Did you know that Americans eat the same twelve foods over and over again? Other than being totaling boring, why is this detrimental to your health?
First, you need to know the difference between a food allergy and sensitivity. These terms are often used interchangeably and shouldn’t be. In an allergic reaction, a certain food can trigger an immune response that releases massive amounts of the chemical histamine. This can lead to hives, swelling of the throat and esophagus that can cut off air to the lungs which is obviously life threatening. An allergic response is immediate.
A sensitivity (also known as an intolerance) to a certain food or environmental factor such as molds, induces activation of the innate immune system-often chronically-and can give rise to many responses including headaches, indigestion, inability to loose weight, eczema, arthritis, fatigue and most notably inflammation. This chronic inflammation produces excess reactive oxygen species (free-radicals) that leads to tissue cell damage, which leads to early aging. Inflammation also prevents your digestive system from functioning properly. Food sensitivity symptoms can begin fairly soon or can be delayed for days, making it more difficult to ascertain which foods you react to without proper tests.
So what causes food sensitivity? More times than not it’s over-exposure to foods. Very simply put, when you constantly eat the same foods your body can build an antibody to that food and you overwhelm your detox pathways. An otherwise innocuous substance becomes a trigger for your immune system.
How do find out if you have a food sensitivity? Allergies are immediately known as mentioned previously, or can be ascertained using a skin prick or scratch test. For sensitivities, you can take a certain food out of your diet that you suspect is causing you to feel sick and after a period of time after you’re feeling better, bring that food back into your diet and if the symptoms return, you can be fairly certain you have a sensitivity to that food. Or you can take a blood test and find out in one fell swoop.
So you’ve had the test and find out you have a severe sensitivity to five different foods, are moderately sensitive to another five and are mildly sensitive to another five. You remove the major offenders for three to six months, and if you are really determined, the moderate and mild reactive foods as well. In essence you are rebooting your internal computer. You then rotate all other foods that are safe for you to consume so as not to move them from the ‘ok to eat’ zone to the sensitive zone.
I suggest creating a chart organizing all the foods you can eat. Make one chart for veggies and fruits, arranged by the season and types of veggies. Have a column for leafy greens, one for cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, one for squashes, etc. Organize them the way that makes most sense to you. Make separate charts for all your ideal foods and drinks. You can then color-code them for a four-day rotation. All red foods are on Mondays, green on Tuesdays, etc. You then just glance to make sure you have rotated that food. In other words, if you ate it today, do not eat it again for four days. Try to consume as many foods as possible in each category.
When the foods you react to are out of your body and you can’t believe how good you feel, you won’t go back. Once you start eating a varied diet and enjoy trying new foods, you won’t believe how you were ever satisfied with those same old foods you used to eat. One other note, some people are able to bring some of their formerly reactive foods back into their diets after their bodies are cleaned up.
To optimize your health, consume a proper diet compatible with your individual biochemical chemistry. This is also the strongest and most powerful anti-aging medicine that exists. Feeling better is all the impetus most people need to continue on their path to good health.
In my nutrition practice, I use the Alcat Lab for my testing. My contact information is below to order your test or sign up for classes.