Chronic health ailments are becoming more and more common in today’s world. Most people blame gluten, sugar or dairy for their digestive issues and never consider that the root of the problem may infact lay in the “healthy” foods they are eating. It seems as the food world grows and expands so does our capacity for intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies.
Each of which comes with a slightly different platform.
- Sensitivities: These are similar to intolerances, but it’s often less clear why someone reacts poorly to a certain food. Food sensitivities also may result in a more delayed reaction, and you might be ale to digest a small amount of food without issues.
- Intolerances: Intolerances do not directly involve the immune system. Intolerances occur when your body is unable to digest certain foods or when your digestive system becomes irritated by them.
- Allergies: involve the immune system and are more immediate and more severe response. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include rashes, itching, hives, and swelling, or even anaphylaxis, which involves serious difficulties breathing and can be fatal.
The symptoms of these are: bloating, migraines, runny nose, brain fog, inflammation, flu-like symptoms, stomach-ache and irritable bowel syndrome.
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Other than the typical peanut allergy, there are four relatively unknown intolerances that most people brush off because they believe the product to be of a “healthy” nature. News flash people, healthy food can cause reactions too. They are ingredients you probably use everyday in your meal prep, foods you find at your local grocery store, and foods you’ve eaten since you were a young child.
Four “Healthy foods” causing your symptoms:
Eggs: The many nutrients that come from the egg mainly come from the yolk. Most people find that it’s actually the egg white that is typically more immunoreactive for people. The protein in the white, albumin, could pass through the intestinal lining if you have leaky gut syndrome, contributing to inflammation. The yolks are generally better tolerated. Although it’s important to note that some people can’t even handle the yolk.
Night Shades: A plant group which can be anti-inflammatory for some people. Individuals with sensitivities to nightshades can experience joint pain, inflammation, autoimmune conditions or digestive challenges when they eat them. If you have any of those symptoms, doing a simple nightshade elimination will quickly let you know if nightshades are part of the problem! Nightshades normally include;
- White potatoes (not sweet potatoes)
- Peppers (bell peppers, spicy peppers and spices made from them like cayenne and paprika but not peppercorns)
- Tomatoes and products made from tomatoes
Legumes: Legumes include all types of beans, kidney garbanzo, black, fava, lentil, peanuts, edamame, and soy products. Many people are trying to eat more of these foods to follow a plant-based diet, but the proteins of legumes can be hard for some people to digest. The carbohydrates also feed the bacteria in your gut and release gas. and if you don’t get gas from legumes, they can still cause undue stress to your GI tract and immune system.
FODMAPS: I know this doesn’t sound like a food you’ve heard of before and that’s because it’s an acronym. It stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccarides, and Polyols. In lamens terms, that means fermentable sugars. FODMAPs are specific carbs that aren’t easily digested. Because they aren’t easily digested, they spend more time in your intestines and ferment (or become food for bacteria). This can produce digestive distress for people sensitive to FODMAPs
The fermentation releases hydrogen gas which might lead to distension of the intestine. This causes severe IBS symptoms like pain, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Most of the high-FODMAP foods are actually healthy, real foods. But even when it comes to natural foods, what works for one person may not be right for everyone.
FODMAPS foods to avoid:
- Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, celery, garlic, onion, leek bulb, legumes, pulses, savoy cabbage, sugar snap peas, sweet corn.
- Fruits: Apples, mango, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon.
- Dairy: Milk, cream, custard, ice cream, soft cheeses, yogurt
- Grains: rye, wheat-containing breads, cereals, crackers, pasta
- Nuts: Cashews, pistachios
Identifying Food Sensitivities:
The easiest way to find out what is bothering your body is to try an elimination diet. Simply eliminate certain things from your daily consumption and see if your symptoms disintegrate. Start by eliminating the four groups mentioned above. Then, when you bring those foods back in systematically, you’ll be able to see which foods your body loves and which ones it has trouble with.
Give it a whirl.
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