Autoimmune Disease and Diet – What to Avoid and Add

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prebiotics help inflammationSince the body’s immune system is largely regulated in the gut – 70% of your immune system is controlled within your gastrointestinal microbiome – it is safe to say that those with chronic inflammation and autoimmune reactions should look to concentrate on restoring the health of their gut by adding to the diet a mix of beneficial natural substances and avoiding the harmful processed ones.  Thus, conducting autoimmune disease and diet research is a must for those looking for a natural remedy.

6 Things To Avoid, And Why

In order to naturally manage your immune response and chronic inflammation, the first thing to do is not ingest substances in food that kill the good microbes in your gut or substances that will erode the gut lining, also called “Leaky Gut” Syndrome. Here are a just a few of the more serious items to avoid if possible:

Antibiotics – Kills both good and bad microbes while linked to ‘leaky gut” syndrome. Having been over-prescribed for decades to the point of being much less effective in combating many serious infectious bacteria, antibiotics many times do not need to be used and can be

substituted for (as per your integrative doctor) with a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal, such as oregano oil.

Chemical (fake) sweeteners – Kills good microbes but also increases the number of bad microbes linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and chronic inflammation (video).

Stress – Chronic stress is linked to “Leaky Gut” Syndrome, cancer, heart disease, obesity and other health concerns. “Leaky Gut” syndrome is a direct cause of autoimmune and inflammation illnesses.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup – This is a ubiquitous industrial food-like product that has been shown to have mercury and other contaminants as a by-product of the processing. Research at Children’s Hospital in Oakland has linked HFCS to “Leaky Gut” Syndrome, and many studies have shown it to be associated with a plethora of disorders.

Pesticides/Herbicides (go organic) – Glyphosate, used in Round-Up, is heavily sprayed on GMO crops and used regularly on most fruits and vegetables and it has been shown to kill the gut’s beneficial bacteria and also interfere with the proper functioning of the gut’s good bacteria as it interrupts the synthesis of certain amino acids. As a result, studies show these amino acids are depleted from the microbiome resulting in links to inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, autism, and Parkinson’s.

Cheap Meat (go grass-fed) – The meat coming from the Confined Cattle Feeding Operations (chicken and pork also) are loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones, plus they are being fed a GMO grain diet replete with glyphosate – all of which is being passed on to you. In addition, the “meat glue” the industry uses to patch scraps together as a way to make cheap steaks is called transglutaminase, which recent studies in Germany and Israel linked to “leaky gut” syndrome (a direct cause of autoimmune and chronic inflammation illnesses).

Whether you have an immune response condition or not, it can not be stressed enough to attempt, as much as possible, to eat organic and reduce your intake of processed foods and pesticides. Especially those packaged foods with labels that have chemical ingredients, some of which (like emulsifiers)  damage the gut’s bacteria and have been linked to cancer and the cause of the erosion of the gut lining, “leaky gut” syndrome, as substances then go through holes in the gut lining and cause the body to have an adverse immune reaction.

Reduce intake of refined sugar and flour, which feed the bad bacteria,  by substituting in very limited amounts, raw honey, molasses, or pure maple syrup and using only whole grain products sparingly (if you have a serious condition, ask your integrative doctor about an elimination diet and a “leaky gut” test).

Re-flourish The Microbiome

Now that we have eliminated from our diet that which harms the gut’s microbiome, it is necessary to add natural components to your daily regimen that decreases chronic inflammation, increases the good bacteria and eliminates the bad.  This is a process, and it is not particularly a pain-free one because at first there may be minor withdrawal symptoms from some of the substances you are avoiding. Also, depending on your digestive sensitivity and the severity of your gut issues, there may be some minor “die-off” symptoms as the bad is eliminated. Consider these a good sign and embrace the results.


Coconut Oil & Olive Oil – Coconut oil has been found in a recent study to benefit the gut flora and reduce autoimmune symptoms in Crohn’s Disease sufferers. It has numerous health benefits and is an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Extra-virgin olive oil is a polyphenol anti-oxidant known to have anti-inflammatory effects, among many other health benefits. Avoid canola oil (vegetable oil) as it is processed with hexane, a petroleum by-product. Canola oil is linked to numerous chronic disorders.

Turmeric – The nation of India, known for their turmeric laden curry dishes, has very little incidences of colon and bowel cancers, and their incidents of Alzheimer’s is one-quarter of that in the US. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, has been proven to kill cancer cells, so this known super-anti-inflammatory spice should be integrated into everyone’s diet.

Prebiotics – These are a particular type of fiber that feeds probiotics and gut flora, allowing them to colonize and flourish, and has been shown to lower autoimmune and inflammatory symptoms.

Raw foods defined as prebiotic:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Jicama
  • Asparagus,
  • Green bananas
  • Leeks
  • Dandelion greens
  • Acacia gum – Acacia fiber as a supplement works well in smoothies or dissolved in liquids.

Probiotics – Live microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy microbiome contained in supplements and foods that are fermented, and a few that are not. Besides regulating the lining of the gut, probiotics crowd out the bad bacteria and support immune function and reduce inflammation. Probiotic foods include:

  • Dark chocolate (>=70%)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi
  • Green olives
  • Fresh local sourdough bread
  • Fresh green peas
  • Acidophilus milk (organic)
  • Swiss cheese

I26 Immune SupplementClinical trials indicate this super-food uses specific immunity to eliminate the bad bacteria which allows the good bacteria to repopulate. For autoimmune sufferers, it was shown to modulate autoimmune response and balance the immune system – so if you are being prescribed  immunosuppressive drugs that suppresses your immune system, ask your doctor if you can try i26 instead and you will get a balanced immune system back, and then some, with no side effects.

It has also been clinically shown to normalize chronic inflammation, as measured by CRP blood tests, and has no side effects. A great science-backed autoimmune and diet staple.

Peony Root Extract – From the root of the peony flower. This gem from mother nature has been studied recently and the research has discovered it’s components work to balance the immune system and modulate autoimmune response. It is used in China as a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and has had notable effects on psoriasis patients.

Oregano essential oil – Adding 5-10 drops of oregano essential oil to your smoothies or juice for 10 days every other month is a healthy choice for gastrointestinal repair as it is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, digestive, emmenagogue and anti-allergenic resulting in numerous health benefits (not to be used if pregnant). Do not take oregano oil straight as it is very strong.

Checking Your Progress

Having a simple C-Reactive Protein (CRP) blood test done to see where your inflammation level currently sits and comparing the numbers in a few months is a great way to monitor your progress. C-Reactive Protein is a marker for inflammation that rises with the onset of chronic inflammation, but it can also be temporarily high with minor infections in the body – so wait until those have cleared up.

There are natural solutions that have been proven to heal the body without the side effects of modern medicine’s chemical alternatives, and when being used in conjunction with one another and by also eliminating the bad stuff, the approach can prove successful in managing chronic inflammation and immune response issues. Even by itself, the i26 product has been a miracle for many, so help yourself to healthy choices to manage the problem.

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, try and get out and move around more if you are able to by taking walks – use that time to calm any stress you may have while you’re out there. Take chlorella for a few months to eliminate heavy metals from the body as these harmful substances may be causing an inflammatory response (don’t buy supplements imported from China though). Autoimmune disease and diet choices – begin to understand the effects of what you consume and you will live a healthier life.


Please leave a comment or contact me with any questions.


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I think that antibiotics is a really important one here. Lots of people don’t realise what a negative impact it actually has on the whole body. It can literally take your immune system months to recover.

I like that you touch on stress as well. I’ve definitely noticed that I get sick a lot more when I’m stressed out so keeping this to a minimum is essential.

Indeed, the ratio of good to bad microbes in the gastrointestinal tract for optimal health should be 85% good to 15% bad, so when antibiotics wipe out most of the good at the same time as the bad. all sorts of conditions can manifest – couple that with stress, fake food, and chemical additives and it only exacerbates the disease potential.

Thank you for your comment..

