The Lyme Disease Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

Unfortunately, many people place nutrition on the back burner during their Lyme disease treatment.

However, the truth is that nutrition plays a crucial role in your Lyme disease recovery; when your diet is left unaddressed, your recovery from Lyme disease may be hindered.

Read on to learn about the five principles that form the optimal Lyme disease diet and practical strategies for improving your diet to facilitate healing.

image of fresh vegetables that are emphasized in the optimal diet for Lyme disease

Five Principles of the Lyme Disease Diet

The optimal diet for Lyme disease isn’t a one-size-fits-all dietary approach. It’s also not a fad diet, such as a vegan diet or carnivore diet. Instead, the optimal diet for Lyme recovery is an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet founded upon five nutrition principles.

There are five nutrition principles that comprise the optimal Lyme disease diet:

  1. Remove inflammatory foods.
  2. Eat anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods that alleviate Lyme-induced inflammation and support healthy immune function.
  3. Eat foods that support your gut health.
  4. Balance your blood sugar.
  5. Incorporate foods that support detoxification.

Let’s start by covering the inflammatory foods that you should remove from your diet to facilitate Lyme disease recovery.

Step 1: Remove Inflammatory Foods

Chronic Lyme disease is both an infection and a chronic inflammatory illness. Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, provokes inflammation throughout the body. Lyme-induced inflammation has been found to harm the brain and nervous system, the gut, connective tissue, skeletal muscle, and the cardiovascular system. (1, 2)

To help our bodies recover from Lyme disease, we need to reduce inflammation. Diet is one of the most powerful tools we have for reducing inflammation!

When we remove inflammatory foods from our diet, our immune system can function in a balanced way and may be able to target Lyme disease more effectively.

Let’s talk about the four primary categories of inflammatory foods that we should ideally remove from our diets to support Lyme disease recovery:

  1. Gluten
  2. Conventional dairy products
  3. Processed carbohydrates and added sugars
  4. Industrial seed oils

Remove Gluten

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which gluten consumption damages the small intestine and other body tissues, is just one manifestation of gluten sensitivity. Research indicates that gluten sensitivity exists on a spectrum and that gluten intake can trigger intestinal cell damage and systemic inflammation in people without celiac disease. (3)

Lyme patients already suffer from a heightened inflammation level; therefore, I recommend that most individuals with Lyme disease remove gluten from their diets to avoid further exacerbating inflammation.

In my practice, I often recommend celiac disease testing (diagnosis will involve also seeing a gastroenterologist) and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) testing, such as Cyrex Array #3, to determine how strict my clients need to be about avoiding gluten.

How does gluten prompt inflammation? One mechanism by which gluten triggers inflammation is by promoting a “leaky gut.”

Leaky gut occurs when the proteins that hold our intestinal cells together are broken, causing gaps to develop between the intestinal cells. These gaps allow substances originating in the intestine, such as food proteins and bacterial byproducts, to “leak” into our blood circulation, provoking an inflammatory immune response. (4)

While a gluten-containing diet can disrupt gut and increase inflammation, research shows that a gluten-free diet can alleviate inflammation – exactly what we need for Lyme recovery! (5)

The optimal Lyme disease diet thus avoids the following gluten-containing foods:

  • Wheat (including “ancient” forms of wheat such as spelt, Einkorn wheat, and farro)
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Baked goods made with gluten-containing grain flour, including most breads, pastas, cereal, and crackers.
  • Beer
  • Soy sauce and tamari sauce (unless labeled “gluten-free”)
  • Processed foods containing gluten on the label

The good news is that there are MANY naturally gluten-free, delicious, and nutritious foods that you can eat on your Lyme disease diet. I’ll discuss all of these foods shortly!

Avoid Conventional Dairy Products

Can you have dairy if you have Lyme disease? My answer is – “it depends!” While I don’t recommend eating conventional dairy products (i.e., non-organic dairy from factory-farmed cows) on the Lyme disease diet, you may be able to include some organic dairy products in your diet. Let’s discuss the problems posed by conventional dairy products first.

Conventional dairy products from grain-fed, factory-farmed, non-organically raised cows are a source of several harmful contaminants, including synthetic hormones and antibiotic residues. (6, 7) When we consume conventional dairy, we ingest these harmful compounds, which can disrupt our gut health and promote inflammation.

Conversely, organic dairy products contain undetectable levels of synthetic hormones and antibiotics because these chemicals aren’t permitted in organic dairy production.

However, chemical contaminants aren’t the only substances found in dairy that can trigger inflammation. People can also experience inflammatory reactions to lactose, a dairy sugar, and the dairy proteins casein and whey. (8) These dairy constituents can be problematic for many people with Lyme disease.

Lactose intolerance, an inability to properly digest the sugar lactose found in milk, is the most widely recognized form of dairy intolerance. However, people can also have dairy allergies or sensitivities to dairy proteins, such as the A1 beta-casein protein present in most types of cow’s milk.

In scientific studies, A1 beta-casein has been shown to slow down intestinal transit time and rev up gut inflammation. (9) Lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, and dairy sensitivity may, therefore, increase the total amount of inflammation in the body.

I recommend that people with Lyme disease completely avoid conventional dairy products. A trial elimination of all dairy products for 6-8 weeks, followed by a reintroduction process that includes grass-fed, organic, and fermented dairy products, is a good strategy for determining whether or not one is sensitive to dairy products. (10)

If you do find that you’re able to tolerate grass-fed, organic dairy, it will be a nutrient-dense addition to your diet, supplying vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, and many other nutrients!

Avoid Processed Carbohydrates and Added Sugars

Processed, packaged foods contain refined carbohydrates and added sugars that promote the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria (11) An overgrowth of processed carb-loving, inflammatory gut bacteria may, in turn, worsen Lyme disease inflammation.

Processed carbohydrate intake can also promote intestinal yeast overgrowth in Lyme patients who are on antibiotics. Antibiotics reduce levels of beneficial gut bacteria that normally keep intestinal yeast at bay.

When we take Lyme disease antibiotics while simultaneously eating processed starches and sugars that directly feed yeast, we’re setting ourselves up for yeast overgrowth. Yeast overgrowth can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, and fatigue.

Furthermore, research shows that eating processed carbohydrates can “distract” our immune systems from handling harmful bacteria, making us more susceptible to infection. (12) Not a good recipe for Lyme healing!

Examples of foods that contain processed carbohydrates include:

  • Baked goods, such as muffins, cookies, cupcakes, and cakes
  • Chips
  • Most types of bread and pasta
  • “Instant” products, such as instant rice, oats, and noodles
  • Granola bars

Added sugars, which are sugars that are added to foods to enhance their flavor, can also promote gut inflammation and yeast overgrowth. Added sugars go by many different names. You’ll need to read labels carefully to limit your intake of added sugars because they pop up in many unexpected places, including in foods like marinara sauce!

Examples of added sugars include:

  • Agave
  • Agave nectar
  • Cane juice
  • Cane sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Date syrup
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Dextrose
  • Rice syrup
  • Glucose syrup

Finally, another important reason to avoid processed foods on your Lyme disease diet is that processed foods often contain inflammatory food additives. Examples of inflammatory food additives include:

  • Artificial food colorings
  • Emulsifiers and binders, such as xanthan gum and guar gum
  • Carrageenan
  • Yeast extract
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Finally, processed foods also typically contain industrial seed oils, another inflammatory food group. I’ll talk more about industrial seed oils next!

Eliminate Industrial Seed Oils

Industrial seed oils (aka “vegetable oil”), such as canola (rapeseed) and soybean oil, have been promoted as “healthy” foods by U.S. government agencies and conventional nutrition organizations for decades. However, a growing body of research indicates that industrial vegetable oils are anything but healthy; rather, they are highly inflammatory and should be avoided if you want to reduce inflammation.

Industrial seed oils are a very recent addition to the human diet; they’ve only been regularly incorporated into our food supply in the last 150 years.

