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The Lupus Diet

While surfing the web yesterday for my post Eat this… Dont eat that! I came across a site titled
“Can Lupus, and Lupus Hair Loss be Tamed with a Lupus Diet?”. I found this to be very interesting (1.) I have Lupus and have never heard of a Lupus diet, and (2.) My hair is falling out 😦

As I began to read the article, I was happy to see that a specific listing of foods was provided to help boost the immune system. I was never one to count calories nor could I rattle off the top of my head what food are enriched in specific vitamins (outside of the obvious- vitamin C- oranges, etc). So the list with specific foods, I found to be very helpful. After yesterdays posting, I was feeling like there werent anything I could eat- and I was hungry. With the list below I now feel like I have options!

Top 10 immune system boosters include, which supply the highest levels of these nutrients, are beets, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, curly kale, grapefruit, blueberry, brazil nuts, soy beans, green tea and garlic.

Other top immune boosters include sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, yams, red bell peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, pumpkin, chili peppers, avocados.

Cruciferous vegetables, watercress, nettle, spinach, Belgian endive, globe artichokes, arugula, kiwi, pineapple, papayas, mangoes, guava, cantaloupe, passion fruits, citrus fruits, bananas, grapes, berries, rosehips, hazelnuts, apples.

Endive, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachio nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, safflower oil, evening primrose oil, sesame seed and oil, aduki beans, oats, wheat germ, quinona, bulgur, rice, corn, kidney beans, lima beans, green beans, lentils, snow peas, turkey, pheasant, duck, chicken, fresh tuna, salmon, anchovy, mackerel.

Shrimp, yogurt, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary, ginger and turmeric. These foods all contain an abundance of nutrients with antioxidant, immune restoring or anti-inflammatory properties.

I realize I have to get serious about what I put in my body. What amounts are safe and just because I like it, dont mean it ok to eat it. I know all things in moderation is best- but my eating habits are CRAPPY- some things I have and will let go COLD TURKEY!

3 Objectives of The Lupus Diet

Proper diet is required not only for people with Lupus but there are some special considerations when it comes to Lupus dieting. There are three objectives of the diet and these are to counteract steroid therapy, to stock up on your potassium, and to replace the nutrients that you have lost. for you to be able to reach these objectives here are some information that you will have to keep in mind.

Control your fat Intake
For the Lupus diet, you have to control your fat intake. The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oils are also proven to lessen your risk of encountering coronary artery diseases. this Lupus diet is very important to those who are high risk for these certain conditions such as women with Lupus, or those who have hereditary tendencies.

Recommended Vitamins And which to Avoid
Taking in supplements when you are in a Lupus diet should not be done without consulting with your physician. There are certain vitamins that are not recommended for you since these will worsen your condition such as Vitamin a which can exacerbate autoimmunity and Vitamin E which will induce the remission of Lupus. on the other hand, there are helpful vitamins too such as Vitamin D which helps in managing osteoporosis, Vitamin B12 and folic acid that treat some forms of anemia. Herbal supplements too should not be taken without a doctor’s prescription, since there are some that are totally restricted for you.

The food Avoid
Alfalfa is one of the foods that should be totally avoided in a Lupus diet since this one can trigger symptoms that are Lupus-like or more commonly referred to as Lupus flares. these Lupus flares induced by alfalfa can be fatigue and muscle pain, blood test result abnormalities, nephritic problems and changes with how the immune system functions. Researches have found out that L-canavanine, an amino acid that is found in alfalfa activates the immune system, and can aggravate inflammation. Not all Lupus symptoms can be eliminated but many symptoms can be controlled to at least have a normal live.

If you have tried the Lupus Diet- comment and let me know how it worked-or didnt work or you.

Related Articles:

Can Lupus, and Lupus Hair Loss be Tamed with a Lupus Diet?

Lupus Diet – How to Make Your Lupus Symptoms Better

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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Eat This… Don’t Eat That!

As some of you know, I’m an F-O-O-D-I-E!!! I love all types of food. I’m accustomed to eating what I want, when I want it! My faves- buttery soft, mouth melting buttermilk red cupcake(s) topped with a dollop of cream cheese, a smooth rich, and dense NY Style Cheesecake topped with fresh berries, and extra crispy, golden brown SOUTHERN(deep)fried chicken (with all the fixings on the side). yes, I love food- #dontJudgeMe! Since being diagnosed with Lupus, I’ve been told to eat this.. don’t eat that.. Then of course everyone under the sun want to suggest what I should and should not eat. Overwhelming is an understatement- and I’m HUNGRY!

