The AIP stands for Autoimmune Protocol also known as Autoimmune Paleo Diet. It is designed to reduce inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune disorders. It is considered as a powerful strategy that uses diet and lifestyle to regulate the immune system and helps the body in healing. Autoimmune diseases attack healthy tissues, cause inflammation, and resulting problems such as fatigue, pain, swelling, and skin changes.
The AIP diet relieves autoimmune disease symptoms by eliminating the types of foods that cause inflammation. After recovery when you reintroduce foods you will be able to notice how your body reacts. It helps you to identify whether a specific food is suitable for you, or you should avoid it. In addition, it provides complete and balanced nutrition to your diet. AIP lifestyle encourages proper sleep, stress management, and immune modulator activities that are important for health.
AIP diet aims to reduce autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease. This article offers a comprehensive overview of the AIP diet, as well as how does it help to reduce symptoms of autoimmune disorders.
How Does Autoimmune Protocol Diet Work?
The Autoimmune Protocol works by addressing few key areas that are important contributors to autoimmune diseases. AIP diet and lifestyle recommendations specifically target:
Every system of our body requires vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids to function normally. Deficiency and Imbalance of micronutrients play a major role in the development and progression of autoimmune disease. Consuming the most nutrient-dense foods enables micronutrients to correct both deficiencies and imbalances. In addition, it supports the regulation of the immune system, hormone systems, detoxification systems, and neurotransmitter production. Nutritional diet further works as building blocks which the body needs to heal its damaged tissues.
Do you know? Gut dysbiosis and leaky gut are the major facilitators in the development of autoimmune disease. AIP recommends food that supports the growth of gut microorganisms. According to AIP, foods that damage the lining of the gut are strictly avoided. On the other hand, foods that help restore gut barrier function and promote healing are recommended. Autoimmune Protocol Lifestyle strongly impacts gut barrier health, as well as gut microbial composition.
The food we eat, its quantity, and the way we eat that food affect a variety of our hormones. You may know our hormones interact with the immune system. And dietary factors such as eating too much sugar or gazing dysregulated hormones that directly affect our immune system. AIP diet is designed to regulate hormones so that it indirectly regulates our immune system.
Immune System Regulation
As discussed above, Immune regulation is based on healthy diversity, healthy amounts of gut microorganisms, and sufficient amounts of micronutrients. All these factors combined to ensure the immune system functions normally. However, the AIP diet and lifestyle provide both the resources and the opportunity for immune regulation. Immune regulation combined with tissue healing accounts for reductions in symptoms.
During AIP Diet….
As you follow the AIP diet you will focus on nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory foods. Your focus will be on organ meats like liver, lean meats like grass-fed beef, bone broth, and seafood. AIP diet is incorporated with a wide variety of vegetables – with some key exceptions – as well as fruit. AIP diet also recommends Fermented foods like yogurt, and oils like olive, and coconut oil.
On the other hand, you should avoid food such as nightshade veggies like eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers; grains; dairy; eggs; legumes; seeds; nuts; alcohol; artificial sugars; and food additives may help reduce flares.
While following the AIP diet, you should strictly avoid eliminated foods for a month or more. With this, you should keep a food journal and carefully monitor your health and symptoms.
In the next step, you can gradually reintroduce eliminated foods, one by one, by having a continuous track of how your body reacts while consuming that particular eliminated food. For example, firstly you can start reintroducing with foods such as legumes, berries, and egg yolk. Later, you can reintroduce foods like egg whites, nuts and seeds, and limited amounts of alcohol.
In this way, you will be able to identify that particular food that triggers you towards autoimmune diseases. Once you pinpoint that food you should avoid that food permanently to keep yourself healthy.
Which Foods to Eat and Avoid?
The AIP diet is a protocol that helps to lower auto-immune diseases and nourishes your body. But what you can eat and what you have to avoid to follow the AIP diet. This is an AIP food list that you can eat: –
- All animal proteins (excluding eggs)
- All vegetables (excluding nightshades)
- Fruits in moderation
- Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats, etc.)
- Bone broth, organ meats
- Grain-free baking flours (cassava, tigernut, tapioca, coconut, etc.)
- All grains (wheat, oats, rice, corn, etc.)
- All dairy (all dairy of all types)
- Nightshade vegetables and spices (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, all peppers, red spices)
- All legumes (all beans such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, and vegetables like green beans as well as peanuts)
- All nuts and seeds
- Seed-based spices (mustard, cumin, sesame, etc.)
- Thickeners, gums, and food additives
- Poor quality seed oils (sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, etc.)
Following the AIP diet increases nutrient-dense food in your body which will be helpful for your immune system and beneficial for your health.
As we all know making any new diet changes can feel challenging and overwhelming sometimes. But it is necessary to take it easy on yourself. You can consider these tips which will help you in following the AIP Diet.
- Keep it simple to start: You can find a few basic recipes from the diet resources which sound good to you and use them to develop a simple meal plan. Once you’re comfortable with your dietary changes and able to find those foods that trigger your symptoms, then you can move on to new recipes to expand your menu options.
