Whether you know it or not, you have food sensitivities. How can I be so sure? Well, because almost everybody has some kind of food sensitivity: foods that don’t resonate with your body, that cause some sort of stress on your system. This stress can show up as fatigue, brain fog, itchiness, bloating, lack of clarity, and more.
The prevalence of food sensitivities has to do with many factors, and there are plenty of theories about why they’re so common. One major culprit is the level of other everyday stressors we face: work stress, environmental stress, poor quality water, lack of sleep and more. Introduce a food that your body is not in tune with and your already-stressed immune system is going to be pushed over the edge. In other words, food sensitivities may be more noticeable than ever because people have reached (or are nearly at) their peak stress thresholds on a daily basis.
Because of this, you obviously want to avoid foods that are introducing yet another disruption to your health. The problem is, it’s not always easy to figure what foods are causing your issues.
Many people try to uncover food sensitivities with lab testing. There’s the skin scratch test (where a skin sample is exposed to different food substances), as well as blood tests with various different approaches to interpreting the data. These tests can be costly, and yield contradictory results. Because most tests don’t offer a systemic picture but instead only measure the sensitivity of a branch of your immune system, you may end up with extremely limited information after you’ve shelled out a lot of money. This is why a lot of patients come in for the first time with conflicting tests results and lots of confusion.
An Easy and Free Way To Check for Food Sensitivities
The way to discover your food sensitivities is relatively easy, and best of all, it’s not going to cost you any extra money.
First, eliminate what I call The Big Seven: the seven most common foods that people are sensitive to. Dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, peanuts, corn, sugar. Cut them out for 14 days. It’s just 14 days. You can do it!
After 14 days, reintroduce the foods one by one. Take the first food you want to test and eat a large serving of it for your first meal in the morning. Start with a food you’ve been craving. For instance, if you cut out dairy and you really miss cheese, start with cheese. On the first meal of the first day, eat cheese — only cheese, and a good portion of it — in the morning.
Wait 2 hours before eating anything else. In that time, pay attention to your body. Are you feeling fine? Are you feeling tired? Experiencing lack of clarity? Feeling itchy? You’ll learn pretty quickly whether or not your body has a strong reaction to the food you reintroduced.
If you don’t have any reaction, or if you do have a reaction but it’s mild, keep reintroducing the food over the course of the day. The rest of the day, eat a bit of your selected food with every meal. (Keeping with our example, make sure there’s cheese on all your meals.) The next day pay attention to how you feel. Feeling good? Or are you feeling tired, puffy, bloated, and so on?
If you don’t show any negative reaction, you can reintroduce another food right away.
If you do show a reaction, allow yourself to chill out for a day, then reintroduce.
The great news is you can do this with any food. Simply cut it out of your diet for 14 days, then follow the instructions above.
Pretty simple! And instead of a lot of extra money, all you need is a little patience and awareness.
Rene von Gunten, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, is a member of the Age Management Team at The Body Well. To schedule an Age Management Evaluation, please call (323) 874-9355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
René von Gunten, NTP CPT, aka “The Swiss Nutritioneer,” is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Nutritional Therapy Association. He holds a diploma in Balancing Nutritional Science from the Westbrook University and is a graduate of the renowned mentorship program in functional medicine by Dr. Daniel Kalish. He is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Holistic Nutritionist practicing at The Body Well.