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6 Ways to Treat Autoimmune Disorders Through Diet

By Livestrong Contributor ; Updated August 14, 2017

There are more than 80 known autoimmune disorders--diseases that occur when a person's immune system turns against itself. Some of these diseases include Type 1 diabetes, Graves disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Take Steps to Strengthen Your Immune System

There are more than 80 known autoimmune disorders--diseases that occur when a person's immune system turns against itself. Some of these diseases include Type 1 diabetes, Graves disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Although there is a genetic component to these diseases, they usually emerge after a period of illness or stress. Once a person receives a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder, there are a number of nutritional steps for the patient to strengthen the immune system and limit the progression of the disease.

Eat Cold Water Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) help improve healthy T-helper immune cell function and normalize the production of interleukin-1 and interleukin-6, which create inflammation. You can find these Omega-3's in cold water fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. Omega-3 is particularly helpful in allergies and rheumatoid arthritis.

L-Glutathione Improves Immune Health

L-glutathione is an antioxidant that is extremely important to immune system health. It keeps the cells of the immune system in the T-helper cell state and controls the interleukins, which cause inflammation. L-glutathione increases the immune system's ability to fight cancer, bacterial infections and viruses. You can find glutathione in asparagus, cantaloupe, peaches, zucchini and other fruits and vegetables. Meat, fish and eggs also contain amino acids that help the body maintain high levels of glutathione.

Spirulina Is a Super Food

Spirulina is a form of algae that increases the number of infection-fighting immune factors. For this reason, it's labeled as a superfood by many nutritionists. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and a number of other nutrients. You can buy spirulina in powder form at your local health food store and add it to smoothies and other foods.

Vitamins Make Your Immune System Stronger

Vitamins E, B6 and C are especially important to keeping the immune system strong. In one study, 10 people received 400 mg of vitamin E and 1000 mg of vitamin C for 28 days. At the end of this period, there was an increase in T-helper cells and a reduction in the factors that cause inflammation. Vitamin C is especially important in ensuring a predominance of T-helper cells, and vitamin B6 helps the immune system to respond to invaders more quickly. Vitamin E protects the body against a number of types of cancer.

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