Decrease or Remove food allergens or sensitivities from your diet: Elimination or rotation diet.
On this last item of this two-part post, I will deal with a subject many consider taboo: Eliminating items from your diet to help you determine your food sensitivities and allergies. In certain cases, this method is more accurate than blood tests in determining which foods should remain in our diets and which of them should be gone at least temporarily. Sometimes the foods we crave the most give us a quick shot of satisfaction, but zap energy, fog our concentration, decrease our mental agility, mess up our digestion, and create all sorts of conditions that will keep us from healthy activities such as exercising or spending time with our loved ones.
In an oversimplification of things, when you eat food items to which you are sensitive or allergic, your body develops discomfort and sometimes low grade pain. When we experience pain or discomfort our body produces “feel-good” chemicals to help us cope with the situation. Unfortunately, over time we become “addicted” to the discomfort so that our body produce these “feel-good” chemicals.
Unfortunately the same cascade that produce the “feel-good” chemicals also adversely affect the integrity of the digestive lining: antibody complexes are created to destroy the food particles that the body is allergic to; the same complexes compromise integrity of the lining making it more permeable to particles that should not enter your body; irritation, infection, pain increase; the body releases “feel-good” chemicals to lessen discomfort; you subconsciously like how you feel; you get addicted to the foods that trigger the reaction.
No amount of supplements or herbs will help this situation unless you quit on the allergens you are consuming.
Try an elimination diet to find out what kind of foods trigger sensitivities. The elimination diet involves removing certain items from our diet (dairy, wheat, eggs and all products containing them, for example) for at least two weeks and then re-introducing them and observing our body system’s reactions to the products. The Mayo Clinic reports that the top 8 allergens on our diets are Milk (whey and casein), Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts (cashews, almonds, etc), shellfish (crab, shrimp, lobster), fish (bass, flounder, cod), soy and wheat. Some products cause adverse reactions based on the frequency that they are consumed. Those you may include in a rotation diet. You might consume it one day and wait three days before consuming them. The best results, I’ve noticed, come by keeping a “hypo-allergenic diet”, one where you consume mostly vegetables and poultry, for three weeks and then introducing food items one by one into your diet and avoiding those that create adverse reactions.
It’s hard to say goodbye to the foods we like. The truth is we all have food items which comfort us through periods of emotional distress, boredom, family problems, work stress and many other adverse situations. The question is: should we let them rule our lives especially when we discover that they do more harm than good? Shouldn’t we find healthier ways to deal with adversity than comfort foods which tend to contain common allergens? It’s up to you, but remember: a healthier you is a better you.