Some people can eat what they want without worry -- but for many others, certain foods can trigger reactions.
Some of those reactions could be mild to the point where you might not associate them with what you're eating, while others are more severe and could require medical attention.
If you've had any symptoms like diarrhoea, rashes, headaches, bloating, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, acid reflux, a runny nose, skin flushing or acne after eating something, you might be sensitive to one of these foods or ingredients.
But what foods are at the root of your sensitivities? And what can you do about them.
Here you’re going to learn about the 5 most common food sensitivities and three natural remedies that you probably never thought of.
Let’s start with what you’re eating. Here are the 5 most common food sensitivities or allergens.
One common dairy sensitivity is known as lactose intolerance. It happens when you have a shortage of lactase enzymes that prevent you from digesting milk and dairy products. Luckily it's very simple to find dairy alternatives these days, so ditching dairy from your diet isn't very difficult.
So many people are going gluten-free these days though the most important group that must are those with Celiac disease. Gluten is what the proteins in wheat, rye, triticale, and barley are called. Those with a wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid items with gluten. When swapping out be sure to opt for wholegrain ‘gluten-free’ grains such as quinoa, long grain grown rice, rather than processed foods, buckwheat, polenta or millet.
While caffeine is safe for most, some people are very sensitive to caffeine. You'll know it if you react to consuming even just a small amount. Notice how you feel after you drink a cup of black coffee. Leave out the dairy and sugar, if you usually use it, so that you know you aren't reacting to one of those ingredients.
An acronym for "fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols”. These are short-chain carbs found in natural contents of foods. They can be poorly absorbed in your small intestine and then go to your large intestine. It's here they ferment which creates gas, bloating and discomfort. Apples, soft cheeses, honey, milk, fructose, bread, and beans are some of the most common FODMAPs. You can google the FODMAPs diet to get a full list of foods to avoid.
If you aren't allergic to eggs but have trouble digesting them, you may have a sensitivity. If diarrhoea and abdominal pain arise when you eat them, try avoiding eggs and see if your symptoms dissipate.
Other common food sensitivities
Histamine is most commonly associated with food sensitivities. For those with no problems, this chemical in your body works as it should for your immune, digestive, and nervous systems. If you have a sensitivity, though, it builds up in the body.
Foods to avoid would be fermented foods, cured meat, citrus, aged cheese, smoked fish, vinegar, and avocados, to name a few.
Others may find aspartame, MSG, food colourings, yeast, and sugar alcohols to cause the symptoms that are consistent with food sensitivities.
The best way to find out if you have a food sensitivity is by doing an elimination diet to see what’s causing it.
If you notice a pattern when you eat the things you eat, keep a journal, and start eliminating these common sensitivity-causing foods to feel better faster.
The best bet is to stick with organic whole foods, ditching the processed, packaged foods as much as possible.
3 Natural remedies for food sensitivities
1. Digestive enzymes
Digestive enzymes help the digestive system to fully break down food particles. It’s a vital food allergy remedy. The incomplete digestion of food particles may be linked to food allergies and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. (study)
Good bacteria helps our immune system deal with food more favourably.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that differences in neonatal gut microbiota precede the development of atopy, suggesting a role for commensal intestinal bacteria in the preventing of allergies, thereby potentially promoting oral tolerance. (study)
3. Essential oils
One of the most amazing benefits of essential oils are their ability to fight inflammation and boost the immune system.
Essential oils for allergies will help to detoxify the body and fight infections, bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and harmful toxins.
They also reduce the bodies susceptibility to outside sources and reduce the overreaction of the immune system when it is faced with a harmless intruder.
Top of the list to try when faced with food sensitivities is Peppermint essential oil.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil can soothe the digestive tract and reduce the inflammation associated with food allergies.
It may also help relieve other food allergy symptoms like headaches and itching.
To soothe digestive issues, take 1–2 drops internally by placing it on the roof of the mouth or in a glass a glass of water. (study)
Only take essential oils internally if you are confident that your oils are proven to be 100% pure. Read more about the oils I use here.
Your turn: Do you think you have a sensitivity to any foods? What’s worked for you? Comment below.