During the anti-saturated fat health campaign that began in the 1960s, vegetable oils were endorsed as a “healthy alternative” to animal fats. Unfortunately, this label stuck. The truth is that industrial seed oils pose several problems:

  1. Industrial seed oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids. When we consume too many omega-6 fatty acids (most Americans do), inflammation increases, especially when those omega-6s come from processed foods. (13)
  2. Industrial seed oils are produced using heat, pressure, and chemicals that ultimately oxidize the oils. In cooking oils, “oxidation” refers to an undesirable series of chemical reactions that deteriorates the oil’s quality and nutritional value. When we consume oxidized oils, we trigger a chain reaction of inflammation inside our bodies.

The optimal diet for Lyme disease omits the following industrial seed oils:

  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Canola oil (aka “rapeseed” oil)
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Rice bran oil

Instead, we should consume anti-inflammatory fats such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, and coconut oil.

If you have chronic Lyme disease, it is crucial that you remove inflammatory foods from your diet to aid your healing process. However, the optimal diet for Lyme disease isn’t just about what you avoid; the foods you include in your diet are equally important! I’ll discuss the foods to include next!

infographic showing which foods to avoid on the Lyme disease diet, including gluten, conventional dairy products, added sugars, and industrial seed oils

Step 2: Eat Anti-Inflammatory, Nutrient-Dense Foods that Support Your Immune System

If you have Lyme disease, your immune system is working hard to kill Borrelia (and co-infections) so you can heal. However, your immune system can’t work properly without proper nutrition!

Your immune system needs many nutrients to keep chugging along and fighting Lyme disease. If you’re not consuming these immune system nutrients through your diet or supplements, then your immune system won’t function optimally.

The optimal Lyme disease diet is nutrient-dense and provides all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids your immune system requires. Furthermore, it also includes foods with functional anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods to include in your Lyme disease diet:

  • Whole fruits and vegetables; organic is ideal to avoid exposure to pesticide and herbicide residues. Check out the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce for info on how to prioritize organic vs. conventional produce shopping.
  • Organic, grass-fed, and wild-caught animal proteins, such as grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon
  • Gluten-free whole grains, such as rice, quinoa, and oats
  • Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and split peas.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, cold-pressed flax seed oil, avocados
  • Grass-fed and organic dairy products, if tolerated, after a 6-8-week dairy elimination process.

infographic showing which foods to eat on the Lyme disease diet, including meat, poultry, seafood, and organic vegetables and fruits

Consume Nutrients that Support Your Immune System

To support your immune system and reduce Lyme-induced inflammation, your body needs many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Here’s an overview of the most important micronutrients for Lyme recovery:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is involved in innate and adaptive immunity. It maintains the integrity of our skin and gut cells, which function as barriers to infection.

Vitamin A is also essential for the normal function of many immune cells, including natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and B and T lymphocytes. Vitamin A deficiency increases susceptibility to infection and chronic inflammation. (14) Vitamin A deficiency has also been found to increase inflammation in an animal model of Lyme disease. (15)

Pre-formed vitamin A (retinol) is the form of vitamin A that our immune system needs (we also need it for eye health and hormone balance), and it is found only in animal foods.

Carotenoids like beta-carotene, often referred to as “vitamin A,” are phytonutrients that must be converted into vitamin A in the body. Unfortunately, carotenoid conversion into vitamin A is a slow and inefficient process in many people, necessitating the intake of vitamin A-containing animal foods.

Food sources of vitamin A and carotenoids:

  • Pre-formed vitamin A: Egg yolks, salmon roe, beef liver, and grass-fed dairy
  • Carotenoids: Pumpkin, carrots, peppers, squash

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator. It binds to vitamin D receptors on multiple types of immune cells, including monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and T lymphocytes, thus regulating the activities of the immune system. (16, 17)

The active form of vitamin D, 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D3, also regulates two important antimicrobial peptides, cathelicidin and defensin. (18, 19)These proteins function as natural “antibiotics” inside our bodies. Therefore, optimizing your vitamin D level is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system capable of overcoming Lyme disease.

The consensus in the functional medicine community is that we should try to obtain 4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. The amount of vitamin D that you need may be higher or lower than this range, based on your unique health challenges, genetics, and the amount of sun exposure you receive.

