Inflammation is what autoimmunity is all about. At the end of the day, what you “remove” in the 5R approach, and what you “replace” it with, is selected based upon its contribution to inflammation or its anti-inflammatory value, respectively. Dr. Hyman again:
“Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system. When your body senses foreign invaders, a specific cascade of events is set off in which your white blood cells and some special chemicals called cytokines mobilize to protect you.
This normal type of inflammation is a good thing. It helps your body protect and heal itself. However, when your immune system shifts out of balance, inflammation can run rampant — causing a chronic, smoldering fire inside your body that contributes to disease and weight gain.
The causes of this type of inflammation are all around you. The sugar you eat, high doses of the wrong oils and fats in your diet, hidden food allergens, lack of exercise, chronic stress, and hidden infections all trigger a raging, unseen inflammation deep in your cells and tissues. And this inflammation leads to every one of the major chronic diseases of aging — heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and more.” (1)
So, what do we do about it? Dr. Hyman goes on to say:
“Consuming a low-allergy diet for just 1 week will help you eliminate the excess swelling and fluid that accumulates in your tissues from food-induced chronic inflammation. Despite criticisms you may have heard about losing ONLY water weight, this is essential for your body to begin to heal and detoxify.”(1)
Yet for people with chronic illness like autoimmune disease, it’s about more than just eliminating food allergens. It’s about choosing foods that either don’t cause inflammation, or actively calm inflammation. You’re going for a sustained, long-term impact.
As Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, the scientist behind The Paleo Mom and noted researcher and communicator on The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol notes:
“Inflammation is a factor in all chronic illnesses, and this is one area where the foods we eat can make a huge difference.”(2)