I dont enjoy my food or feel satisfied after I eat. I’m always worried that I ate the wrong thing, did the hubby put something in the food I wasn’t suppose to have[he cooks a lot of our meals during the week], what if I get sick, what if I get a flare up? With all of that swirling around my head, I can’t eat or enjoy my food.

I took to the Internet to see what other Lupies are eating- BIG MISTAKE! I’m more confused than ever. My doctor is suggesting that I do a gluten free eating plan. Others have suggested I do a vegetarian eating plan (the two conflicts with each other). I’m making an appointment with a nutritionist and hopefully will have a clear understanding what I should and should NOT be eating.

In the mean time, some of the common foods I’ve discovered that I Should Not Eat are:

Alfalfa seeds and sprouts should be avoided because they contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. This amino acid can aggravate the symptoms of lupus.

Animal meats, dairy, eggs, nori seaweed, and peanuts contain arachidonic acid. When used excessively, arachidonic acid can actually be destructive to the body.

Beans and mushrooms contain amines and hydrazines, which increase lupus symptoms.

Oils like corn, poppy seed, safflower, and sunflower, cured meats and hotdogs actually encourage lupus episodes because they contain components that have been proven to trigger lupus symptoms.

Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes, called nightshade vegetables, should be avoided because they contain solanine, an agent that triggers inflammation and pain common to lupus sufferers.

Sulfur-containing veggies such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. These may be difficult for many lupus sufferers to digest without upset.

Fats. It’s suggested fat reduction can produce up to a 25% improvement in the aches and pains of a lupus patient.

Herbs like andrographis, echinacea, eleutherococcus, garlic, ginseng, and Panax should be taken with caution since they are known to increase autoimmunity.

Iron should come from food, not dietary supplements because it could promote joint destruction, pain, and swelling.

To Summarize-Don’t Eat This!

  • Caffeine, dairy, foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Red meats and high fat meats like organ meats, and dark meats.
  • Alcoholic beverages, salty foods, sugar sweetened beverages, candy, snacks, sweets, and alfalfa sprouts.

You should Eat THIS!

Foods high in iron. Eating leafy green vegetables, fish, and lean meat like liver can help offset your risk of anemia. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with iron.

Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring, contain natural anti-inflammatory substances and may help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with systemic lupus. Your lupus diet should include plenty of fish.

Antioxidants. Many fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which are natural healers. Berries, apricots, and sweet potatoes are especially good sources.

Vitamins. Vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A, and the B vitamins are all beneficial in a lupus diet. Vitamin C can increase your ability to absorb iron and is a good source of antioxidants.

To summarize-Do the following!

  • Include: chicken breast, lean beef, wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, tuna (canned light), crab, oysters, tilapia, cod, pacific oysters into your diet
  • Remove skin from poultry because that is where the most saturated fat is located
  • Look for lean meats around 99%
  • Broil and grill vs. pan fried with oil, deep fried, and breading.
  • It is important to incorporate fish into your diet around 3-4 times a week
  • Practice portion control – meat should not take up ½ of your plate, it should be more like ¼
  • Beneficial fish oils to consider include: evening primrose oil and flaxseed.
  • When you are thirsty, replace soda and tea with water

The Lupie Chick is H-U-N-G-R-Y! If any of you have any advice or any recipes please share.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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Is there any connection between what you put in your mouth and keeping a full head of hair?

For men, the answer is a resounding no. (Sorry, guys. Except in cases of extreme malnutrition, no amount of vitamins or minerals will regrow hair.) But for some women who have experienced hair loss related to physical trauma, crash dieting or heavy menstrual flow, the answer is yes.

What you eat may well have an effect on how good your hair looks, but there’s little you can do in terms of diet that will have an impact on how much hair you have. Here are a couple of things that doctors say you can do for healthier hair.

Steer clear of crash diets
Trimming pounds gradually not only is healthier than crash dieting but also keeps your hair on your head. “Any woman who has lost 20 pounds or more in a period of three months is going to have a problem with hair loss,” says Wilma Bergfeld, M.D., a dermatologist and director of the Section of Dermatopathology and Dermatological Research at the Cleveland Clinic. The safe and effective way to lose weight: trimming no more than a pound a week.

Pump up your iron
To boost iron absorption, some doctors also recommend drinking orange juice, which is high in vitamin C, whenever you eat foods high in iron, such as broccoli and red meat, says Alexander Zemtsov, M.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

Except in cases of starvation, it doesn’t seem that vitamins and minerals affect hair growth in men. On the other hand, nutrients may prove helpful for some women who have experienced hair loss. Here’s what the experts recommend.

