Now we are going to explore exactly what the autoimmune paleo diet is, and how this differs from the regular paleo diet. This diet is unique in the fact that we actually encourage everyone that is battling any inflammatory or autoimmune diseases to adopt the AIP! This seems to contradict our normal message of clean eating, and finding what works for you as an individual. However, we have a good reason for this belief, and will explain ourselves later in the article.
What is The Autoimmune Paleo Diet?
The Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP) is a version of the paleo diet that is specifically formulated for those with autoimmune diseases. It’s not meant to be a lifelong diet, but rather, serves as an elimination diet.
Through removing any possible allergens, then adding them back in stages, the AIP diet allows one to methodically identify what is contributing to their inflammation.
What Can I Eat?
At it’s beginning stages, the AIP diet consists of:
- Most fruits and vegetables, grass fed/organic meat, fish, healthy fats and oils, coconut products, and grain/nut-free starches and flours.
What to Avoid
The AIP diet aims to eliminate any potentially inflammatory foods, such as:
- Nightshades, nuts, seeds, alcohol, eggs, anything artificial, cane sugar, cacao, most forms of caffeine, gums/emulsifiers, legumes, dairy, and grains.
What are the Benefits?
Like stated above, identifying intolerances is the main purpose of the AIP diet, and for good reason! The diet suggests that you follow the diet for at least one month before beginning stage 1 of reintroductions. This gives your body some time to heal, get any troublesome foods out of your system, and actually feel what it’s like without them. When reintroductions begin, the diet provides very structured stages for doing so. This assures that you can pinpoint the harmful food, eliminate it, and get back to reintroductions without having to start over. You can read about the 4 reintroduction stages here.
Again, although this is one of the main purposes of the AIP diet, it is extremely affective at reducing inflammation. Due to the nature of the diet, nearly all potentially inflammatory foods are eliminated during the initial phase. Within a couple of weeks on the protocol, many people experience noticeable changes in their energy levels, symptoms, and mood.
Healing the Gut
Since inflammation can lead to leaky gut and intestinal permeability, the AIP diet helps give the gut time to heal. By eliminating foods that are consistently irritating your gut, overtime, the gut will begin healing, and restoring it’s integrity.
Like stated above, the AIP diet is not meant to last forever. During the reintroduction phases, you will learn what works for your body, and what harms it. From here, you are able to curate a diet that promotes optimal health and healing for you personally.
Following our opening statement that everyone should try the AIP diet, it all comes down to the fact that this is a temporary, elimination diet. Sick or not, many people don’t realize just how good they can feel until they experience what true health and vitality is. When you learn to read your body’s signs and signals, and have identified what hurts it, and what makes it thrive, you get that much closer to achieving your own optimal health. So, if you’re curious as to your food intolerances, or if you’re experiencing optimal health, I would challenge you to dedicate one month to learning how to feel your best.