Totally agree with antibiotics. They should only be used when necessary like if someone has a serious infection or something like that.
Does it matter what time of day we consume probiotics? I like to eat yogurt in the morning, and that seems to set the day off right.
Thanks a lot for list of foods!

Yes, sometimes antibiotics can create a worse problem than it is being prescribed for, like “leaky gut” syndrome which can create absolute havoc in regards to one’s health in the form of autoimmune response and/or chronic inflammation after particles consistently get through the lining of the leaky gut and the body attacks them as foreign invaders.

As far as probiotics and when to take, the consensus seems to be to take the supplements with food anytime, and anytime when eating the probiotic foods – like Greek yogurt.

Thanks for the comment.

Hi James,

Thank you for this informative post. I would never have thought that antibiotics would have a negative effect on your body, however, I am aware that antibiotics don’t always combat inflammation.

I have learned that Turmeric is a spice used in cooking and is also known for antioxidant content along with other health benefits.

I personally prefer to go natural and avoid prescribed medicine. I liked that you listed several natural alternatives that is much more of a health benefit.

Again thank you for this informative post.

Right, chronic inflammation is very difficult for the non-integrative doctor to control because the synthetic chemical being prescribed is not solving the problem. The problem has arisen slowly from lifestyle choices and what the body has been exposed to, thereby disrupting the proper balance and functioning of the microbiome.

I read instances of autoimmune and inflammation sufferers whose doctors have no idea what is going on with the patient’s symptoms, and certainly have no answers, and sometimes even suggesting the patient is psychosomatic and imagining it all.

Research is finally coming to light about certain natural substances and their effectiveness in modulating many conditions better than pharmaceuticals – and with no side effects.

Thanks for the comment.

What a great article. It was very thorough and informative. I will definitely use coconut and olive oil as much as I can.

I knew about turmeric/curcumin and use as a spice and in my smoothies. I hadn’t heard of oregano essential oil before. I will try that in my smoothies as you suggest.

Can a person overdo going the other way promoting good gut health?

Supporting gut health is a constant battle because of all the unnatural, processed substances we are exposed to.

There is no limit on healthy eating, besides being glutinous, and attempt to consume 100% organic, non-processed food, low amounts of refined sugar and flour, while supplementing to get the gut bacteria back to a proper ratio in proper quantities.

Oregano oil’s recommended dose is 5-10 drops for 10 days every other month – if there is a specified condition the quantity per day would change, but a 10 day maximum because of the liver.

The i26 immune powder has no overdose potential, so the more the better, and if you have a condition this is the go-to supplement with tons of studies backing it’s efficacy.

Peony root  extract – 2-3 grams per day has been given in studies and deemed a safe dosage.

Curcumin extract – 8 grams per day is recognized as safe with few side effects (except for people with gall stones, ulcers, and those on blood thinners should consult there integrative doctor).

Thanks for the comment

Just Shared this post on my social media so many people can understand the relationship between autoimmune diseases and diet.

I recently started using olive oil and have also increased my usage of coconut oil because i find that they are a lot healthier and lighter.
The video clip on Microbe took me back to my Microbiology Uni days. Most people don’t know that not all bacteria are bad, every crevice and orifice of our body has its own unique colony of bacteria but trouble comes when you move bacteria from its natural ecosystem to a wrong place.

For example, picking one’s nose and touching one’s face with that same unwashed finger can lead to acne and so on.
Well, now we know.

Really nice post.


Yes, I always use some form of healthy fat in my smoothies each morning – I grabbed some avocados on sale yesterday for that. I have been cooking a lot with the coconut oil because it does better with heat – buy unrefined though, and organic as GMO coconuts have now started entering the market.

Thanks for your comment.

This is excellent advice for anyone with autoimmune problems. I’m a qualified health and wellness specialist and I know the importance of healthy gut bacteria. It’s so important that we go back to eating natural, organic foods rather than chemical ridden processed ‘food’. Stress is a huge factor in our lives too. Thank you. The more people that spread the word the better.

