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The Autoimmune Protocol, abbreviated AIP, is a complementary approach to chronic disease management focused on providing the body with the nutritional resources required for immune regulation, gut health, hormone regulation and tissue healing while removing inflammatory stimuli from both diet and lifestyle. The AIP diet provides balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding processed and refined foods and empty calories. The AIP lifestyle encourages sufficient sleep, stress management and activity as these are important immune modulators. Foods can be viewed as having two kinds of constituents within them: those that promote health (like nutrients ) and those that undermine health (like inflammatory compounds). (While there are constituents that neither promote nor undermine health, they are not used to evaluate the merit of an individual food.) Some foods are obvious wins for a health-promoting diet because they have tons of beneficial constituents and very few or no constituents that undermine health good examples of these superfoods are organ meats, seafood, and most vegetables. Other foods are obvious fails because they have a relative lack of health-promoting constituents and are rife with problematic compounds-good examples are gluten-containing grains, peanuts, and most soy products. But many foods fall into the amorphous world of gray in between these two extremes. Tomatoes, for example, have some exciting nutrients, but they also contain several compounds that are so effective at stimulating the immune system that they have been investigated for use in vaccines as adjuvants (the chemicals in vaccines that enhance your immune response to whatever you're getting immunized against). The biggest difference between the Autoimmune Protocol and other dietary templates that take a nutrients-first approach while considering inflammation triggers is where we draw the line between "yes" foods and "no" foods in order to get more health-promoting compounds and fewer detrimental compounds in our diet. Those who are typically quite healthy can tolerate less-optimal foods than those who aren't. You can think of the Autoimmune Protocol as a pickier version of other evidence-based dietary templates; it accepts only those foods that are clear winners. As such, the Autoimmune Protocol places greater emphasis on the most nutrient-dense foods in our food supply, including organ meat, seafood, and vegetables. And the Autoimmune Protocol eliminates foods endorsed by other healthy diets that have compounds that may stimulate the immune system or harm the gut environment, including nightshades (like tomatoes and peppers), eggs, nuts, seeds, and alcohol.