A well-balanced diet that emphasizes whole foods such as fish, whole grains, vegetables, fruit and lean sources of protein is best for lupus patients, according to Everyday Health. Patients should avoid highly processed foods, including snack products, cereals, preserved meats and bread. Reading ingredients labels and limiting or eliminating products that contain chemicals, additives and preservatives ensures healthier choices.
As of 2015, there are no specific foods or diet plans for lupus patients, however certain foods can activate lupus symptoms, states Everyday Health. Patients should pay attention to the foods that cause flare-ups and restrict consumption to see if symptoms improve. Estrogen found in soy products creates a higher risk for lupus and associated symptoms. Alfalfa sprouts, found in many herbal teas, can also be a trigger for symptoms, and high-protein foods cause problems for many patients who also suffer from kidney disease.
Anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency, is a common complication of lupus and patients should offset the risk by including plenty of iron in their diets, explains Everyday Health. Iron is found in fish, green leafy vegetables, lean meats and fortified cereals. Patients should be cautious about drinking caffeine as it can reduce the amount of iron the body is able to absorb by half.
Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids from fish and antioxidants from colorful fruits such as berries and apricots help support healing in the body, notes Everyday Health. Patients should also get adequate amounts of vitamins A, B, C and E and zinc.