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Although there is no specific strict diet for lupus patients, a healthy diet is considered to be extremely important. A well-balanced diet is an essential part of keeping flare-ups of lupus to a minimum. Physicians often recommend an easy-to-digest diet for lupus, as harder-to-digest foods can irritate certain parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended for lupus patients. There is also some evidence that those diagnosed with lupus should avoid certain foods, such as alfalfa sprouts and known food allergens.
More than most people, lupus patients should take care of their bodies. This includes a healthy and varied diet. According to many experts, a diet for lupus should be low in saturated fats and sugar. Raw fruits and green, leafy vegetables are great sources of certain vitamins and minerals that are thought to be beneficial to many lupus patients.
Most nutritionists now agree that many people do not get enough of certain fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Many lupus patients especially have very low levels of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Therefore, many nutritionists agree that a diet for lupus patients should include high amounts of certain types of fish, including mackerel, sardines, and salmon. Some studies show that these fatty acids can help relieve the swelling and inflammation that is characteristic of the disease.
Research has shown that a certain amino acid, known as L-canavanine, can cause or worsen flare-ups associated with lupus. Due to the fact that alfalfa seeds and sprouts contain L-canavanine, many physicians agree that a diet for lupus should not contain high quantities of alfalfa. Alfalfa tablets are thought to particularly worsen symptoms in some patients, and it is often recommended that these be avoided completely. There are also a few herbal teas that contain some quantity of alfalfa, so lupus patients should use caution when drinking these as well.
There has been some research that suggests that lupus is associated with a number of food allergies. Most lupus patients have some type of food allergy. Eating these foods can cause uncomfortable and painful flare-ups. Because of this, it is important that a diet for lupus does not include any foods to which the patient is allergic.
There are also a few other things that some believe should limited in a diet for lupus. Among these things are certain beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol. Also, because lupus can cause certain kidney problems, and an excess amount of protein is believed to worsen kidney damage, some recommend that protein should be ingested in moderation.