano, Parsley, Pepper, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Tarragon, Thyme, Anise, Cloves, Basil, Bay Leaf, Carob, Cardamom, Cayenne, Chili Powder, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Dill Weed, Fennel.
For a more varied menu, I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND Recipes for Repair: A Lyme Disease Cookbook and these Eating Guidelines for Lyme Disease published by Andreanna Rainville RN.
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