Regardless of these factors, most people are unable to meet their vitamin D needs solely through their diet and sun exposure. Many people will benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement and optimizing their sun exposure. Check out my recommendations below for ways you can increase your vitamin D level.

How to optimize your vitamin D level:

  • Eat foods that contain vitamin D3: Egg yolks, beef liver, fatty cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel
  • Get more sun exposure: Sun exposure triggers the production of vitamin D via the skin. It is estimated that our hunter-gatherer ancestors made approximately 4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day solely through sun exposure. Unfortunately, this may not be attainable for many people in the modern-day world due to our indoors-oriented lifestyles. However, you can still optimize your body’s vitamin D production by being smart about sun exposure. I recommend that my clients use the D Minder app to determine how much sun exposure they should aim for to maintain vitamin D sufficiency. The app uses several data points, including your location, skin type and body weight, and the amount of time you spend outside, to determine how much vitamin D3 you can make on any given day.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the body’s cells against reactive oxygen species produced by immune cells to destroy pathogens like Borrelia bacteria. Excess free radicals are detrimental to the immune system, so reducing free radicals is essential for improving immunity. Vitamin C also stimulates the activity of immune cells, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and phagocytes. (20)

Food sources of vitamin C:

  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruits

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. It protects cell membranes from lipid peroxidation, a destructive process that promotes an improper immune response. Vitamin E deficiency impairs B and T lymphocyte function and increases susceptibility to infection. (21)

Food sources of vitamin E:

  • Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, red palm oil, and olive oil

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis and metabolism of amino acids in the body. Amino acids serve as the building blocks for many immune system components, including cytokines and antibodies. Vitamin B6 deficiency impairs adaptive immunity; (22) correction of B6 deficiency effectively restores immune function.

Food sources of vitamin B6:

  • Beef liver, tuna, summer squash, bananas, plantains, and pistachios

Selenium

Selenium is a unique nutrient that functions as a cofactor for glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme that neutralizes harmful free radicals.

Selenium also regulates the production of cytokines and eicosanoids, signaling molecules derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids, that orchestrate the immune response. (23) Selenium deficiency impairs innate and adaptive immunity and increases the virulence of some viruses.

Food sources of selenium

  • Brazil nuts, salmon, tuna, and shrimp

Zinc

Zinc is crucial for normal immune cell development and function. Zinc deficiency impairs the complement system, reduces the activity of natural killer cells, neutrophils, and macrophages, and impairs the ability of immune cells to generate compounds that kill invading pathogens. (24) Replenishment of zinc stores promotes the healthy development and function of immune cells.

Food sources of zinc:

  • Oysters, liver, beef, lamb, chicken, pumpkin seeds, and cashews. Please note that animal foods supply more bioavailable (i.e., easily broken down and absorbed) zinc compared to nuts and seeds.

Iron

Iron is essential to many proteins and enzymes, including those involved in oxygen transport, cellular energy production, and DNA synthesis. Iron deficiency impairs the immune response. (25) However, excess iron is also a problem.

Excess iron is inflammatory and can promote the growth of harmful bacteria.

In fact, iron sequestration is a response initiated by the immune system in the early stages of infection to reduce the amount of iron available to pathogens; this is most often demonstrated by a decrease in serum iron and an increase in ferritin, the iron storage protein.

I recommend that my clients obtain their iron via food rather than supplements due to the potential for excess iron to feed pathogens and increase free radical damage.

Food sources of iron:

  • Heme iron: Red meat such as beef and bison, poultry, eggs
  • Non-heme iron: Legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, spinach

Animal foods, such as meat, are the best source of heme iron, which is the most bioavailable dietary source of iron. Non-heme iron, found in plant foods such as spinach, nuts, and seeds, is far less bioavailable to the body due to the presence of compounds called phytates, which occur naturally in many plant foods and inhibit iron absorption.

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) 

Omega-3 fatty acids modulate the immune response by enhancing signaling between immune cells and while also reducing unproductive inflammation. (26) Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the primary omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and support the immune system.

Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids:

The top dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids is fatty cold-water fish, including salmon, sardines, mackerel, and halibut. While algae-based omega-3 supplements provide some DHA, the amount provided is very small, so if you don’t eat seafood or fish oil, you’ll need to take quite a bit of algae omega-3 to meet your body’s needs.

Glycine and Glutamine

Glycine and glutamine are two amino acids found predominantly in animal foods, particularly bone broth. There’s a reason why bone broth has long been touted as a healing remedy for ill people!

Glutamine and glycine support the integrity of the intestinal barrier, the layer of cells and proteins that lines your intestine and helps maintain healthy immune function. Glutamine and glycine also impact the function of numerous immune cells. (27)

Food sources of glutamine and glycine:

  • Bone broth, collagen-rich meats such as oxtail, collagen peptides, gelatin. Be sure to choose collagen peptides and gelatin powder from grass-fed cows or wild-caught fish.

Eating a whole foods-based, nutrient-dense diet can provide your body with the nourishment it needs to maintain a robust, balanced immune system. A healthy immune system will help your body fight infections like Lyme disease, reduce Lyme-related inflammation, and create a foundation for lifelong health.

Step 3: Support Your Gut Health

A healthy gut is crucial for Lyme disease recovery. The gut is the seat of approximately 70-80% of your body’s immune system. (40) The gut is also an elimination route for bacteria killed off during Lyme disease treatment. An unhealthy gut can make for a difficult Lyme recovery. Eating a gut-supportive diet is another crucial element of an optimal diet for Lyme disease.

Poor digestion is just one way an unhealthy gut can hinder Lyme recovery. For example, suppose you are not digesting fats properly and cannot absorb sufficient vitamin D (even with supplementation) to support your immune system. In that case, your immune system may struggle to overcome Lyme disease until the fat malabsorption issue is resolved.

Many of the inflammatory foods I discussed earlier, including gluten and industrial seed oils, can harm gut health and should be avoided during Lyme disease recovery. Conversely, nutrient-dense plant foods, bone broth, and fermented foods can support a healthy gut, aiding Lyme disease recovery.

Step 4: Balance Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar balance isn’t just crucial for type 2 diabetics; research shows that blood sugar regulation impacts inflammation, immune function, cognition, and energy in non-diabetic individuals too!

High blood sugar and experiencing lots of blood sugar swings increase inflammation in your body and will prevent your immune system from functioning properly. (41) Eating a diet that supports healthy blood sugar control is thus an essential part of the optimal diet for Lyme disease.

To balance your blood sugar, limit your intake of processed carbohydrates and added sugars, being especially careful to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, which are particularly harmful to blood sugar control. Eat protein at every meal, and avoid eating “naked carbs” or carbs by themselves (such as snacking on a piece of fruit by itself).

See my article Blood Sugar, Lyme Disease, and Diabetes – What’s the Connection? for more information on the blood sugar/Lyme disease connection.

Intermittent fasting (IF) can help improve blood sugar regulation and reduce inflammation. See my article Intermittent Fasting for Lyme Disease Recovery for more information on IF and how it can influence your Lyme recovery process.

Step 5: Support Detoxification

Lyme disease is an infectious disease, so why does detox matter for Lyme recovery?

There are several reasons why detoxification is essential for Lyme recovery:

  • Chronic infections, including Lyme disease, release inflammatory toxins that can impair immune function and worsen symptoms. For example, Borrelia burgdorferi, one of the types of Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme disease, produces an inflammatory toxin called peptidoglycan. (42) Supporting your body’s natural detox processes can help you eliminate these harmful toxins.
  • Environmental toxins such as flame retardants, plastics, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals, impair the immune system and may thus hinder Lyme healing. (43, 44, 45, 46)
  • Many toxins disrupt the gut. A healthy gut is vital for proper immune function.

To reduce our toxin burden, we need to choose foods that are low in toxins.

Pesticides and herbicides are two common types of toxins that are heavily sprayed on many foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, and coffee beans. I highly recommend purchasing organic vegetables and fruits as often as possible to avoid pesticide and herbicide exposure.

If you can’t afford to buy all organic produce (few of us can!), refer to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists. These lists show you which types of conventionally-grown vegetables and fruits are lowest in chemical residues and, therefore, safe to consume and which types of produce are heavily contaminated and should only be purchased organic. The EWG updates this list annually, so I recommend checking it out once yearly (typically, it is updated in the spring).

Meat, eggs, and dairy products from conventional grain-fed animals can be high in pesticide and herbicide residues, antibiotics, and synthetic hormones, such as rBST (recombinant bovine growth hormone).

rBST is a genetically-modified growth hormone that makes cows produce more milk. Consuming conventionally-raised animal products regularly may expose your body to significant levels of these toxins, which are inflammatory and impair the immune system.

Buy organic meat, eggs, and dairy products when possible. Grass-fed and pastured animal products are even better, as these foods may be lower in another class of disruptive toxins, mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxins produced by harmful types of molds.

Mold often grows on grains, so even if an animal is raised organically, it may be transferring mycotoxins into its meat and milk if it eats a grain-based diet. You may increase your body’s burden of mycotoxins when you consume meat and dairy products from grain-fed animals. This phenomenon is referred to as “mycotoxin carry-over.” (47)

Last but not least, it is critical that you avoid synthetic food additives, many of which demonstrate inflammatory and immune system-disrupting effects. (48)

Avoid artificial colors, which go by names such as “Red 40” and “Yellow 5,” emulsifiers such as carrageenan and xanthan gum, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors.

Eating a diet centered around whole, minimally-processed foods will help you naturally avoid these harmful additives.

I suggest using the Eat Wild website to find farms near you that sell grass-fed and pastured animal products at a reasonable price.

Special Diets for Lyme Disease

For some Lyme disease patients, specific diets that are oriented around certain macronutrient (protein, carb, and fat) targets or that remove foods beyond the most common dietary inflammatory triggers can be helpful. Here are several special diets that I often utilize with individuals who have Lyme in my practice:

  • The Paleo diet: Removes all grains (gluten-containing and gluten-free grains), legumes, and dairy.
  • The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP): This is a more limited form of the Paleo diet. In addition to removing all grains, legumes, and dairy, it also eliminates foods that can stimulate an autoimmune response, including eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds, chocolate, and coffee. I have personally found both Paleo and AIP diets to be extremely helpful at various points in my Lyme recovery experience.
  • The Ketogenic diet: This is a very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate-protein diet. In my experience, this diet can be quite helpful for neurological Lyme disease. I’ve previously written about the ketogenic diet for Lyme disease.
  • The Low-FODMAP diet: This diet strictly reduces your intake of FODMAPS (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), which are a group of short-chain carbohydrates found in a variety of plant foods that tend to be poorly absorbed in the small intestine in individuals with gut dysbiosis, including SIBO. Poorly-digested FODMAPS can cause symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Temporarily reducing FODMAP intake can reduce gastrointestinal symptoms and support gut healing while the underlying causes of SIBO are being addressed.

Final Thoughts

The optimal diet for Lyme disease is based on five foundational nutrition principles:

  1. Remove inflammatory foods.
  2. Eat anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods that support your immune system.
  3. Eat to support your gut health.
  4. Balance your blood sugar.
  5. Choose foods that support detoxification.

By eating a diet that follows these nutrition principles, you can help your body better recover from Lyme disease and reclaim your health!

One final thought: Some individuals with Lyme disease struggle with food allergies, food sensitivities, and intolerances, such as histamine intolerance and sulfur intolerance. While it can be tricky navigating food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances with Lyme disease, it’s definitely doable when you have the right support on board.

If you are in the early stages of changing your diet to support Lyme recovery, keep in mind that you definitely do not need to make all these changes at once! Start by selecting just one of the five foundational nutrition principles and make changes in that area. Allow yourself to get comfortable with those changes before moving on to the following principles and recommended dietary changes.

As always, if you need one-on-one help optimizing your diet to support your Lyme disease recovery, I would love to work with you in my functional nutrition practice! Schedule a discovery call with me to learn more about how we can work together!

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