Disease Fighting Foods – What to Avoid

Food is fuel for energy and nutrients to perform all the metabolic functions in the body. The liver alone is involved in over 40,000 metabolic processes! Each system of the body needs specific nutrition to maintain optimum health. It stands to reason that what we eat either keeps us healthy and operating efficiently or it derails our health, making our body work harder, even hindering its metabolic processes. More and more research supports the conclusion that an overwhelming majority of our health conditions can be averted by proper lifestyle dietary habits. Thus, much more information is now being given to the public to educate the population about how to improve and “clean up” their lifestyle.

When one thinks of “disease fighting foods” you immediately want to know what key foods will be the magic bullet that if you only ate enough of you’d have a buffer from disease which might also even counter our bad habits! Unfortunately, although there are many such foods, there is no one or few that can counter all the bad habits and bad diets in the world. So let’s start to look at food as properly fortifying the body, rebuilding and repairing the body, giving the body proper nutrients to function like a fine Ferrari, and eating to facilitate good detoxification and elimination. Here are some guidelines pertinent to those suffering from any chronic condition that can help reduce inflammation, reduce the pathogen load to the digestive tract. It’s meant as a guideline, as books can be written about many key foods individually and specifically. The focus here is what to avoid when you have an inflammatory condition.

Disease fighting foods are those that are clean, meaning not processed, not preserved (with exception to fermented foods), and in their natural state, preferably organic, and broiled or baked with natural organic seasonings. It means buying fresh food, food not sold in a box, or can. It means using fresh or dried organic spices, not chemically laden, color enhanced processed seasonings, non-natural sweeteners and condiments. But just as it is good to eat clean food, and food that is prepared simply with organic seasonings, it is equally important to know what types of otherwise “wholesome” foods actually contribute to chronic infection and inflammation!

Of the animal protein category, the one food that seems to cause more inflammatory issues for patients tested by Immune Matrix in the last dozen years is chicken. This does not included eggs whole, white or yolks however. It also doesn’t matter if the chicken is free range. For some odd reason chicken comes up as a food sensitivity in over 50% of patients they have tested with inflammatory disorders.

As for fish, the biggest problem Immune Matrix has found in its patients was toxic retention of heavy metals confirmed in their computerized testing, hair analysis and heavy metal excretion labs. Historically, the fish with the highest concentration of heavy metals are can tuna (clean food is everything NOT in a can!), and wild caught tuna, as well as any farm raised fish, farm raised tilapia, catfish, salmon as examples. Many shellfish, as in clams and mussels, are also concentrated with heavy metals, due to the increasing shoreline pollution and also qualify as “don’t eat this regularly” too.

Food that stresses already stressed livers is most commonly sulfur containing foods. Most patients tested with

  • chronic inflammation stemming from chronic candida infections
  • Lyme disease
  • chronic fatigue
  • irritable bowel
  • autism

and such have toxic retention in the body and many have detoxification pathway inefficiencies that are made worse with metabolic immune sensitivities. One of these sensitivities is to sulfur. Improving one’s sulfur metabolism is treatable, and Immune Matrix has a proprietary technique for doing this even in the presence of genetic SNPs. It is a cornerstone proprietary treatment for Immune Matrix patients. The more sulfur foods eaten the more the metabolic pathway for sulfur metabolism is stressed, increasing inflammation, and toxic retention. Part of the goal in disease fighting food is to known when your body cannot efficiently process an otherwise essential nutrient, such as sulfur. Therefore, limit or reduce the amount of sulfur containing foods eaten per day until you can confirm whether and to what degree you have immune sensitivities to this pathway.

Sulfur containing foods are:

  • egg yolk
  • lamb
  • dandelion
  • eggplant
  • kale
  • kelp
  • garlic
  • onion
  • watercress

Many dark green leafy vegetables have a higher concentration of sulfur which can explain some food sensitivities to those vegetables especially in fibromyalgia patients!

