With over 25 million Americans affected by autoimmune disorders at present, it is evident that Autoimmune disorders have become an enormous health crisis. Around 80 diseases have been classified as autoimmune, some of the common ones are mentioned below:
What is Autoimmune Disease?
An autoimmune disease strikes when the body’s immune system confuses healthy tissues and organs as foreign. This misunderstanding results in the body producing antibodies to attack the body’s own tissues. What follows are symptoms like fatigue, agonizing pain, and overwhelming weakness.
Basically, the body is attacking itself. These conditions can manifest themselves as a variety of symptoms, thus making it very difficult to diagnose accurately.
Up to 700 million people have been estimated to be suffering from autoimmune disease. Almost 78% of these cases take place in women.
Although the situation does appear dire, there are ways to not only successfully manage the disease but also heal the body of its many symptoms. Many autoimmune cases can be traced back to some manner of deficiencies of critical nutrients, the body requires and what we now know as leaky gut.
In this article, we list the five vital nutrients that can help in efficiently combating the debilitating conditions of autoimmunity. A clean diet that incorporates anti-inflammatory foods, a good gut repair regiment, and adequate intake of these nutrients can work wonders in eliminating the root causes of autoimmune disorders.
5 Best Nutrients to Heal Autoimmune Naturally
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known to have potent effects on the immune system of our body. As discussed before, in cases of autoimmune disease, the body has a hard time differentiating foreign invaders from non-foreign bodies. Vitamin D helps make that distinction clear. It helps coordinate and modulates the immune system.
The use of sunscreen and low sun exposure has caused a deficiency of Vitamin D in the modern population. To top it off, our modern diet also doesn’t help in elevating the amount of Vitamin D in our system.
So the best way to increase the amount of Vitamin D in our body is to expose our skin to more sunlight or take vitamin D in a supplement. In addition to this, food like sardines and salmon are known to be rich sources of Vitamin D and should be consumed frequently.
Zinc is another powerful nutrient that helps in cases of autoimmune disorders. Adequate Zinc levels in the body help in the formation of thymus glands and T helper cells, which are both crucial for the coordination of the immune system.
There have been extensive studies that show low Zinc levels to be the cause of atrophy of the thymus gland, which results in poor T helper cells maturation. This can ultimately lead to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders.
For better results, the recommended dose for zinc consumption in adults is 30 – 60 mg per day.
When it comes to diet foods like:
· Pumpkin Seeds
· Pasture-Raised Lamb
· Beef are all excellent sources of dietary Zinc.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that is essential in regulating other anti-oxidants in the body. In addition, glutathione helps the body with cellular detoxification, and it is the body’s most powerful anti-inflammatory. Here are some of the significances of Glutathione on the body:
· Acts as Anti-oxidant for each cell
· Acts as Anti Inflammatory for each cell
· Acts as detoxifier inside each cell.
· Primary Detoxifier of Heavy Metal
· Major Protector of Mitochondria within the cell
· Major Protector of the Nucleus and DNA of the Cell
· Cardiovascular System Enhancer
The above merits should testify to how powerful Glutathione is for the body. As such, it is known as ‘the guardian of the cell.’ It has been identified in playing a significant role in white blood cell function and regulation of the immune system. While the body is designed to make its own glutathione, nutritional deficiencies, toxic load on the body, or even genetics can cause a deficiency in our own glutathione production, so a good quality glutathione supplement can really make a big difference for those struggling with autoimmune disease. In addition, some foods also contain glutathione.
The top foods we recommend to boost Glutathione are as follows:
· Sulfurous Food (Garlic, Onions, Cruciferous Veggies)
· Milk Thistle
· Organ Meats
Also, there are several lifestyle changes that can help in increasing the level of Glutathione in the body. Mundane activities like proper sleep, adequate exercise, healthy sun exposure, avoiding environmental toxins can all help one boost the levels of Glutathione in your body.
4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
We have found that most cases of autoimmune diseases are also associated with a deficiency of fatty acids in the body. The standard American diet is very rich in omega 6 fatty acids, while severely low in omega 3 fatty acids. A high amount of Omega 6 fatty acids as compared to omega 3 is known to amplify inflammation in the body.
There are 2 ways to boost the level of Omega 3 acids in the body, one through diet and the other through supplements.
Food like Alaskan sockeye salmon, sardines, and anchovies are perfect choices to boost levels of omega 3 fatty acids as they do not come with the concern of heavy metals that are found in other fish. For supplements, you can opt for purified fish oil from fish like anchovies and sardines. Other fish oil brands like Nordic Naturals are also a good supplement for Omega 3 fatty acids.
Autoimmune patients usually have some form of bacterial imbalance in their gut, and most have what is termed as ‘Leaky Gut.’ Having a healthy gut biome includes having a healthy gut lining and the right variety of bacteria in the gut. Restoring a healthy gut biome can help in improving the body’s digestive tract and support and restore proper immune function.
Unfortunately, many modern-day habits destroy healthy bacteria in our gut. Consumption of municipal tap water, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, processed foods, etc. all work to kill the good bacteria in our body. In order to really fight autoimmune diseases, we need to work on getting these commonly exposed toxins out of our body and repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria.
Most fermented food is very rich in Probiotics that can help rebuild a compromised gut biome.
· Coconut Yogurt
· Coconut Kefir
· Kimchi etc. are all food items that can be consumed for Probiotics.
You can also use supplements for increased effectiveness. Good quality soil-based probiotic supplements can be easily found through your holistic or functional health practitioner. You might need some other foundational work done on your gut before introducing probiotics, so it might be a good idea to consult an expert before using these supplements.