The diet according to the autoimmune protocol (AIP) is relatively new, based on a nutritional approach to eliminate unwanted inflammation in the human body. This is a diet that is believed to help treat the intestines and to reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases.
The diet is quite restrictive and includes mainly meat and vegetables. In general, the AIP diet is done for several weeks.
Any form of immune imbalance can lead to serious disorders throughout the body. However, perhaps the most influential form of immune dysregulation is autoimmune diseases. They are well known for their ability to cause a wide range of symptoms, which are particularly difficult to treat.
Interestingly, there are studies that show that through proper diet – autoimmune protocol (AIP), people with autoimmune diseases can relieve their unpleasant symptoms and even completely cure them.
Read on to learn more about the impressive efficacy and benefits of the autoimmune protocol.
Here are some of the highlights of the AIP diet:
Its purpose is to reduce foods that cause inflammation, to balance and improve the state of the body’s immune system. The idea is to reduce inflammation in the body with better eating habits.
The diet is often aimed at treating the so-called “Permeable bowel syndrome.” It is thought that autoimmune conditions can be caused by small holes in the gut. These holes may allow food to be released into the rest of the body and trigger a negative reaction from your immune system. With the AIP diet, a person can be cured of this condition.
The diet encourages the consumption of foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, and also emphasizes eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
You should follow the strict diet plan for a few weeks, before you start adding foods that are not included in the diet. Some people try it for a short period of time, while others adapt to the autoimmune protocol, which becomes a long-term choice and even a new way of life.
When you start adding “extraordinary” foods to your diet, start every few days up to once a week and watch for your body’s negative reactions to them. If you notice any side effects from the food, eliminate it from your diet again.
During the first 30 days, the AIP diet does not allow the consumption of the following nutrients:
Alcohol, legumes, caffeine, canned or processed foods, coffee, dairy products, eggs, high glycemic index foods, gluten, cereals including corn, quinoa, buckwheat and rice, nuts and seeds, potatoes, soy, sugars , including maple syrup and agave.
Consumption of any of the above foods can cause a negative autoimmune reaction that lasts for days, even months. Such a response denies any prior effort to normalize immune function. Therefore, adherence to a strict diet for at least 30 days is essential.
In this way, limiting immune activity gives your body the time it takes to restore immune function, suppress inflammation and repair damaged cells and tissues.
After an initial period of 30 days or after the immune system has returned to normal, some foods can be reintroduced into the daily routine. However, it is important to introduce foods one at a time. This makes it easier to identify problem substances and eliminate them.
More specific benefits of the AIP diet
Strengthens the beneficial bacteria in your gut
Studies have shown that diet can have a significant effect on boosting beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can affect the severity of symptoms in those with autoimmune diseases. Beneficial bacteria in the gut play an important role in every aspect of health – from immune function to weight control and much more. The AIP diet can help relieve the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, but it can also promote overall improvement in the health and condition of your gut.
Helps you learn more about your body
AIP diet can also help you learn more about your body and understand how it can affect your health. In addition, it can help you learn how to follow a healthy diet in the long run and find out which foods work best for you to meet your nutritional needs and improve your health.
You will get used to eating only foods rich in healthy substances
The AIP diet gives priority to foods rich in healthy substances, unprocessed and anti-inflammatory foods, such as vegetables. Whether you live with an autoimmune disease or not, everyone can benefit from including more of these healthy foods in their diets, which will protect you from chronic diseases, reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies and significantly improve your overall health.
Helps reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases
One of the biggest benefits of the AIP diet is its ability to relieve inflammation, which is key to reducing the symptoms of autoimmune conditions and promoting better health. Eliminating a few specific foods from your diet and eating only wholesome nutrients has a powerful effect on the body when it comes to inflammation.
This is shown in a recent 2017 study in California, in which 15 people with inflammatory disease followed the AIP diet for 11 weeks. At the end of the study, the researchers found that intestinal inflammation was significantly reduced in the participants, which led to improvement in symptoms and their overall quality of life.
Healing the body through effective nutrition
Recommended foods for the AIP diet
Regulation of immune function is crucial for the relief of autoimmune diseases. The autoimmune protocol diet encourages the consumption of foods that are less likely to cause a bad immune response, as well as those containing nutrients that support immune modulation, mitochondrial energy production and those that promote a healthy microbiome of the intestines and reduce their inflammation. The following foods are highly recommended for the AIP diet:
Bone broth, coconut and other coconut products, fats and oils, fermented foods, herbs and spices, low glycemic fruits, meat foods, organs, vegetables, sweet potatoes, fish.
Recommended lifestyle improvements during the AIP diet
Unhealthy lifestyle factors also contribute to the immune imbalance. In addition to the above nutritional improvements, AIP recommends:
- Get at least eight hours of sleep a good night’s sleep.
- Relieve stress and practice activities such as meditation, yoga or gardening.
- Stay out of the house and expose yourself to the sun for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Avoid stagnant life by getting up and moving at least once an hour.
- Receive emotional and psychological support when needed.
Practicing these proposed changes as often as possible will help you make the new approach a reality and a habit, removing significant stress on the immune system, which will facilitate the overall state of your body and mind.
The effectiveness of the AIP diet
Is it really that effective?
The AIP diet is well known for its impressive benefits to the body, especially for dealing with autoimmune diseases. A study of patients diagnosed with at least one autoimmune condition showed that 75% of participants felt better following this autoimmune protocol, and found that 43% of them reduced the number of of their antibodies, while following the AIP diet.
Studies have shown that patients who follow this diet experience a significant reduction or complete relief of symptoms associated with their autoimmune disease.
Some symptoms that are most often relieved by following the autoimmune protocol include:
- joint pain,
- muscle pain
- brain fog,
- skin rashes,
- poor appetite.
These and many other studies demonstrate the impressive benefits of treating autoimmune disease with the AIP diet.
Get the best possible results
Each case of autoimmune disease is unique, which means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Despite the AIP diet, which provides health improvement for many, there are still individual optimizations that can be made to meet each patient’s needs as best and as quickly as possible.
Therefore, the autoimmune diet program will look different for each person. For example, some may tolerate specific foods that would cause a severe negative autoimmune reaction in others. Identifying these specific needs and making appropriate dietary changes to meet them is the key to achieving results by following this protocol.
Control of autoimmune disease with the AIP diet
There are many approaches to treating autoimmune diseases. However, one of the most effective seems to be the right diet. The autoimmune protocol diet focuses on restoring healthy immune activity, by regulating various factors of bodily function and supplying the body with the resources it needs to treat .
Although adhering to the AIP diet can be a challenge for some, the results are worth the effort. Proper diet has been shown to significantly improve and sometimes completely eliminate the symptoms of any autoimmune disease. So what are you waiting for?
If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, talk to your doctor about starting an AIP diet that will be most appropriate and safe for you according to your individual needs.