Children With Lupus: Making Healthy Food Choices

Lupus is a serious immune disorder that affects thousands of children.

Many physicians and researchers believe that diet can play an important role in the management of Lupus.

Unfortunately, no one seems to have created an all inclusive diet, or plan for management of the disease.

It is generally recommended that children with lupus eat a healthy well balanced diet based on the food pyramid. However, there are certain foods that should be eaten on regular basis, and foods that should be avoided.

Avoid Immune System Boosting Foods

Certain foods such as alfalfa seed can actually lead to a lupus flare. Alfalfa seed contains compound called L-canavanine which acts as an immune booster. While this can be great for patients who are healthy, it can cause children with Lupus to become sicker.

In lupus, the immune system is fighting against itself. Therefore these foods will cause the disease to weaken the body even more.

Zinc should also be avoided as part of a regular diet. It is found in many forms of shell fish, including oysters. Zinc also acts as an immune booster, which will make the body attack itself faster.

Anti Inflammatory Foods Can Help

Certain foods can provide natural anti-inflammatory properties for children. Certain types of fish such as tuna, mackerel, herring, and whitefish contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Preliminary research shows these types of fish may slow the disease, and lessen any side effects.

It is also believed pineapple will provide the same effects for children with lupus.  Pineapple is used by many professional boxers as an anti-inflammatory after a fight. The research is not yet complete on this topic, but many physicians agree with the theory.

Diet High In Calcium and Vitamin D

Children with lupus are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis as they age. One of the most common treatments for Lupus is steroids. Steroids are known to reduce bone density. Calcium is essential for proper bone health.

However, vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of calcium[Vitamin D supplements]. In many cases a calcium supplement taken on a daily basis, along with a glass of orange juice, will be effective. Calcium can also be effective when consumed in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Healthy Diet Choices

While there are specific foods that seem to offer relief for children with Lupus, eating a well rounded healthy diet is key to good health.

Eliminating excess fat, sodium, and sugar will help the body to fight off additional conditions such as the flu or viruses. Since Lupus makes the immune system week, this is a huge concern for school age children.

Vitamins and minerals found in food are the basic tools a body needs to fight of illness and disease. A well rounded diet including plenty of protein, vegetables, and fruit will provide the tools necessary for daily health.

While there is no one miracle food that will cure lupus, or make it ineffective, eating a balanced diet high in anti-inflammatory foods, vitamins, and minerals is beneficial. They will not provide a cure, but they do provide a better quality of life.