We now know that food intolerances and sensitivities are an inflammatory response from the immune system (often can develop into autoimmune issues) and we also know that around 75% of our immune system is located in our GI tract. So, it only makes sense that looking into our gut health and working to rebalance our micro biome could then bring relief to food sensitivities.
There are multiple factors that can influence our gut health such as inflammatory foods, stress, medications and much more so we can start to focus on these factors to heal the GI issues created by them.
My recommendations are:
Try an Elimination Diet.
This is the gold standard tool for discovering food intolerances/ sensitivities.
Removing trigger foods for a small period of time and slowly reintroducing them will help reduce inflammation, give your gut a little break and chance to restore and will give you insight into what specific foods may be causing a reaction.
The most common are dairy, gluten/ wheat, eggs
Eat a variety of different foods.
When we restrict specific foods for a long period of time, and then suddenly eat them we can see a massive flare up of adverse symptoms such as the ones mentioned above.
It is important, that you include a diverse range of foods and keep rotating them as your gut loves diversity and can build up a diverse range of bacteria & enzymes to break down and metabolise.
The variety of minerals and nutrients are also essential for rebuilding the immune system and keep it stable when you slowly reintroduce foods that you have eliminated.
Focus on 'healing the gut.'
I know this is a term thrown around a lot, but it is the best phrase to use here. When you eliminate a food for a certain period of time you need to work on healing your gut in that period. Whether this is leaky gut, candida overgrowth, SIBO. It doesn’t matter how many elimination diets you do, if you don’t put the effort into healing your gut in the mean time you will ultimately be left fighting the same symptoms over and over.
Start to focus on:
Lifestyle factors that may be contributing to the state of your digestive system: i.e nutrition, stress, sleep, environment and movement
Introducing nutrient dense foods such as bone broths/ meat stocks, great fats, slow cooked meats, probiotic rich foods, lots of green vegetables etc.
Give your digestion a break. Focusing on 3 main meals and then having a break from food in between just might give you digestion the chance it needs to rest and digest.
Focus on cooked foods. This will decrease the amount of work your digestion needs to do.
Once you have a chance to introduce these points and worked on your gut you may find that you can actually tolerate certain foods that maybe you once couldn’t. Just taking very simple steps as recommended above can start to rebuild the entire GI lining, rebuild a healthy balance of gut bacteria and start to reduce any overgrowth of candida or bacteria in the Small intestine. Remember it won’t happen overnight. This is a process.
It is still important to remember that some foods are just inflammatory to the body. So although you may be able to tolerate them better and not see any signs of immune response, I would still recommend you eat these in moderation.