inflammation

Sjögren’s Syndrome

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Do your eyes feel dry, your tongue is cracked and your mouth is dry? Do you have trouble swallowing dry foods or find it hard to talk sometimes?

32710133 - cracked skin

Sjögren’s is an auto-immune disorder that often affects the mucosal linings throughout the body.

Diagnosis is through a blood test for antibodies to extractable nuclear antigens, specifically;

  • anti-La
  • anti-Ro

Sometimes the test may come back negative, but you may still be suffering from Sjogren’s symptoms.

Symptoms of Sjögren’s auto-immune disorder vary from person to person but may include:

  • a dry, gritty or burning sensation in the eyes
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty talking, chewing or swallowing
  • a sore or cracked tongue
  • dry or burning throat
  • dry or peeling lips
  • a change in taste or smell
  • increased dental decay
  • joint pain
  • vaginal and skin dryness
  • digestive problems
  • dry nose
  • fatigue

Diet for Sjögren’s;

As inflammation is one of the main problems with Sjögren’s, following a low inflammatory diet is important. Making sure you get enough EFA’s (essential fatty acids) is really important as is eating moist foods rather than dry or drying foods.

Include plenty of moistening foods;

porridge

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat all the colours of the rainbow to maximise the anti-oxidants and to ensure you’re getting the most phytonutrients possible. Anti-oxidants help reduce inflammatin and the fibre will support bowel health and beneficial bacteria. Eating as many raw as possible will ensure maximum anti-oxidant content too.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy fats.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats contain omega 3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. You can get them in most oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna as well as extra virgin olive oil, certain seeds, raw nuts, and avocado.  Add ginger and garlic, which are also anti-inflammatory foods.

Eat plenty of fiber.

Cereal and fibre

Foods high in fibre help reduce inflammation, detoxify the system, help keep the bowels healthy and help promote the replication of benenficial bacteria.

Include a tablespoon per day of flaxseeds, slippery elm, psyllium husks or LSA. Sprinkle them on soaked oats as a Bircher muesli will be a wonderful start to any day! See recipe here, https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2016/05/04/bircher-muesli/

Eat organic and grass fed meat

RAw meat

When an animal is exposed to any chemicals, either in herbicides or pesticides or in their feed,the toxic chemical is stored in the fat of the animal. This is why it’s important to eat organic and grass fed meat. They are also more anti-inflammatory than grain fed and non-organic. Just be aware that meat eating in the wrong blood type can be pro-inflammatory.

Good Foods for Sjögren’s Syndrome

Vegetables Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, and kale.
Fruits Apricots, apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, Kiwi, lemon, honey dew melon, pears and papaya
Grains Quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, millet, tapioca, red rice, sorghum, amaranth, and brown rice
Protein Eggs, chicken, turkey, lentils, split peas, bee pollen, spirulina, and legumes
Herbs/spices Sea salt, carob powder, peppercorns, and turmeric
Nuts/Seeds Sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and tahini
Fish Trout, mackerel, sardines, salmon, and tuna
Others Herbal tea, coconut water, seltzer, yerba mate tea, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, walnut oil and purified water

What Should Be Avoided in Sjögren’s Syndrome Diet?

