A growing body of evidence shows that food intolerance or sensitivities can harm numerous body systems and cause a wide range of unwanted symptoms.
For example, food sensitivities/reactions and other gastrointestinal disturbances have been linked to:
- asthma and allergies
- chronic congestion
- irritable bowel syndrome
- autoimmune disorders (ulcerative colitis, lupus)
- skin conditions (hives, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis)
- mood disorders (anxiety, depression)
- menstrual problems
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed, you may want to consider following an anti-inflammatory/elimination diet. An elimination diet is a way of finding out if any of the foods you are eating are triggering your health issues.
|Fruits||Foods to IncludeAlmost all fresh fruit||Foods to ExcludeCitrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, etc), strawberries, tropical fruit, melons|
|Vegetables||Almost all fresh raw, steamed, sautéed, or roasted vegetables||Corn, creamed vegetables|
|Starch||Rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa||Wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, oats, all gluten-containing products|
|Legumes||Beans, peas, lentils||Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk,|
|Nuts and seeds||almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia||Peanuts, walnuts|
|Meat and fish||Fish, turkey, chicken, lamb, wild game||Eggs, beef, , pork, cold cuts, bacon, hotdogs, canned meat, sausage, shellfish, meat substitutes made from soy|
|Dairy products and milk substitutes||Rice milk*, almond milk, coconut milk||Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, non-dairy creamers,|
|Fats||Cold-expeller pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil||Margarine, butter, processed and hydrogenated oils, mayonnaise, spreads|
|Beverages||Drink plenty of fresh water, herbal teas, green tea, (e.g. rooibos, peppermint, etc.)||Alcohol, caffeine (coffee, black tea, soda)|
|Spices and condiments||Sea salt, fresh pepper, fresh herbs and spices (i.e. garlic, cumin, dill, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric)||Chocolate, ketchup, mustard, relish, chutney, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, vinegar|
|Sweeteners||Stevia, rice syrup, agave (if needed)||White or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, desserts|
After 7 days, slowly reintroduce the omitted foods, one at a time, in order to monitor for symptoms.
Reintroduce a single food for a single day only and then monitor your symptoms for two days. For example, you might decide to reintroduce oats on a Monday. You could eat oatmeal on Monday, continue to eliminate the other potential allergens on the elimination diet during that time and monitor for any abnormal reactions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you have no observable symptoms, try reintroducing another food (i.e. eggs) on Thursday. Continue this process for a couple of weeks, reintroducing one new food every few days, until you’ve determined what foods cause symptoms.
This process may take approximately 5-6 weeks.
We recommend that you keep a journal during the elimination phase and track any physical, mental, or emotional signs and symptoms. If you feel better during the elimination period (i.e. more energy, better sleep, symptoms resolve), it is likely that a food you have eliminated is causing your symptoms.
Possible negative reactions after reintroducing an allergen:
- insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, restlessness
- joint pain and/or inflammation
- skin breakouts or rashes, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis
- bowel changes (diarrhea, constipation or GI pain)
- bloating, gas
- brain fog, emotional changes
- sinus or other respiratory issues
The Elimination Diet is designed to clear the body of food and chemical sensitivities.
Elimination of allergens and chemicals allows the body’s detoxification processes to begin to function efficiently again. Elimination of allergens helps the body to eliminate or “clear” various toxins that may have accumulated due to exposure to chemicals, pollutants, junk foods, beverages, drugs, or alcohol.