- Be prepared: You can stock your pantry with ingredients you need for your basic meal plan by removing all off-AIP plan foods. Load your fridge with some simple starter recipes.
- Follow Strictly: Be as strict as possible about the diet for 2-3 weeks. This will help you get faster and better results.
- Try Something Different: As changes in your diet will help you get better health and doing something good for yourself is always fruitful.
AIP Diet Plan
AIP Diet Plan is to allow your body to heal and then reintroduce foods one by one. You may have seen some people follow autoimmune protocol permanently, but reintroduced foods like rice, almonds, coffee, chocolate, and much more. However, many people follow the AIP diet for 30 days to a few months before they start reintroducing foods.
For the AIP Diet Plan, you can go through various AIP resources or 30 days guide to the AIP diet plan including lifestyle plans, meal plans, shopping lists, recipes, and more.
Along with the AIP diet, some other factors such as lifestyle factors are also important for getting faster and better results.
- Getting at least 8-9 hours of proper sleep at night
- You should manage your ongoing stress relief
- Adequate exercise is important to keep your body fit, healthy and disease-free.
- Various other aspects such as mental/emotional aspects, anger, and resentment lead you toward diseases.
However, these lifestyle factors are mostly overlooked by people and considered to be optional, but it has a major impact on our health.
You’ll find that even if you get your disease under control, too much stress, not enough sleep, or too much exercise can cause a flare-up of your symptoms. Following these changes in lifestyle may provide you long-lasting relief in life.
Is AIP Diet Beneficial?
When you adopt the AIP Diet, you will find various benefits. Some of its major benefits are:-
- Restores Gut Integrity
- Boosts Beneficial Gut Bacteria
- Helps You Learn More About Your Body
- Identifies Foods that Trigger Symptoms
- Rich in Nutrient-Dense, Healthy Foods
- Can Help Reduce Inflammation
- May Decrease Symptoms of Autoimmune Conditions
1. Restores Gut Integrity
An autoimmune inflammatory diet is considered a healing diet as it restores the integrity of the gut and reduces inflammation. For autoimmune disease, it puts the focus on excluding foods that cause inflammation. AIP diet helps restore gut integrity and prevent gut syndrome to keep you feeling your best.
2. Boosts Beneficial Gut Bacteria
According to research results, the AIP diet has a significant influence on the beneficial bacteria in your gut. However, beneficial bacteria boost through the AIP diet plays a central role in human health. It covers all aspects from immune function to weight control and beyond. In addition, the AIP diet also promotes overall health and wellbeing and enhances the health of the gut microbiome.
3. Helps You Learn More About Your Body
While following the AIP diet you will learn more about your body and understand how to keep yourself fit. Along with this, you may learn how to follow a nutritious diet and how they enhance your needs.
4. Identifies Foods that Trigger Symptoms
The AIP diet helps you find out which food you should avoid that causes autoimmune disease. It may be challenging to follow at an initial level, but it helps you in finding the reason for your symptoms.
5. Rich in Nutrient-Dense, Healthy Foods
AIP diet focuses on nutrient-rich, unprocessed and anti-inflammatory foods. Whether you have an auto-immune disease or not, you will get nutritious food diet health benefits. AIP diet protects against chronic disease, reduces the risk of nutritional deficiencies, and enhances your overall health.
6. Can Help Reduce Inflammation
The biggest benefit of the AIP diet is that it helps in reducing inflammation. It is the key to reduce autoimmune disease symptoms and promotes better health. AIP diet also helps in eliminating specific food from the diet and adds nutrient-dense food which directly promotes better health.
It is demonstrated in a 2017 study in which 15 people with inflammatory bowel disease followed the AIP diet for 11 weeks. It also includes six weeks of elimination and a five-week of maintenance phase. With this study, researchers found that intestinal inflammation had significantly decreased in participants and also improved overall health.
7. May Decrease Symptoms of Autoimmune Conditions
Many people reported that by following the AIP diet, common symptoms of autoimmune disease reduced. It helps them in decreasing fatigue, chronic pain, brain fog, and much more. According to studies AIP diet works on symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Whenever you adopt Autoimmune Protocol, it helps you in every aspect such as your body stop attacking itself, repair damaged tissues and get healthy. Through this diet, you will get proteins, carbohydrates, fats which will be helpful in normalizing metabolism, new tissue building, and produce hormones, proteins, and molecules. AIP diet also includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This diet regulates the immune system and also supports the normal functioning of the body.
The Autoimmune Protocol, or the AIP, helps to control autoimmune diseases and allow the human body to heal and recover without medicines in a natural way.
It might look like a very restrictive diet for a lot of people and some find it difficult to follow too. However, people who are suffering from autoimmune diseases and consider the benefits of diet may make this transition easier.
Overall AIP diet plans have various health goals, such as decreasing inflammation happening in your body. In addition, the Autoimmune Paleo diet plan goes further and eliminates more food groups that could potentially cause an autoimmune response in the human body. You can consider an autoimmune diet after discussing it with your doctor.