I Have an Autoimmune Disease—Here's What I Eat Now for Healthy Immunity

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When I was diagnosed with Graves' disease, it was like pulling the ground out from under my feet. Besides knowing so little about autoimmune diseases and thyroid health or function, I received a wealth of information and didn't know how best to process it. After much research, questions, and countless doctor visits, it became clear that I needed to focus on the food I was eating in order to build a healthy, strong foundation.
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There are a number of foods that support healthy immune function and prevent autoimmune diseases. My favorite place to do business is my local farmer's market, which always has a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other delicious goods. Below are 10 of my favorite items that I can bring to market and easily incorporate into my meals in my kitchen.
1. Apples
One of the main causes of autoimmune diseases is a leaky gut, which in the simplest case occurs when the intestinal lining loses its integrity and stimulates bacteria and toxins to pass through. Leaky bowel leads to inflammation, which the issue is that inflammation causes autoimmune diseases. Apples contain a flavonoid (pigment) called quercetin, which can both reduce allergic reactions and reduce inflammation.
Amazon Fresh Honeycrisp Apple ($ 1)
2. Artichoke
Artichokes aid in the production of bile, which is produced by the liver, and promote healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients. Without a sufficient supply of bile, fatty acids and essential nutrients cannot be properly absorbed. Additionally, due to their high fiber content, artichokes can easily reduce inflammation.
3. Avocados
Avocados are rich in B vitamins, which are vital for healthy immune function. Fatty acids (found in avocados) are also important for naturally balancing hormones.
Whole Foods Market Avocado Hass Large Organic, 1 each ($ 2)
4. Bok Choy
Bok Choy is loaded with vitamin K and polyphenols, both of which contain health promoting properties essential for healthy immunity and preventing inflammation. To prevent chronic illness, it is necessary to keep the immune system strong. If you have a thyroid condition, Bok Choy is incredible for thyroid health.
5. Cauliflower
Similar to broccoli and cabbage, cauliflower contains glutathione, an antioxidant that helps relieve autoimmune diseases. They protect against oxidative stress, an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants.
6. Extra virgin olive oil
Thanks to the presence of antioxidants, olive oil helps with inflammation like no other. There are also certain genes and proteins in olive oil that help mediate inflammation. Always buy extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO) as this means it has not been heated or chemically processed. I like this one from Nuvó.
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