The autoimmune protocol is a plan for those with autoimmune disease to heal the gut in order to kind of settle down the immune system and make the autoimmune attack less active. Dr. Sarah Ballantyne at thepaleomom.com has a book called The Paleo Approach that goes into the science behind why each food is good or potentially bad for gut health. For my own sake, and maybe yours, too, I’ll simply list all of the foods to eat and not to eat in order to improve gut health.
- Vegetables (except nightshades)
- artichoke, arugula, asparagus, bok choi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard green, cucumber, fennel, green bean, kale, leek, lettuce, mushroom, rhubarb, snap pea, spinach, squash, watercress
- beet, carrot, celeriac, jicama, onion, parsnip, turnip, radish, rutabaga, shallot, sweet potato, yam
- animal fat, avocado oil, coconut oil, duck fat, lard, olive oil, palm oil, tallow
- beef, bison, buffalo, lamb, fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, duck, pork, rabbit, venison
- bone broth, liver, kidney, heart
- apple, apricot, avocado, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cantaloupe, cherry, clementine, coconut, date, fig, grape, grapefruit, guava, huckleberry, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, marionberry, nectarine, orange, papaya, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon
- cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, saffron, sea salt, shallots, turmeric
- basil, bay leaves, chamomile, chives, cilantro, dill, lavender, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, tarragon, thyme
- sauerkraut, fermented vegetables (carrot, beet, etc.), kombucha, water kefir
- Pantry Items
- apple-cider vinegar, anchovies, arrowroot powder, coconut flour, coconut flakes, coconut vinegar, coconut aminos, dates, dried fruit, olives, salmon, sardines, tuna, ume plum vinegar
- amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, faro, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, wheat
- Beans & Legumes
- adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, lima beans, peanuts, kidney beans, soybeans
- chicken, duck, goose
- cayenne, chili pepper eggplant, goji berry, ground cherry, habanero, jalapeno, paprika, poblano, potato, sweet pepper, tobacco, tomato, tomatillo, wolf berries
- anise, canola, caraway, chia, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, mustard, nutmeg, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, hemp
- almond, brazil, coffee, cocoa, hazelnut, pecan, macadamia, walnut
- butter, cheese, cream, cream cheese, ghee, milk, yogurt
- aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen
The AIP has a strong focus on the foods you CAN eat because these foods are nutrient dense and have healing properties to help you feel your best. The list of foods you should not eat include those foods that have inflammatory reactions within the gut. As we talked about before, inflammation is the immune system’s response to pathogens and illness, and can be a good thing or a bad thing. For some, especially those of us with autoimmune disease, consuming inflammatory foods causes too much inflammation and our immune systems sort of goes into overdrive. However, not all of the foods on the “Not That” list are harmfully inflammatory for everyone, which means once you give your gut a good month or more to heal, you can start adding these foods back to your diet permanently.
I’m on Day 2 of my AIP elimination phase, and I feel pretty okay so far. I do have a caffeine withdrawal headache, but it’s not too bad. I’ve been chugging water like crazy, and have replaced my morning coffee with a few cups of tea (1 green, 2 peppermint). My wonderful, amazing, talented hubby is keeping me well-fed with lots of tasty “Eat This” food, and our fridge and cupboards are stocked appropriately so there’s always something to eat. I’m so grateful for the people who have done the research into the effects of diet on autoimmune disease, and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to keep my Hashimoto’s in check with the help of the AIP.