Moldy food is another category Immune Matrix educates their patients to minimize and preferably totally avoid. What we mean by “moldy food” is mold that is endemic to the plant, grows with the plant in the form of smut and bunt and other molds. Why are these molds a problem? The answer is twofold. For one, they inoculate the digestive tract with pathogens that contribute to the overgrowth of dysbiotic flora. The more dysbiotic flora living in your gut, the more leaky gut you will develop, contributing to systemic inflammation and the development of food sensitivities.

Years ago the San Jose Mercury newspaper in California sent 10 fruits and vegetables out for testing for toxins and mold/pathogen levels. The top “moldy” food was strawberry, owing to the fact it grows on the ground and absorbs soil pathogens. It didn’t matter whether they were organic. Other common “moldy” foods are:

  • grapes
  • cantaloupe
  • honeydew
  • raisins
  • corn because of corn smut and corn bunt
  • wheat because of wheat smut, wheat bunt
  • oats because of oat smut, oat bunt
  • peanuts (again grown in the soil)
  • and black pepper

And no, mushrooms are not considered moldy food but should be eaten cooked.

The other reason for avoiding moldy food is that these molds have mycotoxins which are neurotoxins to “sensitive brains”. Those suffering from immune sensitivities that involve heightened brain inflammation are those in

  • the autistic spectrum
  • migraine suffers
  • chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia patients

those with mold exposure whether it includes exposure to black mold (stachybotrys) or mold in general, to those that are heavy metal toxic (heightening their mold sensitivity) to many Lyme patients. Eating “moldy” foods for these individuals is not disease fighting but rather worsens the brain fog, mental agitation and irritability, lack of focus, body aches and fatigue in general.

Of the grains, the one causing the most problem is wheat. The issue with wheat is beyond gluten sensitivity. Many doctors in fact think that Celiacs are the only individuals that should avoid wheat. Not so! Wheat in America it is genetically modified to contain a higher concentration of the protein gluten and thus the condition Celiac disease developed. But inflammatory disorders also increased across the world among countries that began to use wheat with higher gluten content. Our bodies have not adapted to increased gluten content (maybe God is wiser when He created wheat as it was?).

A byproduct of long term storage in silos for up to two years is a glutenin, also a protein, which only in the last year or so has been discovered to trigger 9 different genetic inflammatory conditions, two of which include the brain and gut! Cyrex Labs now tests for your genetic susceptibility to glutenin! Their tests go way beyond the simple Celiac testing. (http://www.cyrexlabs.com/CyrexTestsArrays/tabid/136/Default.aspx)

It was announced at the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine at their spring 2012 conference that brain scans of individuals in clinical trials for the effects of eating wheat showed that it took 6 months for the effect of one meal of gluten to be eliminated from the brain! The entire audience of doctors gasped! All the doctors were told in the audience that “your patients’ need your brain, so you all better be gluten free!” If that wasn’t enough, wheat and oats also contain mold in the form of smut and bunt, a multiple inflammatory whammy (gluten, gliadin, glutenin, wheat bunt, wheat smut)!

Last of the foods helpful to avoid is cow dairy. Individuals suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions generally have a higher level of bacteria, fungal and other pathogenic infections. When dairy is not digested well, it creates mucous in the digestive tract that also leads to:

  • chronic sinus congestion
  • sinusitis
  • lymphatic stagnation
  • congestion
  • bloating
  • localized circulatory disorders and repetitive gum
  • gastro-intestinal
  • circulatory
  • ear and brain infections (usually from chronic ear infections). Goat and sheep dairy does not have this effect and are good substitutes.

Knowing what “clean” foods to avoid is just as important as eating the right food for “your” body. Eating foods that increase your inflammation are hard to digest, that inoculate your body with pathogens, that increase infection in vasculature, gums, sinus, ears, brain and gut is slow and cumulative and is rarely cancelled out by the addition of eating “good” foods for your body. The above were common stressors found by Immune Matrix in its treatment of patients with chronic inflammatory conditions. Use this knowledge to your benefit and start today to make the small changes in your diet that lead to lasting health and longevity, and help your body fight disease.

Please note:

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan