Q&A: Auto-immune Diets

Q:  I have an auto immune disease, and the pH balance diet and fermented food diet were both suggested as helpful for me.  Do you recommend them?

A: The pH balance diet has been recommended for many conditions, from weight loss to cancer. The idea is that by consuming too many acidic foods, you create an acidic environment in your body, causing a variety of health problems, and that consuming alkaline foods restores the balance.

Under normal conditions, however, our body maintains appropriate pH balances regardless of diet. In my research, I didn’t find anything conclusive about a pH balance diet helping with any particular condition. However, the foods it recommends are not bad for you – lots of fruits, vegetables, water, olive oil, canola oil. So it couldn’t hurt.

As for the fermented food diet, as the name suggests, it promotes eating foods that have fermented. Common fermented foods are pickles, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt. Through the fermentation process, these foods become good sources of probiotics. As the digestive system is one of the largest parts of the immune system, consuming these probiotics is thought to boost the whole immune system and help with auto immune diseases.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the verdict is still out on the exact benefits of probiotics. The idea makes sense, but we don’t have enough conclusive data yet. If you find these foods help with your symptoms, I think it would be fine as long as it is ok with your doctor.

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