Why eating Alfalfa Sprouts can make Lupus worse?

Why eating alfalfa sprouts can make Lupus worse?

Since I have been diagnosed with lupus, I started reading about nutrition as my doctors told me that my diet would make a massive difference to my condition. We should avoid some foods, while others can help us get healthier. That said, I am not sure there is a simple answer that will cure for good our lupus symptoms.


Many people with lupus have challenges with their weight. Either the illness causes them to lose weight or may experience weight gain due to autoimmune thyroid disease, a side-effect from steroid treatment, or decreased activity levels due to fatigue and pain.


The best nutrient strategy to follow is a good balance of various non-glycemic fruits and green vegetables we can stick to. There are many diets around; some are useful, others can be too extreme or too complicated to follow when you have limited energy and particular needs. If you have lupus nephritis, you may want to rely on a hospital dietician.


The leading food to avoid is alfalfa sprouts. Cattle eat alfalfa in many countries, and the sprouting shoots of this are sold in some health food stores but not in most pre-packaged salads. Check the label before you buy anything like this to make sure. There have been case reports of alfalfa sprout ingestion causing the onset of SLE. Alfalfa and mung bean sprouts contain high levels of L-canavanine, an amino acid that stimulates the immune system.


Some doctors advocate staying away from garlic, which contains substances (allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates) that can increase immune activity. However, Donald E. Thomas Jr. says in ‘The Lupus Encyclopedia’ that he doesn’t see enough evidence to make this recommendation. Garlic is actively used in Ayurveda to decrease inflammation, and I have not had any problem eating garlic.


Although there isn’t any scientific evidence to prove it, some people with lupus find that they’re sensitive to nightshade vegetables. These include tomatoes, sweet and peppers, and eggplant. Other foods to avoid are: saturated and ‘trans fats, too much sugar, too much salt, foods that are highly processed.


Saturated and trans fat foods raise the risk of coronary heart disease, and Omega 3 is known to cause inflammation. The recommended daily amount of salt should not be more than six grams, which is approximately one teaspoonful. Many processed foods are highly salted, which means that it’s really easy to exceed this amount. Instead of seasoning your food with salt, try using lemon juice or herbs to enhance its flavor, and wash canned food before eating.


In my case, excluding gluten and dairy from their diet gives me more energy and reduces inflammation – even though I have not been diagnosed with any allergy. If you feel that you have problems processing certain foods, talk to your GP and ask for a referral to either a nutritionist or an allergy specialist.


You can try to identify food “triggers” by keeping a food and symptom diary. By keeping a log of what you eat and the symptoms you experience, you may identify any trends.

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