It’s sad to hear so many autoimmune cases in recent years. The drug and food companies unfortunately do not care about our health so it is up to people like you to educate. I do not have an autoimmune disease but know a lot of people who do and health and wellness is my passion. I have never heard of the i26 hyperimmune supplement and find it fascinating! Also good to know about Peony Root Extract and Oregano oil. Is there a certain brand you use?

Yes, 20% of the US population now has an autoimmune disease, with 75% of those being female. Autoimmune disease was a rarity only 60 years ago, and that is why people are becoming aware that man-made substances are the cause of them all. So the more natural the better, as far as what one consumes.

I do not have a particular brand of oregano oil, but I do make sure it is organic. 1 or 2oz bottles last quite a while. The peony root extract is showing good results, but studies are slow coming in.

The i26 immune supplement has been studied extensively and is an all-natural product being 1/3 of an egg per scoop, but the hens were stimulated to create immune co-factors and antibodies that fight human disease and at the same time completely balance the intestinal microbiome, increasing the good gut microbes and eliminating the bad.

The medical establishments answer to autoimmune disease is to suppress the immune system so the attacks on the body will be less severe, but this also reduces its ability to ward off other threats like cancer. The i26, on the other hand, takes care of the negative autoimmune responses while at the same time keeping the immune system running optimally to handle other threats.

Thank you for your comment.

Oh, I’ve learned so much today in your article. I have a couple autoimmune disorders and am on a large immuno-suppressant dose. I’ve never heard of i26. Is that something I cannot take while on an immuno-suppressant?

I’ve often wanted to get myself on things that are more natural, but my doctor does not work with natural remedies very well. I know one thing, I’m tired of all the side effects.

I was amazed to know that things I tend to crave or enjoy are actually things that make me healthy (green bananas, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, garlic, sour dough bread, etc.)

Thank you so much for all this information. I’m going to have to scour your entire website now.

Yes, and swiss cheese just made the probiotic list, too, from recent study results, but it has to be made like the swiss do it.

I believe most patients are using the i26 hyperimmune egg in place of the immuno-suppressant drugs because they are no longer needed. There are a lot of studies that have determined the efficacy of this product and have finding statements you could share to convince your doctor to give it a go – along with your concerns of not having an effective immune system.

– utilizes specific immunity to protect against harmful bacteria and restore a normal inflammatory process, and by reducing stress on the immune system 

– i26 helps the body control abnormal inflammatory processes, which can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and immune overstimulation in the long run

– In vitro, in vivo, and human trials, suggest that the naturally-occurring immune components in hyperimmune egg are utilized by the body to help it achieve immune homeostasis. The biological factors in i26 help the body maintain immune homeostasis by partnering to help it modulate immunological responses, especially those of an autoimmune or inflammatory nature (from Physisian’s Desk Reference [PDR})

This product even enhances the health of fit people with many benefits like improved cardiovascular health, and the study below shows that athletes benefit.

Enhanced Athletic Performance, Stamina, Recovery

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled university trial, subjects utilizing 13.5g daily of hyperimmune egg experienced greater athletic performance as measured by endurance, recovery and strength. Hyperimmune egg appeared to help the body lower intrinsic heart rates, and stimulate muscle growth and repair resulting in better performance. Subjects reported higher levels of both anaerobic and aerobic performance, with less effort when using hyperimmune egg.15,16 Professional athletes report similar findings.

Most patients start with 2 scoops per day (after a “break-in period of a week or so working up to 2 scoops) until their symptoms normalize – which may take several months – and then do a maintenence dose of 1 scoop per day.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your comment.

It’s so interesting that although autoimmune disease is recognized within the medical profession there doesn’t seem to be much consensus in the US on how to treat them. My sister has been suffering from leaky gut for a while and didn’t even know that this was her ailment until she went to an integrative health practitioner in Los Angeles (where she lives) who put her on a strict diet which is along the lines of what you’re recommending here. It seems to be helping so fingers crossed. I’ve never heard of prebiotics
and was curious about the green banana. Does this mean eating the banana before it ripens?

Yes, some people do not like bananas when they’re green, so putting them in smoothies is a good option.

The fastest way to proper gut health (optimum health) is from taking I26.

Thanks for your comment.


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