Today, I listened to a Phoenix Helix podcast Episode 30. I love her Stories podcasts which are Episodes 1, 14 and 30. In each of these three episodes, Eileen interviews people with different autoimmunity diseases. Today several of the stories really hit home for me.
In the first story, Tracey reversed Scleroderma, Polymyositis, and Raynaud’s with the Autoimmune Protocol diet (AIP). She had severe muscle destruction from her disease and is now back to participating in golfing tournaments and helping to (GASP – she’s 50) take care of her grand babies while running several businesses. Many of her symptoms sound like mine. Even with exercise, she continued to get weaker.
In the second story, Joe healed her severe Psoriasis with AIP. This story was interested b/c stress was a HUGE trigger for her Psoriasis. Even now in near complete remission, a lot of stress will bring on patches. Also sugar is a huge trigger for her autoimmune issues. So while paleo community has “paleofied” many treats using natural sweeteners, even those can be problematic. As Eileen says, if you’re on AIP and still not getting better, remove AIP treats completely to see if that is a trigger. Jo has a blog www.comfortbites.com with best trips for treating psoriasis. What hit home for me was that when she was stressed, it was hard to make wise food choices which of courses makes you feel worse.
In the third story, Dora discusses healing Grave’s disease with AIP. She is early in her journey but is slowly making progress in getting better. She got huge improvements, including a goiter shrinking, after just a few weeks on AIP and being off of steroids for a year. If you want some AIP version of Chinese dishes, check out Dora’s blog, Provincial Paleo.
In the fourth story, Freyja successful treats uveitis with AIP after numerous steroids including eye injections did not work. Interestingly, while she has no symptoms before her diagnosis and AIP, when she went back on a standard diet within hours she felt like she had the flu, she developed psoriasis in 3days, and her back pain which she had learned to live with and had disappeared on the 3months of AIP, was back.
In the fifth and final story, Barbara was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which her mom also had. While Parkinson’s is not thought to be autoimmune disease, Barbara was told by her doctor to try Dr. Wahl’s protocol for just a few months. She got her life back w/ Dr. Wahl’s protocol. When the holidays came and she ate standard foods, her Parkinson’s symptoms returned.
These stories really drive home for me the importance of nutrition in fighting any chronic illness.
Ok, well I titled this post with a rhetorical question – OF COURSE you need phytonutrients in your diet! While nutrition research is unreliable because usually it is based on someone’s recall of what they ate over a period of time, I think the research is pretty clear that a plant-based diet has NUMEROUS health benefits. So what are phytonutrients and where can you get them, you may ask!
Here’s what Kim Kash, Team Beachbody Blogger had to say about phytonutrients:
Phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants that are necessary for the health and defense of the plant. Some of them can also be useful to the human body. They’re found in all fruits and vegetables and many phytonutrient-rich foods have deep or bright colors—such as blueberries, red cabbage, tomatoes, and kale. However, not all of these foods are jewel-toned! Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices are also sources of these chemical compounds.
Generally speaking, phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they may reduce cancer risks and promote liver health. There are upwards of 25,000 of these chemicals, but some in particular have been studied extensively and are known for their health benefits. Here are a few:
Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, are responsible for the yellow, orange and red colors in fruits and vegetables. They have antioxidant benefits in the body and promote healthy eyes and vision.
Ellagic acid, found in fruits including strawberries and raspberries, is thought to help protect the body against cancer.
Flavonoids, which are divided into several categories including catechins, hesperidin, and flavonols, may lower the risk of asthma and certain types of cancer, and act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, acts as an anti-inflammatory, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Sulfides, found in onions and garlic, are antioxidants, and support immunity and cardiovascular health. They also stimulate the body to get rid of harmful chemicals.
One great way to get the benefits of many different phytonutrients is by eating foods that cover the full spectrum of the rainbow! Here’s a list of just some of the ones that you can try.
So check out the list of fruits and vegetables and see how many you can get in each day to reduce your inflammation and lead a healthier life!
My son loves fresh pineapple. I can take it or leave it (usually leave it) but being a mom, you sacrifice yourself for your kids. Well, sacrifice no more! I bought this pineapple slicer on a whim. My son was able to use it effortlessly. I was so impressed, I had to try it myself!
And here is the finished product! No more cutting off the tough outer skin from a pineapple! It was easy to get the pineapple off the tube and then cut the rings apart!
With the easy of cutting a fresh pineapple and reading about its health benefits at Medical News Today, I will be sure to add fresh pineapple to my diet.
One cup of fresh pineapple chunks provides 131% of your vitamin C needs for the day, 2% of vitamin A needs, 2% of calcium and 2% of iron.
Pineapple is also a source of important vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese and potassium and antioxidants and polyphenols, such asbeta-carotene.
Fresh pineapple is the only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which has been used in studies to determine it’s effectiveness in alleviating joint pain, arthritis, reduce inflammation, inhibit tumor growth and shorten recovery time following plastic surgery.
If you have a kitchen gadget that you just love and makes your life easier, leave me a comment and a link to it! Maybe there is something else out there I really, really need and I just don’t know about it yet!
How to incorporate 21 Day Fix into everyday life!! What to do when you’re on the go?