Following a Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects for people with lupus, lowering the risk of heart disease. The diet includes many anti-inflammatory foods, which also reduced lupus disease activity in study participants. Additionally, greater adherence to the diet was associated with a healthier weight and other health benefits. A Mediterranean-style diet typically consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, fish, and chicken.
Researchers in Spain examined a group of 280 people with lupus. The participants were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet and chronicled their lifestyle, food consumption habits, and frequency for 14 days. Progress was scored using a common lupus disease measurement tool. A direct relationship was observed between diet and lupus disease activity. Those who followed the diet most closely saw lower lupus disease activity. The more foods consumed not on the diet (red meat, meat products, sugars, pastries, etc.), the greater lupus damage.
More research is needed to understand the connection between nutrition and managing disease symptoms and activity in lupus. Learn about diet and nutrition with lupus.