What Are Food Intolerances?
And they’re a lot more common than most people think.
I'm not talking about anaphylaxis or immediate allergic reactions that involve an immune response. Those can be serious and life-threatening. If you have any allergies, you need to steer clear of any traces of foods you are allergic to, and speak with your doctor or pharmacist about emergency medication, if necessary.
What I'm talking about, is an intolerance, meaning you do not tolerate a specific food very well and it causes immediate or chronic symptoms anywhere in the body. Symptoms can take hours or even days to show themselves. And symptoms can be located just about anywhere in the body.
This is what makes them so tricky to identify.
But with my 15 years as a health coach, I’ve seen them all! And I’ve summarized my knowledge into this informative blog post.
Symptoms of Food Intolerances
On the other hand, other more insidious symptoms may not be linked to foods in an obvious way.
- Weight Gain
- Chronic muscle or joint pain
- Sweating, or increased heart rate or blood pressure
- Headaches or migraines
- Exhaustion after a good night's sleep
- Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's or rheumatoid arthritis
- Rashes or eczema
- Inability to concentrate or feeling like your brain is "foggy"
- Shortness of breath
If our body has trouble digesting specific foods, it can affect our hormones, metabolism, or even cause inflammation and result in any of the symptoms listed above. And these can affect any (or all) parts of the body, not just your gastrointestinal system.
How to Prevent These Intolerances
I know, I know...this sounds so simple, and yet it can take a little time and a little work to figure it out.
The best way to identify food/drink triggers is to eliminate them.
Yup, get rid of the offending foods/drinks. All traces of them, for three full weeks and monitor your symptoms.
If things get better, then you need to decide whether it's worth it to stop ingesting them, or if you want to slowly introduce them back one at a time while still looking out to see if/when symptoms return.
Start Here: Two Common Food Intolerances
Here are two of the most common triggers of food intolerances:
- Lactose (in dairy - eliminate altogether, or look for a "lactose-free" label - try nut or coconut milk instead).
- Gluten (in wheat, rye, and other common grains - look for a "gluten-free" label - try gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa & gluten-free oats).
So, if you can swap out lactose and gluten for healthy alternatives for three weeks, it can confirm whether either or both of these, are a source of your symptoms.
A reliable way to monitor how you feel after eating certain foods is to track it. After every meal or snack, write down the foods you ate, and any symptoms so you can more easily spot trends.
And, as mentioned earlier, symptoms may not start immediately following a meal. You may find, for example, that you wake up with a headache the morning after eating bananas.
You might be surprised what links you can find if you track your food and symptoms well!
What if it Doesn’t Work?
You may need to see a qualified healthcare practitioner for help, and that's OK. I don't want you to continue suffering if you don't need to!
Recipe: Homemade Nut/Seed Milk
½ cup raw nuts/seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds)
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1.Soak nuts/seeds for about 8 hours (optional, but recommended).
2.Dump soaking water & rinse nuts/seeds.
3.Add soaked nuts/seeds and 2 cups water to a high-speed blender and blend on high for about one minute until very smooth.
4.Strain through a small mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze if necessary.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: You can double the recipe and store the milk in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
It Starts with Making Simple Changes
If you are ready to make some changes regarding your health and don't know where to start, I am here to help!
Click here or on the button below to find out more about the Simple Swaps program.
This program is all about helping you every step of the way, one little simple swap at a time. This Simple Swaps program will keep you accountable, motivated and fired up to make changes!