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.
What foods tend to be the root of common sensitivities? Take a look below and think about what you eat. If you've had any symptoms like diarrhea, rashes, headaches, migraines, bloating, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, acid reflux, a runny nose, skin flushing, sinus congestion or acne after eating something, you might be sensitive to one of these foods or ingredients. The best way to find out is by contacting an integrative health professional, doing an elimination diet or getting with your doctor to help you sort it out.
A 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. Gluten is what the protein in wheat, rye, triticale and barley is called. Those with a wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid items with gluten. Again, it's so easy to find gluten-free items that you shouldn't have a problem going gluten-free without missing out on much. Just be careful, processed or packaged "gluten-free" foods are allowed to have up to a certain amount of gluten and still be labeled gluten-free. For more information, you can go to: https://celiac.org/about-the-foundation/featured-news/2014/08/fda-gluten-free-food-labeling-information-page/
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.
Representing "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.
If you aren't allergic to eggs but do have trouble digesting them, you may have a sensitivity. If diarrhea and abdominal pain arise when you eat them, try avoiding eggs and see if your symptoms dissipate.
Histamine is the 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 colorings, yeast and sugar alcohols to cause the symptoms that are consistent with food sensitivities. All of these ingredients can be found in one processed food or another. 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, skipping the processed and packaged foods as much as possible.
Do you think you have a sensitivity to any foods?