Food, allergens and digestion

According to the Paddington Clinic, food intolerances are caused by chemicals that irritate the gut lining  which can then affect nerve endings in different parts of the body, they recommend an elimination diet. There are three main  chemicals that can cause reactions;

  • Amines: Found in cheese, bananas, tomatoes, oranges and chocolate
  • Salicylates: Found in tomatoes, capsicum, coffee, dried fruits, avocado and oranges
  • Glutamates: Found in mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and soy proteins

The foods listed are common causes of digestive discomfort due to the chemicals found in them. If you experience symptoms of gut irritation after eating, and you are unsure what the cause is, elimination diet may be the simple answer.

What is an elimination diet:

Simply as the name suggests, eliminate certain foods for a period of time, usually three or four weeks, then slowly reintroduce specific foods and monitor your symptoms for possible reactions. Amines, salisylates and glutamates from the diet – it is not a gluten free diet or designed for Coeliacs.

Table Via Precise Nutrition

This is a a guide for how elimination diets work. Use your understanding and knowledge of how your body reacts to certain foods and food groups to assist you with the process. If you notice allergic reactions or symptoms of discomfort from dairy, wheat, gluten, fruit etc, you don’t need to test these.

After you have eliminated certain foods for 2-4 weeks, slowly introduce them into your diet and monitor how your body and mind react. It is a good idea to keep a food journal to monitor your progress.

Symptoms to look out for after reintroducing foods:

  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • joint pain and/or inflammation
  • skin breakouts or rashes
  • headaches
  • bowel changes or GI pain
  • bloating
  • brain fog
  • sinus or other respiratory issues
Fruits Almost all fresh fruit Citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, etc)
Vegetables Almost all fresh raw, steamed, sautéed, or roasted vegetables Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes (sweet potato and yams are okay)
Starch Rice*, buckwheat* Wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, oats, all gluten-containing products
Legumes Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, all beans, peas, lentils
Nuts and seeds All seeds and nuts
Meat and fish Fish, turkey, lamb, wild game Beef, chicken, pork, cold cuts, bacon, hotdogs, canned meat, sausage, shellfish, meat substitutes made from soy
Dairy products and milk substitutes Unsweetened rice milk*, almond milk, coconut milk Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, non-dairy creamers, eggs
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 (e.g. rooibos, peppermint, etc.) Alcohol, caffeine (coffee, black tea, green 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 (if needed) White or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, desserts

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