fatty foods

  • Foods that are high in hydrogenated or Trans fats. These are highly inflammatory foods and should be avoided. Red meats are often avoided because they contain arachidonic acid that is very inflammatory (especially in the wrong blood type). Trans fats are bad for you all around and can also cause heart disease. These are found in margarine and pastry.
  • Processed foods and refined oils. Foods like canola oil and corn oil are too high in omega 6 fatty acids which, when digested, turn into arachidonic acid, causing inflammation. Processed foods such as corn syrup, lollies, pasta, breads and cakes are high in carbs that raise the blood sugar quickly. Then there is an inflammatory response when insulin is released by the pancreas in response to the high blood glucose levels.
  • Spicy or sugary foods. Foods that irritate the mouth by being too spicy or citrus fruitsshould be avoided in a Sjögren’s syndrome diet. The mouth is already dry and tender and these things increase the irritation of the mouth even more. Sugary foods (as well as artificial sweeteners) should be avoided because the reduced saliva means you have a greater risk of tooth decay.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol. Both alcohol and coffee should be avoided because they make an already dry mouth even drier. Stick to water and other beverages. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics which means you will be losing more fluid, when you urinate, than you are putting in.
  • Preservatives. Foods that are highly preserved can cause inflammation in the body.
  • Wheat. Wheat products contain gluten, which, in many people with autoimmune diseases, is not very well tolerated. Wheat itself can be pro-inflammatory.
  • Foods that are allergenic. This includes foods that cause allergies in many people, such as dairy products, peanuts and eggs. People with autoimmune diseases will experience more inflammation when they eat these highly allergenic foods.
  • Other foods to avoid. Stay away from tough meats as they can cause irritation of the mouth and pain with eating. Also stay away from popcorn, carbonated drinks and crispy breads because they do not go well with having a dry mouth.
  • Be aware of salicylate intolerance with Sjögren’s.  see my article here; https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2016/08/24/salicylates-in-foods/

Copyright: photojog / 123RF Stock Photo

Chicken Broth Low Allergy, Low Salicylate and Low Amines

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clear-broth

Ingredients;

  • 6 litres of cold, filtered water or enough to cover the chicken (I recommend using a very large pot so you get lots of broth).
  • 2- 3 FRESH organic chicken carcasses and skin-less chicken meat (1kg of chicken in total). (skinless chicken is necessary to reduce histamines)
  • 2 onions, quartered (if salicylate intolerant, use leeks and spring onions)
  • 1-2 carrot, quartered (if salicylate intolerant, use swede)
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme (omit if salicylate intolerant)
  • A bunch of parsley
  • A generous pinch of celtic, rock, Himalayan or sea salt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (omit if salicylate intolerant)

Directions;

  • Place the meat, water and vinegar in a large saucepan, cover with a lid and let stand for 30 minutes. This will give time to the vinegar to start drawing minerals from the bones into the water.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Over the next half hour, a foam-like scum will rise to the surface. Skim it several times.
  • When no more foam is surfacing, add the vegetables, thyme and and salt and reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cook for 2-4 hours.
  • Ten minutes before the end add the parsley. This will increase the mineral content of the broth.
  • After cooking, remove carcasses and veggies with slotted spoon and strain into a container.
  • The broth can then be stored in pint-sized glass containers in the fridge. Chill well before freezing.

Oat and Chia seed Pancakes

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pancakes-with-berries
Makes: 6 pancakes
Ingredients;
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small-medium (120g each) over-ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, butter or ghee
  • To serve – berries with a drizzle of maple syrup, raspberry chia jam, berry compote or chopped Medjool dates, walnuts and maple syrup
Directions;
  1. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add bananas and mash into the eggs
  3. Add cinnamon, vanilla, chia seeds and oats and stir to combine well
  4. Set aside for 5 minutes while you prepare the toppings etc
  5. Heat a medium frypan over medium heat
  6. Add the oil, butter or ghee and melt
  7. Cover the bottom of the pan with melted oil/butter
  8. Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop mix into the pan, allowing a little space between pancakes so you can turn them easily (I only cooked 3 at a time)
  9. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook a further 2 minutes on the other side or until cooked through
  10. Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen towel and repeat with remaining mix
  11. To serve, top with yoghurt and jam, berry compote or chopped dates, walnuts and maple syrup

 

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Home-Made Dill Mayonnaise, Low Allergy, Paleo Friendly and Low Histamine

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mayonnaise

Ingredients;

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon) or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • Fresh dill (omit for regular mayo)
  • 1 cup olive oil or for those with sensitivities use rice-bran oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions;

  1. Place egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in the bottom of container or jar that just fits the head of your stick blender. It is important that the egg/lemon juice mixture reaches the blades for this to work. If the mixture does not reach the blades, double the recipe before attempting.
  2. Add garlic and dill if using. Pour oil on top and allow to settle for 15 seconds. Place head of stick blender at the bottom of the container or jar and turn it on high speed. Do not pulse or move the head. As mayonnaise forms, slowly lift the head of the stick blender until all the oil has emulsified. Season mayonnaise to taste with salt. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Banana Beetroot Brownies

