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5 Common Lupus Diet Myths Debunked: Separating Fact from Fiction

With the rise of diet trends and online advice, it's easy to get caught up in restrictive eating habits. However, some foods wrongly accused of being harmful may actually be beneficial for our health. In this post, we'll explore five common diet myths and give you confidence in their health benefits, backed by research.

Myth 1: “Avoid Nightshades.”

Tomatoes and peppers, for example, can actually be beneficial for some due to its antioxidants, Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties

Nightshades are a family of foods and spices that contain chemical compounds called alkaloids. Research shows that alkaloids can be dangerous in large doses. Now unless you are eating purely nightshades for each meal, daily, can they really be harmful?

Examples of nightshades include: tomatoes, potatoes (not sweet), eggplant, ashwagandha, bell peppers and spices made from peppers, like cayenne and paprika. 

Studies show that tomatoes, for example, have a compound called lycopene, which has cancer fighting effects and can protect against heart disease

Let’s remember that tomatoes and peppers are the base ingredients for many African, Indian, and Latin meals.

Therefore, the AIP diet lacks sufficient evidence of its effectiveness in reducing inflammation— no shade (pun intended). 

Myth 2: “Gluten is bad.”

Yes, if you have Celiac disease. Avoid it. Genetically the body doesn’t digest gluten, which can be dangerous. 

But also very importantly, Wheat (which contains gluten) is often sprayed with glyphosate, which disrupts hormones and the GI tract.

In a research article posted by the National Institute of Health, “Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic.” …

I know. Shocking. 

Additionally, modern wheat has been hybridized so that it can be produced bigger, faster and withstand and grow in harsh environments (thanks to climate change). Modern wheat is hard to digest with ~42 chromosomes. 

I suggest a read of this fascinating article which breaks down the evolution of wheat. 

To protect the gut from glyphosate and indigestibility, I recommend trying out ancient wheat grains, such as Einkorn wheat, with just 14 chromosomes. 

You get the digestibility picture.

I recommend sourcing Einkorn from reputable distributors and as organic as possible. My favorite brands are Jovial and Janie’s Mills

Myth 3: “ Lectins are your enemy.”

Claims say to avoid beans, grains and some veggies because of lectins, causing indigestion and GI distress, when in fact, lectins are essential nutrients that are needed for energy, metabolism and gut health, period.

In a Harvard study, “lectin-containing foods like legumes, whole grains, and nuts are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, weight loss, and type 2 diabetes. These foods are rich sources of B vitamins, protein, fiber, and minerals, and healthy fats. Thus, the health benefits of consuming these foods far outweigh the potential harm of lectins in these foods.

If you are concerned about lectins in any regard, soaking and pressure-cooking beans and grains remove most lectins. Here are some tips to reduce lectins, from Dr. Gundry himself.

Our ancestors have been eating these staple foods for thousands of years, and they are in our DNA. We should prepare them accordingly and build the appropriate gut microbiome structure to digest and absorb them. 

Myth 4: ‘‘Garlic is counteractive.”

It’s said that sulphuric compounds in garlic can increase the immune system and enhance white blood cells. In a study done by John Hopkin’s, “people with lupus and lupus-like signs should avoid cooking with garlic and adding it to food.”

I wish it were that simple. Just stop eating a certain food to prevent our immune system from becoming overactive. Hmmmm. As we know, lupus is very complicated, and there can be pathogens that cause our immune system to become overactive. I would focus on fighting those first.

Most of the time, we need the compounds, such as sulfur in garlic, to help our bodies fight off infections. Garlic can fight off bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Garlic works wonders for grandma’s remedies.

Myth 5: “Soy is bad for hormones.”

Soy contains phytoestrogens, which actually balance estrogen levels. While some people are allergic to it, soy contains a good source of protein, fiber and minerals, like calcium and iron. Studies show that women in China have the lowest breast cancer risk from eating soy. 

Let’s not mention that women of color are plagued with breast cancer from using toxic products like relaxers and hair straighteners. A study done with Boston University states “ those who used these products at least seven times a year for 15 or more years, which represented approximately 20 percent of women in our study – had about a 30 percent increased risk of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer,” Could education on the risk of relaxers reduce this? Can consumption of soy combat this issue? There needs to be more research and discussion on soy. 

I recommend sourcing soy as organic as possible. 

Don’t knock these foods until you’ve tried them.

Get tested for food allergies and intolerances. Note: Intolerances can be reduced with a healthy gut microbiome.

Don’t rely on google for your lupus diet. Work with a professional. Be your own greatest teacher. Learn to love food again.

Stay Healthy,

Genny Mack

1 Comment

This information is very informative and useful. I am going to include in my eating habits and see what a difference it makes! Stay tune for a update. Thank you for sharing..

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