Healing from Lyme disease is usually a very long process. However, making dietary modifications may be one of the best steps you can take on your recovery back to health. According to naturopath Dr. Nicola McFadzean, author of “The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing from Lyme Disease:”
“The role of nutrition is central not so much in the actual bug-killing, but in the underlying strength and resilience of your health. Immune support, inflammation management, hormone regulation and detoxification functions can all be vitally influenced by your nutritional intake.”1
Your Lyme disease diet should primarily be anti-inflammatory, since inflammation is responsible for the majority of its symptoms. For this reason, you need to:2
• Avoid Refined Sugars
You should reduce your intake of sugar because it doesn’t just feed the Lyme-causing spirochetes, but also suppresses your immune system. Sugar also feeds candida, a common Lyme disease co-infection.
When you have Lyme, you need to ensure that your immune function is working optimally. Even fruits should be limited when you are recovering from Lyme infection, because they contain fructose, which may be harmful in high amounts.3
• Eliminate Gluten
Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is one of the main culprits when it comes to inflammation in the body. It also causes Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine and cause respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal symptoms. About 1 in 100 people today have Celiac disease.4
• Stop Dairy Intake
Dairy products are highly inflammatory, and many people have difficulty digesting it. This is because most people (approximately 65 percent of the human population)5 lose the ability to digest lactose after infancy. Lactose is a sugar primarily found in milk and dairy products.6
What You Should Be Eating to Help With Lyme Recovery
Now that you’re aware of the foods to avoid, you need to learn the ones that you should include in your diet. Generally, you should eat more whole foods that are rich in nutrients. Here are the foods that should be a big part of your Lyme disease diet:
• Animal-Based Omega-3 Fat
Omega-3 fats from fatty fish such as wild Alaskan salmon can help reduce inflammation in the body.7 Just make sure the fish you are eating is wild-caught and free of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and other chemicals.
• Fermented Vegetables and Other Traditionally Cultured Foods
To ensure that your immune system is functioning at its peak, you should optimize your gut flora.8 Remember that most inflammatory diseases begin in the gut due to an imbalanced microbiome.
• Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens contain powerful antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids, all of which may protect against cellular damage. This assists in addressing joint pain, a very common symptom of Lyme disease.
If you have limited access to nutritious whole foods, taking a dietary supplement would be beneficial. For instance, you can take a krill oil supplement to help fight inflammation. There are also high-quality probiotic supplements that can assist in boosting your immune system. Supplementing with the antioxidant astaxanthin helps relieve joint pain and neutralizes inflammation-causing toxins as well.