I’ve been reading the emerging research and the foods you’re currently eating make a massive difference in the frequency and severity of your auto-immune responses and gut health. Eating the right foods at the right times, in the right combinations can, along with dealing with your stress and dealing with your food intolerances, give you instant relief, and along with the consistency you need, a new lease on life.
Here are the top ten mistakes I see the women I work with make, who come to me wanting an auto-immune diet, and are struggling with leaky gut, autoimmune symptoms and inflammation.
1. Eating foods that trigger your auto-immune response
As an Auto-immune Health and Wellness Coach, a typical mistake I see when trying to fight inflammation, get rid of auto-immune flare ups and ultimately heal your gut, is still eating certain foods that may be contributing to your problem. Even foods that are deemed “healthy” don’t work for some people, which is why identifying what works for you, and sticking to it, is the best way to lower inflammation and lessen auto-immune issues.
Coaching Tip: An autoimmune diet to eliminate things like dairy, soy, gluten and grains will help you identify this highly individualised approach and start to understand what a good fit for you is. Want to learn more? Jump into a free Auto-Immune Diet Protocol Assessment to discover the best approach for you.
2. Eating too much processed foods
This might sound obvious, but even if the autoimmune meals you’re eating are deemed gut friendly, consuming a lot of packaged foods per se like sneaky processed yogurts, or processed veggie patties, or sugar-laden kombucha and other “gut friendly” marketed processed goods can be an obvious low hanging fruit in starting to fix auto -immune triggers and balancing out your gut.
Coaching Tip: Eat as many natural and whole food as you can, aiming for fresh, unadulterated vegetables and keeping to the parameter of a supermarket. Making your own fermented foods is really easy, cheap and satisfying, and allows you have control of what you put in them.
3. Eating yogurt
This is one of the biggest myths around healing your gut. Conventional yogurt has very little live bacteria in them, but a lot of sugar and other nasties that your gut feeds on, making pain, inflammation and bloating worse.
Coaching Tip: Swap conventional yogurt for coconut kefir, or opt for fibre rich foods like lightly sautéed
4. Put Down The Kombucha…..Relying on Too Much Fermented Foods.
Say what? Yes, it’s true that fermented foods can boost the good guys in your gut BUT drinking too much kombucha or fermented drinks that can promote candida overgrowth, which wreaks havoc on gut health. Also, knowing if you’re someone who has a sensitivity to the histamines in fermented foods is also something to consider.
Coaching Tip: Just because the marketing hype of kombucha being the miracle cure to your gut doesn’t mean it works for you and your journey, and often acts as a band-aid solution without addressing the CAUSE of your gut problem.
5. Eating too much hidden sugar
Sugar is hidden in a lot of products these days, along with the standard amount in a Western diet. Even eating healthy things like fruit, that gets broken down into fructose, can cause issues like lipogenesis, when your body makes new fat cells, and lowers your energy. That doesn’t mean avoiding fruit, but it does mean timing it correctly into your meals, and the type of fruit is key to avoiding contributing to auto-immune flare ups, leaky gut and weight gain.
Cutting out sugar is extremely difficult, but it has a very good response to lower your inflammation, a key component of not only avoiding auto-immune flare ups but avoiding developing auto-immune issues in the first place. It’s the primary pillar in my three tiered approach in my Gut Re-set Challenge.
Coaching Tip: Limit your sugar and carbohydrates to appropriate times of the day, and in appropriate quantities for you and your body. Want to learn more? Jump into my free Auto-Immune Diet Protocol Assessment where you’ll discover the best approach for you.
6. Not Giving Your Digestion A Break
So here’s the thing: eating three square meals and two snacks is not only unnecessary, but also wrecks havoc with your gut. What happens when you’re constantly grazing all day is your body releases hormones that raise your insulin and leptin levels, making you hungrier, messing with your insulin sensitivity and weight and not letting your gut take a rest.
Coaching Tip: Try and include healthy fats with your meals so you have sustained energy for both your body and your brain. This will stabilise your blood sugar levels, balance your hormones and give you laser like focus and concentration. Alternatively, go the next level and become fat adapted, where your body starts to burn fat as it’s fuel source, the second tier of my three tiered approach to resolving Gut and Auto Immune issues in my Gut Re-Set Challenge.
7. Eating Soy
The writing’s on the wall with more and more mounting research to the link between soy and thyroid suppression, hormonal imbalances and auto-immune thyroid diseases.
Conventional soy crops are usually genetically modified and sprayed with glyphosate, which causes auto-issue responses and leaky gut in some people, as a result of the weakening of the gut lining, letting in food particles, toxins and other nasties.
Coaching Tip: Avoid soy milks and conventional soy products, opting for almond, coconut or macadamia milks instead. These alternatives don’t disrupt your hormones and aggravate thyroid imbalances, plus are great for balancing out hormone levels with a higher fat and nutrient content.
8. Eating Dairy
Overconsuming dairy and other common foods that aggravate food intolerances such as gluten, eggs, peanuts, fish and wheat, are linked in auto-immune conditions and poor gut health.
Emerging studies indicate that dairy is highly inflammatory in most people, and a pre-cursor to a lot of auto-immune conditions that start popping up. I knowI personally didn’t make the connection in my early 20’s, putting my upset tummy and skin issues down to other things, until I tried my auto-immune elimination diet.
Coaching Tip: Try and swap conventional dairy with nut milks or coconut versions such as kefir, milk and ice cream.
9. Eating Grains
Grains such as wheat, barley and cereal grains have high amount of inflammatory lectins and physic acids in them, that can lead to leaky gut, leaking of the gut lining and increased inflammation in some people. Grains with gluten in them can also flare other auto-immune conditions and celiac disease.
Coaching Tip: Opt for organic versions of grains, and see how you individually react to each variety.
10. Stress Eating
Most of us have experienced this before, when we’re on a deadline or in a state of high emotional stress, and smash a meal down, without intention or awareness. In fact, with what we know now on the link between our gut and our brain, and how the gut-brain axis controls our hormonal response and levels of inflammation which in turn triggers auto immune responses, dealing with stress is a key component of getting rid of your flare ups, for good.
Coaching Tip: Dealing with the subliminal as well as the conscious stress can help you control your flare ups, and have the clarity, calm and control you need to deal with your conditions for good. This can be hard to do yourself, so a free Auto-Immune Diet Protocol Assessment can be handy, along with things like yoga, meditation and building self-awareness into your daily life.
About the Author:
Anna’s mission is to connect, support and empower women who are stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued to start taking control.
Specialising in Women’s Health, Anna works with women to help them find relief from their health symptoms, along with the energy, confidence, clarity and self-efficacy to take back control of their wellbeing in parallel to their busy lives.