Sarcoidosis is a type of autoimmune disease. The immune system of someone with this condition attacks not only invading microorganisms but also the tissues of the body. In short, the immune system cannot tell which ones it should attack and which ones it should defend.
Mild cases may yield no noticeable signs and symptoms. A severe case, however, may cause a lot of problems especially because it tends to attack the lungs, skin and lymph nodes, and in some instances the eyes and liver too.
To date, there is no known cure for sarcoidosis. Medications that help provide relief from the signs and symptoms, however, are available. There are also a few lifestyle and dietary changes that may prove to be beneficial for someone with sarcoidosis. They are the following:
Ditch Cigarette Smoking
Because the condition affects your lungs and breathing too, it is certainly a good idea to quit smoking. Ditching the habit helps prevent the irritation of the airway and lungs, helping to keep labored breathing, frequent coughing and inflammation of the respiratory tract at bay.
Have Your Regular Dose of Exercise
Aside from keeping your body in shape and your cardiovascular health in tip-top condition, regular exercising is also good for someone with sarcoidosis. At least 20 minutes of exercise such as walking, swimming and biking can help in strengthening the lungs, allowing for a more efficient use of oxygen.
Include Antioxidant-Rich Foods in the Diet
Antioxidants are powerful molecules that help keep oxidative stress to a bare minimum by neutralizing excess free radicals. Oxidative stress can contribute to inflammation, something which can exacerbate the symptoms of sarcoidosis. Excellent sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables.
Consume Foods Rich in Calcium and Magnesium
Two minerals that are known to be very beneficial for people with sarcoidosis are calcium and magnesium. Excellent sources of calcium include canned sardines, dark green leafy vegetables, soybeans, and enriched or fortified food products. Bananas, avocados, dried fruits, beans and whole grains are wonderful sources of magnesium.
Avoid Red Meat
Because it is known as a pro-inflammatory food, avoiding red meat makes a lot of sense. Obtain your protein from chicken or turkey breast without the skin. Include lots of fish in the diet too. There are plenty of non-animal protein sources such as beans, peas, lentils, nuts and tofu.
Have Plenty of Oily Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish are proven by science to help reduce inflammation. What’s more, these healthy fats are known to lower bad cholesterol by increasing the amount of the good kind. Fish with impressive amounts of omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, trout, halibut, tuna and sardines.
Add Probiotics in Your Diet
Regular intake of probiotic supplements helps keep your digestive system healthy and your immune system strong. Other than taking supplements, you may also obtain good bacteria from various food sources, in particular fermented ones. Some wonderful sources of good bacteria include miso, kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Steer Clear of Sugary and Processed Foods
Because sugar promotes inflammation and it also zaps your energy, you should stay away from foods and beverages containing lots of it. It’s also highly recommended for you to avoid anything with refined flour or grains. Similarly, you should eliminate processed foods in your everyday diet.
Spice Up Food with Turmeric
Turmeric has been used for centuries in treating all sorts of condition that has something to do with inflammation. This spice with a deep yellow color can help manage the symptoms of sarcoidosis due to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Something as simple as adding turmeric to your food can work wonders.
Drink Chamomile Tea
The consumption of chamomile tea can benefit someone with sarcoidosis in a couple of ways. First, it helps provide relief from inflammation. Traditional healers have been recommending chamomile tea for so many years now for various disorders related to inflammation. Second, chamomile tea helps relax your mind and body at bedtime.