Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Lupus

Green smoothies are put to the test for the autoimmune disease SLE (lupus)

Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Lupus
A green smoothie diet to extinguish lupus flares. (Phillip Rubino/Shutterstock)
Michael Greger
Instead of preventing chronic lifestyle diseases, we doctors just tend to manage them. Instead of curing, we just mitigate. Why? Because of finance, culture, habit, and tradition. Many of us envision a world where trillions of dollars are not wasted on unnecessary medical care.
For this reason comes the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention. After all, “without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”

Just to give you a taste, how about pitting plants against one of the most inflammatory diseases out there—lupus, an autoimmune disease in which your body can start attacking your own DNA. Kidney inflammation is a common consequence, and even with our armamentarium of immunosuppressant drugs and steroids, lupus-induced kidney inflammation can lead to end-stage renal disease, meaning dialysis, and death, unless, perhaps, you pack your diet with some of the most anti-inflammatory foods out there, and your kidney function improves so much you no longer need dialysis or a kidney transplant. And another similar case is also presented with a resolution in symptoms and normal kidney function, unless he deviated from the diet.

Even just cutting out animal products, randomizing people to cut out meat, eggs, and dairy, without significantly increasing fruit and vegetable intake, can cut C-reactive protein levels, a sensitive indicator of whole-body inflammation, by nearly a third within eight weeks. But with lupus, they weren’t messing around. A pound of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables a day like kale, fruits like berries, and lots of chia or flax, and a gallon of water a day. Basically, a green smoothie diet to extinguish lupus flares. Note, though, if your kidneys are already compromised, this should be done under physician supervision so they can monitor your electrolytes like potassium, and make sure you don’t get overloaded with fluid. Bottom line, with such remarkable improvements due to dietary changes alone, the hope is that researchers will take up the mantle and formally put it to the test.

Autoimmune inflammatory skin disease reversals can be particularly striking visually. A woman with a 35-year history of psoriasis, unsuccessfully managed for year after year with drugs, suffering from other autoimmune conditions like Sjogren’s as well. But put her on an extraordinarily healthy diet packed with greens and other vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, avocados, some whole grains, and boom, before and after. Within one year, she went from 40 percent of her entire body surface area inflamed and affected down to 0 percent––completely clear. And her Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms resolved as well as a bonus, while helping to normalize her weight and cholesterol.

Michael Greger, MD, FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Colbert Report,” and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. This article was originally published on
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