Autoimmune Diseases and Diet
If you’ve ever looked into modulated health diets, you may have heard of the AIP diet. AIP is the Autoimmune Protocol, a dietary guide which focuses on a healthy gut and immune system by removing inflammatory foods and introducing balanced nutrients. The AIP diet is generally followed by those with an autoimmune disease and works to mediate symptoms of autoimmune disease (for example fatigue, joint pain, brain fog). AIP aims to eliminate inflammatory/agitator foods and replace them with nutrient-rich, delicious foods that reduce inflammation and symptoms. Foods eaten on the AIP diet generally include high quality seafoods, lean meats and liver, small amounts of fruit, fermented foods and quality vegetables (excluding nightshade vegetables).
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has identified autoimmune diseases as one of the most important chronic health problems in Australia and New Zealand; around 5% of people in Aus and New Zealand suffer from an autoimmune disease.
However, even a healthy gut can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet. Anti-inflammatory diets aid in managing pain as you age, heart protection, recovery after exercise and reduced risk of cancer to name a few. The AIP is not the restrictive weight-loss, fad diets we read about in magazines. It’s whole focus is to provide your body with delicious, nutrient-balanced foods, to restore your body to its peak gut and immune health and – after a time – moving onto the reintroduction phase, where you can explore previously waylaid foods by slowly introducing them back into your diet, to check its effects on your body. The quality of the food is as important as the inclusion or exclusion of it and can make a distinct difference in your AIP experience.
Sunshine Coast Organic Meats
Sunshine Coast Organic Meats is dedicated to providing pesticide-free, chemical-free, grassfed meat which provides more nutritional, more delicious, and more natural meat. Supporting Sunshine Coast Organic Meats also means supporting and promoting ethical production and consumption of meat product. With regular organic certification checks, we are sure the meat we provide you, and have provided to the Sunshine Coast for many years, could be a nutritious, ethical and delicious addition to many of the recipes and ideas which follow the AIP diet.
Bonnie (@myaiptable) lives with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) and follows the AIP diet to manage the symptoms and pain. She shares her ‘table’, the delicious meals she creates, in picturesque photos on her Instagram. She first heard about the AIP diet in The Hidden Plague and, after further research from incredible websites and finding a community on Facebook (and eventually her own Instagram), she began her journey adapting old recipes and exploring new ones. The changes in her diet were drastic, and in her symptoms small, but every small change is still change and – coming on six years later – she considers herself ‘in remission’.
Adapting a diet and making a change like this in your life can be a really difficult thing, but Bonnie mentions the chance to explore and play with new foods and dishes as one of her favourite parts of the AIP diet. She missed certain foods in the beginning, but as time progressed, she stopped missing them; the way they made her feel was far better than the taste of anything she doesn’t eat! She can still enjoy a meal with her friends and family by making a few small adjustments and tries things she’d never expected to try before. With high-quality, nutritious meats like the beef mince and chicken livers she uses in her favourite AIP ‘spaghetti’ bolognese recipe.
Tomato is a nightshade vegetable and thus omitted in the AIP diet, meaning she’d missed out on a good, warm meat sauce until this recipe. The chicken liver adds flavour, nutrients and substance to the dish. Bonnie hadn’t tried organ meats much before she adopted the AIP diet, but with the help of research on the internet and a knowledgeable butcher, she was able to take her first step into the world of organ meats. She loves getting the organ meats from Sunshine Coast Organic Meats, as well as the eye fillets and chicken wings, as she has been doing for years. She mentioned Sunshine Coast Organic Meats’ dedication to chemical-free, grass-fed meat as one of her reasons for shopping with us, and trusting the local butchers, to make delicious and healthy meals.
Every small change is still a change, even if you don’t adopt an entirely new diet, purchasing and eating high-quality, organic meats can make a huge difference in how your gut, immune system and brain functions.