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Beetroot, Banana Brownie
Ingredients:

  • 3 large or 4 small beetroots, peeled and boiled until tender
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao or carob powder
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs or 75% dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)

Icing:

  • 60ml melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp beetroot juice (made from cooked beetroot)
  • A handful of fresh rose petals (pesticide free) to garnish
Directions:
  1. Blend the beetroot in a food processor into a paste.
  2. Squeeze the paste through a sieve and collect 2 tbsp of your beetroot juice to set aside for the icing (you may have to add 1 tbsp water to this). Keep the paste in a bowl.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  4. Stir in the cacao nibs, dark chocolate bits, or nuts if desired
  5. Pour into a well-greased pan about 20cm x 20cm
  6. Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.

To make the icing:

  1. Mix the melted coconut oil and beetroot juice together.
  2. Roughly drizzle half of it onto the brownies.
  3. Sprinkle with rose petals.
  4. Drizzle over the rest of the icing.

Yummy Banana Nut-Butter Pudding

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Banana smoothie
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup almond butter, pepita butter or peanut butter (or any nut butter would be scrumptious!)
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ medium, or 3 small bananas
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until it starts to look like a pudding!!

Add slices of your favourite fruits on top for added yumminess!!

Image courtesy of galzpaka at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Onion, Garlic and Honey Cough Syrup

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Ingredients;

Onion and Garlic

  • 1 onion, diced into pieces or sliced into slices
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Raw, unfiltered honey, or a combination of raw honey and Manuka honey, (enough to cover the onions and garlic)

Method;

  1. In a jar or pot (if heating, see below), place your onions and crushed garlic cloves.
  2. Pour in the honey until the onions and garlic are covered.
  3. Either leave to steep for a few hours (or overnight) or
  4. Place the pot over a very low heat (don’t heat too much or you will lose all the healing properties of the honey)
  5. Cook for 30-60 minutes.  When the onions and garlic soften, and the honey becomes more liquefied, you know that your syrup is ready.

Honey

You can either leave the onion and garlic pieces in the syrup or simply strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer.  Store it in a jar in your fridge and use it freely.

Zucchini Fritters

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Zucchini fritters
Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 small
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and minced
  • ¼ Cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour or spelt if there are no gluten issues
  • Salt & pepper  to taste
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped kale or spinach (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grate zucchini. Place zucchini in a colander set in the sink and toss with 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 10 minutes, and then wring zucchini dry in a clean kitchen towel to remove moisture. Place zucchini in a large bowl and gently mix in egg, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Slowly add flour, stirring so no lumps form.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil, butter, ghee or lard in a large frypan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan. Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture into pan; repeat, spacing fritters a few inches apart.
  3. Cook fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Turn fritters, and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer fritters to a plate and serve.

Porridge using soaked oats

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Jar of oats

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup oats, rolled or cracked – NOT the quick cooking kind, but the ‘old fashioned’ whole oats (organic is best)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tblespns plain whole milk yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 cup water

OPtional Extra’s;

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tblespns ground nuts & seeds such as; Brazil, almonds, walnuts, pepita’s, sunflower seeds & flax seeds.(Don’t use these if diverticulitis is an issue)
  • Adding psyllium husks, chia seeds and slippery elm will increase the fibre content. (Don’t use chia seeds if diverticulitis is an issue)
  • Coconut sugar, rapadura sugar, raw honey or real maple syrup (not maple flavouring) to sweeten.
  • Touch of butter, ghee, cream or milk, optional, but especially good for the kids
  • Other nice optional additions include; grated apple, chopped dried fruit such as; sulphur-free apricots, figs, sultanas or cranberries.

healthy breakfast ingredients

Preparation:

 

Mix the oats with warm water and whey or yogurt, cover and leave out (preferably not in the fridge unless the nights are hot) for at least 7 hours or overnight. In the morning, bring an additional cup of water to a boil with the sea salt. Add the soaked oats, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for several minutes. Remove from heat, stir in optional flax seeds and other fibre and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with the ghee, butter or cream and sugar, honey or real maple syrup.

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of KEKO64 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net