My Favorite Four Super Foods For Lupus

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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My Mountain, My Lupus column
Two years ago the Paleo Diet was the diet everyone was talking about. I remember going to a New Years Eve party and they served paleo chili with cauliflower. It may sound very Californian, but it was honestly the best chili I ever had. I remember deciding that night that this new diet would be my New Years resolution. While I didn’t start the paleo diet that year, I did walk away with some simple foods and recipes for eating better, and to reduce inflammation.

Following are the four super foods I have found that help me manage the symptoms of lupus:

Get your leafy greens on

As a kid, I loved going to eat anywhere that had a buffet so that I could build what I imagined to be the “world’s largest salad.” I would pile on the tomatoes, cucumbers, and then throw on some black olives. Lastly, I would douse the whole thing in ranch dressing and croutons. My salads weren’t exactly the healthiest option when it came to eating the super food that is leafy greens.

As an adult with lupus, I had to do research to ensure I was eating foods that were right for my body. Kale with sesame oil and ginger became my go-to, rather than iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing. Even though I still crave a good salad, substituting the iceberg for red leafy lettuce added folate and Vitamin A to my diet. This helped me fight my recurring anemia issues due to prednisone use.

Purple fruits are good for more than just wine

Antioxidants are natural healers and most berries are packed with them. No one had to tell me eat my berries as a kid, but as an adult eating fruits and vegetables was a chore. Who had time for that? Once I was diagnosed with lupus, I had to start paying attention. Grapes were the easiest to pack and take with me, but I did a little research and discovered a whole new “purple” world. Purple fruits such as blueberries, blackberries and the acai berry are high in vitamins and antioxidants.

Eating fruits and vegetables can be a no-brainer when it comes to staying healthy.

Grass-fed organic beef

Purchasing meat at the store shouldn’t require a nutritionist. Getting good meat shouldn’t require a hunting license, either. This past fall I ordered my first side of organic, grass-fed beef from an actual farm. The woman there taught me quite a lot about the health benefits of eating grass-fed organic meat. Grass fed beef is higher in Omega-3 levels, and aren’t treated with antibiotics or hormones. While studies do not point to these being the cause of auto-immune disease, some doctors have pointed the finger.


Not all seafood is good for you, especially when you have an auto-immune disease. Certain shellfish can cause allergic reactions and auto-immune responses. Wild fish is much healthier than farmed fish, and it’s higher in vitamins and minerals. Salmon is one of the best “meats” you can eat though, as it’s full of Omega-3, protein and potassium.

The exact cause of lupus is unknown, but some doctors place the blame on lifestyle and eating habits.  While no one can say for certain where it comes from, we do know that lifestyle and eating habits can cause lupus flare-ups. Eating the top four super foods has helped curb my symptoms and stopped my inflammation in its tracks.

Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.