The Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP, is a specialized version of the Paleo diet. AIP takes into consideration nutrient density, and follows strict dietary guidelines. There are two main categories of foods. One category consists of foods that promote health (i.e., nutrients) the other category includes foods that are detrimental to your health (i.e., inflammatory compounds). Examples of foods with nutrients that promote health are: organ meats, seafood, and most vegetables. Examples of foods that undermine your health are: gluten-containing grains, peanuts, and most soy products.
To recap, AIP is a subset of the Paleo diet. The key difference is that Paleo works best for those that are considerably healthy while AIP is for those that need a bit more assistance to improve health and healing. As with auto-immune disorders, foods are needed to support your body in the most healing way to help it halt attacking itself. When we are unwell our bodies can harm themselves and an AIP diet can help to repair damaged tissues, regulate metabolism and hormones.
The Paleo AIP addresses four key areas known to be crucial for chronic and autoimmune diseases:
Each of the systems in our body require nutrients. Nutrients can be vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids to function normally. While all of our systems require nutrients, our immune system is a priority. Our immune system can wreck havoc on our body when not provided with the correct nutrients. Micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances are key factors in the creation and growth of autoimmune disease but by eating well, you are balancing out deficiencies, improving your immune system, hormone systems, detoxification systems, and neurotransmitter production.
The foods suggested on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol foster the progression of healthy levels and a diverse variety of gut microorganisms. By eliminating foods that aggravate or harm the lining of the gut, your gut barrier can rebuild and restore.
What we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat affect a variety of hormones. These hormones interact with the immune system and dietary habits such as eating too much sugar or grazing all day, can deregulate your hormones. These habits are ultimately affecting the immune system. The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol diet is designed to promote regulation of these hormones and the immune system. It’s not only our dietary but also our daily habits, including our sleep habits, time outside, physical activity, and our ability to manage stress that can profoundly influence our hormones.
Immune regulation is achieved by restoring your gut microorganisms. In addition, immune regulation restores the barrier function of the gut and regulates the key hormones that regulate the immune system.
As you adopt the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, your food choices become focused on consuming the nutrients to support healing. AIP also shows you the foods that provide everything your body needs to:
1. Stop attacking itself
2. Repair damaged tissues
3. Understand how to use proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to sustain a normal metabolism, build new tissue, and produce hormones
The AIP diet involves increasing your intake of nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods while avoiding foods that may trigger your disease.