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Foods to Eat for People with Lupus

Updated on August 11, 2020
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Annelis is a 20 year old female college student, diagnosed with Lupus-SLE at the age of 18.

When diagnosed with lupus, you may wonder, "Should I watch what I eat?" The answer is always! Even without lupus, we have to try to balance our diet; with lupus, it's emphasized to eat a well-balanced diet even more, in order to keep our bodies in tip-top shape. (Remember, its not about eliminating, it's about moderating)

Fresh fruits and veggies.
Fresh fruits and veggies. | Source

Whole Wheat Products

Whole wheat products tend to be high in nutrients and fiber. Whole wheat products support healthy digestion in the body and can reduce chronic inflammation.

Lupus patients tend to suffer from chronic joint inflammation, so it could be a smart choice to switch to whole wheat products.

Some whole wheat products to try are:

  • 100% whole wheat bread (any brand)
  • Whole grain pasta/noodles (any brand)
  • Whole wheat flour (any brand)
  • Whole grain cereal (any brand)

Some of my most used whole wheat products in my diet include: whole wheat bread (mostly for sandwiches) and whole grain cereal (for breakfast or as a snack).

There is no need to drastically change your diet if you already eat a relatively well-balanced diet.


Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is great for the growth, development and repair of body tissues. A commonly known benefit of Vitamin C is how it helps the immune system become stronger.

People with lupus have an over active immune system, most often fighting against the bodies own healthy cells. It's very important to help the body strength what struggles.

Some Vitamin C rich foods include:

  • Kiwi fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Curtis fruits (oranges and grapefruit)
  • Watermelon

And many more! I love to eat kiwi fruit as a snack and definitely enjoy my dose of watermelon and oranges on any given day.

Calcium and Vitamin D are also very important nutrients as they are used to build and maintain healthy bones.

People with lupus often take medications (glucocorticoid) that can trigger significant bone loss. Keeping the right dose of these nutrients in the body can help delay bone loss. Even without this risk, it's important to maintain the bones strong, to help support the joints which are greatly irritated in many lupus patients.

Some Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods are:

  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Soy milk
  • Whole/ reduced fat milk
  • Beef liver

Any many other types of foods- not just dairy products! I tend to drink a glass of milk everyday and try to eat a serving of fish once a week.

Whole Wheat Products
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Calcium & Vitamin D Rich Foods
Green Veggies
Healthy Meats
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Kiwi Fruit
Fatty Fish
Whole Wheat Flour
Curtis Fruits
Whole/ Reduced Fat Milk
Lean Chicken
Whole Grain Pasta
Bok Choy
Lean Beef
Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi Fruit | Source

It's okay to treat yourself to sweets and fatty foods sometimes (health permitting)!

Green Vegetables

Green veggies (leafy greens) contain tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber!

People with lupus need to maintain a well-balanced diet and leafy greens provide the body with a variety of nutrients in one serving (or more)!

Some green veggies to include in your diet include:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage

And many others. My favorite leafy green is spinach, it goes great in salads and can be cooked nicely with simple seasoning!

Healthy Meats

A proper portion of healthy meats provide the body with much needed protein, better iron absorption and helps maintain the bodies muscle mass.

People with lupus need to maintain a strong and healthy body as much as they can. This includes having strong muscles and enough iron in the blood.

Some healthy meats include:

  • Lean meats (beef, lamb, pork, etc)
  • Turkey meat
  • Chicken breast
  • Fatty Fish (tuna, salmon, etc)

And many more delicious options. So, you can still have your juicy steak every now and then (health permitting of course).

Don't be Scared

Overall, having lupus should not limit you or your diet. It's all about knowing your body and its limits. Making sure you take care of yourself now that you know you have an existing condition is super important to maintain a healthy long life.

I want to make it known that the information in this article is based off of personal experience and research from my diagnosis date to now.

You got this. Thanks for reading!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Annelis


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