Here’s WHAT TO EAT if You Have

Better Nutrition - - FRONT PAGE - BY LISA TURNER

Au­toim­mune dis­eases such as rheuma­toid arthri­tis, lu­pus, thy­roid disor­ders, Crohn’s dis­ease, and ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis are painful, dis­rup­tive, and of­ten dev­as­tat­ing. At their core, they have one thing in com­mon: an out- of- con­trol im­mune re­sponse linked with sys­temic in­flam­ma­tion.

Luck­ily, the right diet can help. In gen­eral, avoid caf­feine, al­co­hol, sugar, grains, dairy, and red meat, and in­stead fo­cus on fruits, veg­eta­bles, healthy fats, and fish. And try these six foods to make liv­ing with au­toim­mune disor­ders eas­ier ( and tastier):

Sauer­kraut. Tra­di­tion­ally fer­mented sauer­kraut is loaded with pro­bi­otics, which help balance the gut mi­cro­biome and im­prove the in­tes­tine’s bar­rier func­tion, crit­i­cal in pro­tect­ing against au­toim­mune disor­ders. Stud­ies show that peo­ple with rheuma­toid arthri­tis who took pro­bi­otics showed a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in stiff­ness, swelling, pain, and in­flam­ma­tion. Other good dairy- free pro­bi­otic sources in­clude kom­bucha, kim­chi, fer­mented veg­eta­bles, pickled ginger, and ke­fir.

Try this: Purée sauer­kraut with mus­tard, horse­rad­ish, and brown sugar for a zesty sand­wich spread; grill chicken or turkey sausage, slice on the di­ag­o­nal, and serve on a bed of sauer­kraut; mix sauer­kraut with grated car­rots, daikon radish, and shred­ded spinach for an easy side.

Hal­ibut. One 3- oz. serv­ing has more than a full day’s rec­om­mended value of vi­ta­min D, which is linked with re­duced risk of rheuma­toid arthri­tis, mul­ti­ple sclero­sis, lu­pus, and sim­i­lar au­toim­mune dis­eases. Other good sources of vi­ta­min D in­clude salmon, mack­erel, sar­dines, white­fish, and tuna. And while mush­rooms are very high in vi­ta­min D, it’s in a form that’s not read­ily avail­able to the hu­man body.

Try this: Mar­i­nate hal­ibut steaks in olive oil and garlic, then grill un­til done and gar­nish with lemons, ca­pers, and pars­ley; layer hal­ibut filets with rose­mary and shal­lots, wrap in parch­ment or foil, and bake un­til done; poach hal­ibut in white wine, cut into strips, and serve on a salad of arugula, thinly sliced fen­nel, orange seg­ments, and black olives.

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