Have you noticed that more and more people seem to be suffering from autoimmune disorders? Before, there seemed to be only a handful of different autoimmune diseases, and now there seems to be a never-ending list of various types. So what could have brought this sudden surge in autoimmune issues? Great question. While every disease is different and creates a diverse host of variables, a few key things can help reduce and prevent autoimmune disorders. So get ready to find out the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones happy and healthy.
The Power of Gut Health
As a doctor, I cannot tell you how many conversations I have daily about autoimmune disorders. Most of my clients have been struggling with an undiagnosed autoimmune disease for years. Others have been diagnosed and are looking for ways to reduce their symptoms. As such, one of the very first things we do is talk about digestive health. Here’s the thing, most people don’t realize that more than half of your immune system is inside of your digestive tract! That’s right, which means when your digestive system has become compromised, your immune system has too! This means that by supporting your digestive health, you are boosting your immunity all in one. I don’t know about you, but I love when I get a two-for-one deal.
What You Put In Determines What You Will Get Out!
When it comes to supporting your digestive health, there are various ways to do just that. One of the best ways is through nutrition. I know. I must sound like a broken record. But here’s the thing, food can be used in so many different ways, and there are so many kinds of foods and combinations that are going to help you take back control of more than just your health. This is why the first thing I do with any of my clients is talk about the importance of choosing the right foods and making them work for you instead of the other way around. Swapping an anti-inflammatory diet is one of the most effective ways to prevent and ease autoimmune issues. When switching to an anti-inflammatory diet, you will want to eliminate dairy, soy, gluten, red meat, even some fruits and vegetables. Here’s why.
Grains That Cause You Pain
The grain-free diet has typically been reserved for people with celiac disease because grains are a primary source of gluten. However, there are other types of gluten sensitivity, including simple intolerance to foods containing gluten. In addition, gluten causes inflammation of the small intestines, and reducing or eliminating grains—and gluten—from your diet can significantly relieve this discomfort.
There are two main groups of proteins in gluten: gliadins and glutenins.
According to research, gliadin is degraded to a collection of polypeptides (the building blocks of proteins) called exorphins in the digestive tract. Exorphins can cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to specific areas to induce appetite and cause behavioral changes, such as loss of concentration or attention in some people and mental disturbance in others. Additionally, people who consume gliadin take in 400 more calories each day. People who remove gliadin from their diet reduce calorie intake by 400 calories each day. Moreover, antibodies that are formed in reaction to gliadin can bind to nervous system cells. This can contribute to neurological impairment. It is also responsible for allergic responses.
Gluten is not an ideal substance in general, so that a grain-free diet can benefit more than those sensitive to gluten.Dr. Dee
Here’s the thing outside of the US, people consume gluten-dense foods daily with little to no health issues. In fact, I have had several clients go abroad for vacation and consume gluten with no ill effect. In the US, our foods are processed differently (not to mention we use ingredients here that are banned around the world), and as a by-product, people are experiencing more symptoms as a result. Now that does not include individuals with more of slight sensitivity to gluten as opposed to those who are gluten intolerant. You will want to pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you, and of course, you can always do a test to determine any food sensitivities.
Looking for Alternatives?
Low-sugar fruits and some vegetables are great alternatives to grains. Some of them are avocados, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, eggplant, lemons, leafy green vegetables such as lettuces, collards, spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, artichoke, alfalfa sprouts, green beans, celery, bok choy, radishes, watercress, turnip, asparagus, garlic, leek, fennel, shallots, scallions, ginger, jicama, parsley, water chestnuts. Fruits and vegetables have additional advantages to your health as well, such as detoxification. There is also an extensive list of gluten-free fat and protein sources. These include extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grass-fed tallow, organic or pasture-fed butter, ghee, almond milk, avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts, and nut butter.
Foods you can eat in Moderation
Proteins include whole eggs; wild fish like salmon, black cod, mahi-mahi, grouper, herring, trout, and sardines; shellfish and mollusks like shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, and oysters; and grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, and meat like beef, lamb, liver, bison, chicken, turkey, duck and ostrich. It can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to cut out grains entirely from our diet since grains are considered a staple food. But even a slight reduction in your daily diet can have a significant impact on your health. So omit one-grain product a day from your meals, and feel the difference!
Ease your way into it!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your gut health. To ensure you are successful in your transition you will want to ease your way in. I have my clients do a food journal to keep track of what they ate and how they felt afterward. You are unique and as such the same foods interact differently with all of us. It is important to listen to your body and key out which foods are producing the results you want. In doing so, you are able to take back control of your health and happiness. Here are some recipes to help you do just that!
Zoodles With Shrimp
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Serves 4
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 1 Pound Jumbo Shrimp (shelled & deveined)
- 1/2 Shallot Minced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice Fresh
- 3 Medium Zucchini cut into Noodles
- 1 tsp Lime Zest
- 4 Tbsp Cilantro chopped
Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until frothing. Toss in shrimp and cook for two minutes before flipping. Next, add the garlic, shallots, and pepper flakes and cook for one more minute before setting aside.
Add in the broth and lime juice to deglaze the pan. Let simmer for 2 minutes, add the zoodles, and cook until just tender (about 2 minutes). Once noodles have started to cook add in seasonings, shrimp, lime zest, and cilantro. Let the sauce begin to thicken and remove from heat. Top with more zest and cilantro.
Frozen Mango Drink
Gluten-Free Vegan Serves 4
- 1/4 Cup Frozen Mango
- 1 Cup Ice
- 1/4 Cup Mint
- 2 tsp Agave Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
- 16 oz Coconut Lime Bia Water
- 1/3 Cup Silver Tequila*
- 2 Tbsp Flaky Sea Salt
Combine all the ingredients except the sea salt and a few mint leaves for garnish into a blender. Blend until smooth. Garnish with mint and a salt rim if you like. This is also great without the alcohol to enjoy by the pool. Please drink responsibly.
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help, I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected], or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!