Nutrient Daily Amount

Iron 50 milligrams

Vitamin C 100 milligrams

Plus a multivitamin/mineral supplement containing the Daily Values of all essential vitamins and minerals <

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What Vitamins Do For Your hair

Biotin: thickens the hair strands.

Choline Bitarate: keeps the hair root moist.

Copper: prolongs your original hair color.

Folic Acid: for cell renewal to grow hair.

Inositol: reduces hair falling from the root.

Iodine: regulates the thyroid hormone for hair growth.

Iron: helps reduce balding-Hair falling from the root.

Manganese: produces growth of the hair and nails.

Niacin: produces blood flow to the follicle to produce hair growth.

Pantothenic Acid: produces hair growth and stimulation of new growth.

Para-Amonobenzoic Acid: prevents hair loss and protects follicles.

Riboflavin: prevents dandruff and helps with the absorption of iron.

Thiamine: prevents hair loss.

Vitamin A: keeps moisture in your hair strands so you’ll have less chance of breakage.

Vitamin B-12: stimulates hair growth.

Zinc: produces hair growth.

Always consult with your doctor or nutritionist before taking or adding any new vitamin supplements to your diet. Also if you are pregnant consult your doctor. Especially if you’re currently taking medications of any kind).

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Vitamins and Supplements for Hair Growth

Supplements such as biotin, silica and iron can help grow healthy hair, prevent thinning hair and may even reverse greying.

Topical hair treatments are often less effective than building strong hair from the inside by dietary means. Ideally hair growth vitamins and minerals should be obtained through diet via whole foods: but if this is not possible or the severity of the problem merits supplements, capsules or liquid supplements can be obtained. Always check with a healthcare provider before taking supplements, as some are unsuitable in the case of pregnancy or various medical conditions, or in conjunction with other drugs.

Biotin (Vitamin H) for Hair Growth

Few people are actually deficient in biotin, which occurs naturally in bacteria in the gut. Nevertheless, therapeutic doses of biotin – also called Vitamin H or B7 – are necessary to achieve benefits in hair health and rapid growth. It is difficult to overdose on biotin – many supplements come in 500 microgram capsules.

Biotin is useful for those who want their hair to grow faster: some claim it can even reverse premature greying if the greying is caused by marginal biotin levels. Biotin can be taken alone or in conjunction with other B-vitamins. The latter may be a good idea if you lead a stressful lifestyle – B vitamins help to prevent stress, which is a cause of hair loss!

Silica to Strengthen Hair

Silica is a trace mineral which Westerners often lack due to a denatured diet. Organic produce such as rice, oats, sunflower seeds and potatoes provide dietary silica: capsules are also available. Silica is a large component of the many “Hair, Skin and Nails” vitamins available.

Iron to Prevent Hair Loss Due to Anaemia

Anaemia-related hair loss is the most common form of hair loss. Iron supplements may help the condition, but some find they produce constipation or nausea. Some iron supplements are also more bioavailable than others. Ideally, anaemia should be prevented by eating haem iron from red meats and organ meats. Non-haem iron is less easily absorbed by the body, but can be obtained from dried fruit, tofu, beans and lentils, and of course iron-fortified breads and cereals. Cooking in a cast-iron pot is another way to ensure iron levels stay high: trace amounts of iron enter the food as you cook.

To maximise the iron you ingest, eat iron-rich foods with foods containing vitamin C and avoid calcium-rich foods for a few hours around your iron-rich meal.

Protein-Rich Foods for Hair Growth

Hair is made of keratin, a form of protein. Eating a protein-rich diet helps provide the building blocks to make hair, resulting in thicker and stronger locks. Protein in the form of red meat also helps prevent anaemia, providing your hair with a two-for-one dose of goodness.

Nettles to Prevent Hair Loss

According to Nettles Online, “Nettle Root Extract has been used successfully in Europe as an inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase in treating [hair loss] …5-alpha reductase is a key component in turning testosterone into DHT, the substance that causes the atrophy of hair follicles” (Hair Loss Causes, sourced 9 September 2009). Hence, capsulised neetle root is sold as a treatment for thinning hair. Nettle products are also used as a topical treatment to produce strong, shiny hair.

As hair reflects a person’s general state of health, people with a healthy diet will naturally tend to have stronger and shinier hair. Smoking, stress and genetics also play a part in hair quality. How Fast Does Human Hair Grow? addresses a few of the issues which can affect human hair growth. Gentle Hair Care Techniques discusses ways to minimise physical and chemical damage to hair in your haircare routine.