If you are suffering from chronic Lyme disease, you should be in the care of a physician you trust, working with them to find a system of treatments that suits your body’s needs. In addition to medical care, those who suffer from chronic Lyme can help manage their condition on a day-to-day basis by choosing a diet that can combat the disease. What you eat and drink can assist in changing your body’s health, and its ability to fight any number of diseases.
“Lyme is a very complex disease, and involves many systems of the body, including the skin, heart, brain, and gut,” says Dr. Verma of Synergistiq Integrative Health. “The common thread here is weakened immunity, and the center for immunity is located in the gut, where there are over 100 trillion bacteria trying to regulate all the body's responses.”
There are three main categories of foods you should consider increasing in your diet if you suffer from chronic Lyme: anti-inflammatory foods, foods that support the immune system, and foods that can help improve gut health. The idea behind all of these is to assist cellular repair and improve energy levels.
So what does that look like? “A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables will naturally create an alkaline environment the body needs,” Dr. Verma tells us. But what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do: avoiding excessive alcohol and unnecessary sugars is a good idea for those whose immune systems are already compromised.
“Skip the sugars and carbs found in processed foods, as yeast thrive on those, and will further disrupt the bacterial gut flora,” Dr. Verma says.
We’ve collected some of the healthiest foods available for those suffering from chronic Lyme disease, which you may want to consider incorporating into your diet, although you should check with your doctor before making any major modifications.
The highest single source of Vitamin A available, sweet potatoes are excellent for boosting immune support. According to Harvard Health Publications, vitamin A plays a role in fighting infection, and vitamin A deficiency may lead to impaired immunity.
Chickpeas are jam-packed with Vitamin B6, a deficiency of which has been shown to inhibit immune response. An even better excuse to add these flavorful, healthy legumes to your diet? More chickpeas means more hummus. Yum, hummus.
Jess Novak is the Drink Editor of The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesstothenovak