Today wasn’t the meteor of pain I was expecting after yesterday’s sugar binge, which is weird. I mean, it’s good but it’s weird. I wonder why that is? In the past when I’ve eaten too many dried dates, I’ve felt pain almost instantly. Yesterday, I ate an entire bag! I didn’t notice that the pain increased too much last night so I was expecting it today. But nothing, not really. I think the answer is fish. Stay with me…
Fish is a very anti-inflammatory food. According to The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne, author of The Paleo Approach, at least four of our meals in a week should include fish. That’s because fish and shellfish is very high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are anti-inflammatory. If you’ve read any paleo books or blogs whatsoever, you will probably be aware that our modern diets tend to be much higher in omega-6 than omega-3 (around 20:1 ratio) whereas an ideal ratio would be from 1:1-3:1. This is partly because of our tendency to use seed and nut oils, which are very high in omega-6 and our tendency to eat grain-fed meat, which is also very high in omega-6 compared to their omega-3-rich grass-fed or pasture-raised cousins.
So anyway, I’m not a scientist, nutritionist, or doctor. But it seems to me that more fish=good. There are a number of other reasons why eating fish when you’re autoimmune could make a big difference to your pain, but like I said, I’m not a nutritionist so you can read about them here while I give you some anecdotal noticings of just a couple of days of eating more fish.
Yesterday, I had salmon for lunch and cod for dinner. Today I had leftover cod for breakfast and lunch. That’s only two days with four meals of fish, but I’m already experiencing less pain than I have been during the rest of the AIP challenge – probably because the bulk of my meals have centred around muscle meat and poultry.
I might be jumping the gun here, but I’m hoping that this might be the next piece of my interstitial cystitis puzzle. And fish is fairly easy and relatively cheap to get plenty of, especially as you can easily buy frozen fish from the supermarket and although you should ideally eat wild caught fish rather than farmed it’s less of a big deal in terms of omega-3 to -6 ratios than the grain fed vs grass fed meat thing.
So, I might stay with this experiment for a few days. We already have the rest of the week’s meals planned in the evenings this week and we don’t do our next weekly shop until Thursday evening, but I still have some salmon in the fridge so at least I can make my breakfasts and lunches a bit more fishy than usual. I have also been supplementing twice a day with fish oil during my morning and evening meals to get that little bit extra.
Fingers crossed this is the next step in my pain management!
Have you experimented with eating more fish at all? Did you notice any changes in your autoimmune disease or other ailments? Please share your experience in the comments.
Breakfast: Leftover coconut crusted cod and mango salsa
Lunch: Leftover coconut crusted cod and mango salsa
Dinner: Pork, sweet potato and red onion hash and honeydew melon for dessert
Pain level (out of 10)
Woke up slightly higher than usually – around 3, but died down by mid-morning and never returned all day.