One of the most important (and funnily enough most overlooked) factors when following the Autoimmune Protocol, and really when following any healing diet for that matter, is the focus on nutrient density.
We’re all well aware of the foods that may need to be eliminated or limited when dealing with chronic illness (from gluten to dairy), however ignoring the eating of nutrient-density foods can be one of the larges obstacles to our healing success. These are foods that are especially high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
To heal, look and feel our best we need to be eating a wide variety of nutrients, and given the poor state of our soil and the overly processed foods of today, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to the quality of the foods we eat, from eating organic produce to eating mineral-rich produce. Remember, food quality has a large impact on nutrient density, especially regarding the balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats in both muscle and organ meats. Animals fed corn and soy have more Omega 6 fats (pro-inflammatory), whereas grass-fed meat has a much better ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats (recommended).
So how do we do this?
By simply including foods like organ meats and fatty fish and shellfish, seaweed, fermented foods and an abundance of fruits and vegetables from the rainbow, is a great start.
Below is a list from the Autoimmune Wellness website - in regards to foods containing those hard to get nutrients that are particularly importing to healing and our wellness journey:
Vitamin A | Liver and fish liver oil and yellow-orange vegetables
Vitamin D | Liver and fish liver oil, fatty fish, and responsible sunlight exposure
Omega-3 Fatty Acids | Fatty fish and fish liver oil (best source), organ meats, and pastured meats
B Vitamins | Meat and seafood (especially shellfish and organ meats), colourful vegetables and seaweed
Iron | Organ meats, shellfish,and red meat like beef or lamb
Zinc | Shellfish, organ meats, muscle meats and green leafy vegetables
Selenium | Fish and shellfish (best source), organ meats, muscle meats and brazil nuts
Iodine | Fish, shellfish and seaweed
Probiotics | Fermented vegetables, kombucha and water kefir