Today, rather than sharing what to eat for energy (10 Foods to Eat for Energy) or why eating real food is best for your health (5 Reasons to Eat Real Food) I want to discuss two foods you should avoid.
The right food builds you up.
The wrong food breaks you down.
How do I know this? I lived with the results of eating the wrong foods for many painful years.
For many years I struggled with chronic pain. It started with my hands aching. They would get red and tender, then the pain would resolve. By the time my daughter was in kindergarden I also had pain in my back. Muscle pain. I would wake up every time I moved at night.
I saw many doctors, even some specialists. The solution was always to take medication to relieve the pain. As long as I took anti-inflammatories or medication for nerve pain, the symptoms were tolerable.
But I was still experiencing pain every day. It was not a fun way to live.
Twenty eight years later, yes 28 years, I discovered that it was a food I was eating that was causing the pain. When I removed “that food” my pain was completely gone in six weeks.
Did you catch that? After 28 years of pain and pill taking I was pain free in 6 weeks.
What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance?
“A food allergy is an exaggerated response by your body’s immune system to a food that you have consumed”. * The most common allergenic foods are: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.
Whichever food(s) you are allergic to triggers your immune system. Your body produces IgE, a type of protein. This protein attaches to the food on one side and a mast cell on the other. Histamine is released from the mast cell and you experience any of a variety of symptoms. This reaction occurs within minutes or hours. You may experience itching, stomach cramping, drop in blood pressure, skin rash or hives, even trouble breathing.
Once you recover from an allergic reaction, often with the administration of an antihistamine and/or epinephrine you body functions as before. Some allergic reactions can be life threatening so they must be taken seriously.
The antibodies produced in an intolerance reaction are predominantly IgA and do NOT involve the release of histamine. You may not experience any noticeable immediate reaction. Instead the reaction triggers inflammation. Inflammation can occur anywhere in your body causing organ damage (celiac disease), muscle aches (fibromyalgia), skin rashes (acne), brain fog, headaches, joint pain, or behavioral problems. Any part of your body can be affected by the inflammation. Often these mystery symptoms are not associated with what you are eating. They occur later and do not always cause typical digestive issues such as nausea, cramping, bloating or diarrhea.
The most common foods that trigger food intolerance reactions are: gluten (wheat, rye, barley), dairy products, nightshades (tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant, tobacco), and soy products.
The only treatment for a food intolerance is to avoid the food triggering your symptoms completely. If you have eaten a trigger food and inflammation has started, it may take time for your body to heal.
So what two foods do I think you should avoid?
Dairy and gluten.
Both dairy and gluten can cause a food intolerance reaction. They are pervasive ingredients in processed foods. Neither contributes to your health in a way that other foods do not. And they are both very common triggers of food intolerance.
My challenge to you is to remove both dairy and gluten from your diet 100% for two weeks. See how you feel. Two weeks is long enough to discover if either of these foods are contributing to any feelings of poor health.
To help you track the results download this food diary. Print a page for every day of the two weeks. Record every bite you swallow. Look for patterns.
Are you experiencing food cravings, fatigue, mood swings, headaches, GI disturbances (gas, bloating, upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation), symptoms of fibromyalgia, itchy skin or diagnosed with IBS or celiac disease?
I have set aside time to help you with this. Clink the link below to schedule your free health consultation and we’ll have you on your path to feeling like yourself again in no time!
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If you have been experiencing inflammation and don’t know the cause, check out “Real Food – Real Health”.
An 8-week program to discover food sensitivities and promote gut healing and greater general health.
Karen Hunter is a certified health coach. She supports individuals who are ready to be educated and learn natural ways to restore their health.
She focuses on the foundational aspects of health and wellness: whole food nutrition, safe movement, restorative sleep, stress management and having fun.
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*The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman, page 16