Food is one of life’s simple pleasures and a vital part of living. With the right diet, food will fuel and replenish your body, providing your body with energy and nutrients. However, there are some foods that have the opposite effect on our body, regardless how clean or healthy it is. A food that you absolutely adore might be damaging your health. This is the unfortunate case for many people, and some go around for years unknowingly having an food intolerance, eating food that is unsuitable for their body.
Throughout my twenties, this was the case for me. Around when I turned 30, I suddenly began to notice the foods that I had loved so dearly turn on me. My favorite on-the-go fruit banana began to make my mouth itch and tingle. The rich and buttery avocado began to make my lips swell and my ears itch. My weekend glass of red wine began to make my face flush and throat tickle. The symptoms started off small but the more I had certain foods the effects became more severe. I was perplexed about why this started to happen now. As a child, I was able to consume a variety of foods without any consequences, yet, with adulthood brought change.
It’s said that food intolerances or allergies can come on at any age, as well as disappear. It’s hard to determine the exact factors but there are several theories on why food intolerances occur later in life: environmental disturbances, antibiotics, or progressed food breaking down the immune system. These factors can throw our body off making it vulnerable to environmental or food allergens.
The changes continued with my body until the point where I felt comfortable every day. I experienced bloating, headaches, fatigue, and difficulty digesting food. At this point, it was hard to pinpoint exactly what foods were making me feel so terrible. Feeling frustrated, I decided I needed to find out what the real issue was and why my favorite foods were sabotaging my health. After hearing about a friend’s experience with kinesiology allergy testing I decided to try this holistic method of testing.
Kinesiology is a noninvasive way to test for allergies or food sensitivities, using your muscles as an indication for intolerances. Being tested was an easy, stress-free, (for you needle haters) and quick process. The doctor had me lie down on a table and had me place my left index and middle finger on various vials of essences of particular foods while pushing down on my right arm. If my arm goes weak it signals intolerance to the food. In the end, I probably tested 100 different vials, and the conclusion was that I’m sensitive to a variety of histamine-rich foods. I’m talking foods I have been eating forever and had no idea they were creating chaos within my body. I just always thought that being bloated and having digestive issues were normal. The beer that I have been drinking for years? It contains hops, which I can’t digest properly. The milk I’ve been drinking every morning? Not good either. This new knowledge was a revelation and a relief. I no longer needed to suffer from my diet or fear what I was putting in my body.
From an itchy mouth to digestive issues, your favorite food could be your biggest enemy. Here are 3 ways to determine if your current diet is sabotaging your health.
Listen to your body
If I learned one thing from this experience it is to listen to your body. Your body will be blatantly honest with you and give you all the signs you need if something is not jiving. It is not normal to have stomach cramps or headaches on a daily basis. If you feel uncomfortable, try to find the root of the issue. You don’t have to suffer. Sadly, you might have to divorce the foods and drinks you’ve spent many years with. However, that food you love so much may actually hate you.
Make a food diary
To find the root of your dietary issues, make a food diary. It might seem daunting but write down every single thing you consume in a day. Then evaluate if any of these foods or ingredients caused a negative reaction with your body. Did you feel bloated or have stomach cramps? From there, make a list of the foods that caused issues and eliminate them from your diet for 30 days. Slowly integrate the foods back into your diet, narrowing down if these foods were the cause of your health issues.
If you still haven’t narrowed down the food perpetrator through the elimination diet, testing is a sure way of determining your ailments. I had a great experience and success with kinesiology, yet if you want solid results you can try a skin prick or blood test. A skin prick test will measure the presence of antibodies for suspected allergens in your body, causing the area tested to flare up. Blood testing will test for histamine levels, signifying if you are ingesting too much histamine and if your body can break it down. Regardless of what test you choose, you have the power to take control of your health. With this new knowledge, you are now on the road to improving your belly and well-being.
Also by Jess: Best Life Lessons I Learned in My Twenties
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: Jess Davis