This Autoimmune Disease Diet is found in the book, The Immune System Recovery Plan. It was created by Susan Blum, MD, an assistant clinical professor who serves on the Medical Advisory Board for The Dr. Oz Show.
This plan involves a four-step program for overcoming autoimmune disease by using food as medicine.
You may benefit from this program if:
- You constantly feel exhausted.
- You have trouble thinking clearly.
- You often feel sick.
- Your joints ache or swell for no apparent reason.
- You experience unexplained weight fluctuation.
- You feel hot when everyone else feels cold, or vice versa.
- You have dry hair or skin problems.
- You generally don’t feel your best.
Autoimmune Disease Diet
What is Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune cells of your body make a mistake and attack your own cells, tissues and organs. They release antibodies and irritating chemicals resulting in damage and inflammation at the area where this is occurring.
Symptoms of autoimmune conditions can vary depending on what part of the body is affected. Some people experience general aches, pains and fatigue without knowing the reason why.
Others may develop specific autoimmune diseases such as
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Celiac Disease
What all of these diseases have in common is an underlying dysfunction of the immune system. This autoimmune disease diet uses lifestyle modification to positively influence body functions on a deep cellular level. When this occurs the body starts to function properly, which can alleviate symptoms and reverse disease.
Four Steps for Healing the Immune System
Dr. Blum focuses on identifying and treating the real cause of symptoms including diet, lifestyle and exposure to toxins. Nutritional medicine is the cornerstone of her approach. This means using food as medicine to reduce inflammation, heal the immune system, remove toxins and generally restore balance.
The autoimmune disease diet incorporates four steps, which each target a specific aspect of healing and preventing autoimmune disease.
- Using Food as Medicine
- Understanding the Stress Connection
- Healing the Gut
- Supporting the Liver
To get the best results you should complete the four steps in order. However, each can stand alone, so if you prefer you may choose to focus on one part at a time.
Dr. Susan Blum Discusses Her Plan
Foods and Recipes for a Healthy Immune System
Each section comes with an interactive workbook to help you create your own personal treatment plan. There is also a selection of simple recipes that are designed to facilitate the healing process for each stage of the program.
Some of the recipes include:
- Almond Blueberry Muffins
- Lemony Kale and Avocado Salad
- North African Red Lentil Soup
- Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions
- Mediterranean Herb-Crusted Salmon
- Sautéed White Beans and Garlicky Greens
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Tempeh, black beans, lentils, mung beans, eggs, salmon, organic chicken, quinoa, basmati rice, flaxseeds, bok choy, kale, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, avocado, mango, banana, raspberries, blueberries, coconut milk, ginger, extra-virgin olive oil, ghee.
Sample Diet Plan
Pesto Scrambled Eggs
Mediterranean Chickpea Patties with Red Pepper Sauce
Coconut Chicken with Almond Lime Sauce
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Walking is a Good Place to Start
The autoimmune disease diet believes that exercise has a positive effect on your adrenal glands and the cells of your immune system. If you are experiencing extreme fatigue you can wait until your condition improves before introducing exercise into your program.
When you are ready to get moving, walking is a good activity to start with. You should aim for at least two hours a week of moderate activity. It is also beneficial to incorporate weight-bearing exercise and yoga into your fitness regime.
Costs and Expenses
The Immune System Recovery Plan: A Doctor’s 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease retails at $27.99.
- Offers a drug-free approach for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
- Addresses the role of stress management for achieving balanced health.
- Can help you identify the foods that are causing immune reactions and inflammation in your body.
- Helps to rebalance intestinal flora and heal the gastrointestinal system.
- The autoimmune disease diet supports the function of the liver to enhance elimination of toxins.
- The meal plan is quite restrictive and eliminates a wide variety of foods.
- Some parts of the program require the use of nutritional supplements.
- May require more time for food preparation.
- The autoimmune disease diet recipes do not include nutritional information.
Promotes Optimal Immune Function
The Immune System Recovery Plan is a four-step autoimmune disease diet for overcoming autoimmune conditions with diet and lifestyle modification. This protocol provides a solution for managing these diseases through promoting optimal body function by using food as medicine.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Blum, Susan S., and Michele Bender. The immune system recovery plan : a doctor’s 4-step program to treat autoimmune disease. New York, NY: Scribner, 2013. Print.
- Farh, K. K. H., Marson, A., Zhu, J., Kleinewietfeld, M., Housley, W. J., Beik, S., … Bernstein, B. E. (2014). Genetic and epigenetic fine mapping of causal autoimmune disease variants. Nature. link
- Ito, Y., Hashimoto, M., Hirota, K., Ohkura, N., Morikawa, H., Nishikawa, H., … Sakaguchi, S. Detection of T cell responses to a ubiquitous cellular protein in autoimmune disease. Science, 346(6207), 363-368. link
Last Reviewed: April 30, 2017