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Food Allergies Can Interfere with the Joy of Eating

SalutationsThe joy of tasting food is something we all look forward to experiencing.  For some people, however, food allergies and sensitivities can interfere with this joy creating barriers to selecting certain favorite foods.  Signs and symptoms of food allergies may include sneezing, itching, headaches, digestive disturbances, sleep irregularities, concentration problems, and ongoing fatigue.  Two foods creating most of the problems are milk products and grains such as wheat with its gluten content. Gluten in wheat and casein in milk are proteins many people find difficult to digest.  Eating these foods creates many discomforts.

Other problematic foods might be the nightshade family.  These include tomatoes, potatoes (but not sweet potatoes), peppers, and eggplant.  These foods may cause sore, painful joints that could lead to arthritis.  Citrus fruits may cause allergies for some.  Yeast containing foods such as vinegar, barley malt, alcoholic beverages, commercial pickles, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and aged cheeses may lead to chronic yeast infections if ingested regularly according to Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions.

Low levels of certain vitamins and minerals as well as low or high levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach may contribute to sensitivities and/or allergies.  Consuming mainly cooked foods can lead to depletion of vital enzymes needed for efficient digestion and nutrient availability to cells.  Lack of eating a variety of foods, but rather eating mostly the same things every day can also lead to nutrient deficiency and may contribute to adrenal exhaustion especially if one consumes too much sugar and caffeine daily.  Adrenal dysfunction caused by improper foods as well as a high level of stress can lead to adrenal exhaustion.

To determine if you suffer from food allergies, keep a journal of foods you eat and record how you feel.  This will help you identify offending foods.  Then eliminate those foods for at least 4 days or longer.  Then introduce one at a time on an empty stomach.  Sally Fallon suggests you take your pulse before eating the food, then check your pulse after to see if you have an immediate rise in number of beats per minute.  If so, you most likely have an allergy to that food.  Continue this process with all foods you think might be causing you problems.  Eliminating these foods should bring you relief.

Expand your food choices to include lots of fruits and vegetables, especially the deeply colored ones like berries, plums, carrots, and yams and increase your intake of dark leafy greens.  Eat raw food often to obtain those vital enzymes so important for digestion.  Improving one’s diet in this way will bring benefits of more energy, clearer skin, shinier hair, stronger nails, clearer vision, improved sleep, and a more positive outlook.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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