In our evolution, somewhere along the way, we made the wrong turn and we distanced ourselves from our natural environment, which offers us an abundance of the resources, which we need in order to survive and thrive- both physically, emotionally and socially.
On the road, we are slowly but surely losing our instincts which guarantee us well- being and we rush into chasing goals which robs us even more.
We are mistakenly searching for a solution to the problems, by getting in a severe battle with the symptoms, while we are ignoring the cause. Thus, we get to a dead end, where, initially we have the hope that we are on the right path and later on we are left disappointed, having realized that all efforts were in vain – everything was just a desperate try to mask the visible and feed the illusion that we got rid of the invisible- the one that causes the problems.
We have the same approach towards our health. We accept that one thing or another is harming us; we waste efforts, trying to defend from intruders, and in the same time we are not making any efforts for the most important thing- our own body.
Something like bacteria and antibiotics. We accept the fact that the bacteria is the problem and the solution is the antibiotic. This statement misses one important detail- it is the environment or in other word our body, not the bacteria or virus, what matters. When the body is healthy and strong, even when it is exposed to viruses, it has inborn mechanisms that can cope with them.
Unfortunately our lifestyle, contributes to disarming our body and robbing it out of the ability to survive.
We are trying to improve our lifestyle, by focusing our efforts towards the world of material things and we ignore the most precious- our body and its health.
We make huge efforts in all directions, and no efforts when it comes to giving our body quality food, enough rest and the required dose of physical activity.
The food we eat matters! It matters more than you suggest. Until you realize this truth, no matter what you do, your “embed” health will always be a temporary condition, which is slowly but surely transitioning in destruction.
Food intolerances are among the most common causes of physical decay and as the time goes, they become the main reason for a lot of diseases.
It is kind of ironic. What we can influence- the food we eat, is actually destroying us, because we have given up the control in this direction and we are completely ignoring the need to pay attention to the quality of our food.
I ask you to join me to a short adventure, where you will understand how the food we eat, influences the health of our body; you will understand how you should listen better to the signals your body sends you- because it knows the best! Your body doesn’t lie and it knows what you need and what you should give up.
Stress creates problems and contributes to the development of foos intolerances.
Food intolerances can create a huge spectrum of symptoms. They can be divided in two categories- physical ( they are mostly connected with digestion) and psychological/ emotional/ behavioral.
Sometimes, you don’t need to have clear symptoms, that will hint you that you have a food intolerance.
It is easy to understand what is the connection between what you put in your mouth ( what you eat) and what happens with your digestion. It is harder to realize the connection between what you eat and the way you behave and what happens in your mind.
Our digestive system is built in a way, that allows it to absorb small nutrient components, which give our body what it needs. Our digestive system, doesn’t always manage to interfere with the absorption of some components, which in one way or another interfere with our organs’ proper functioning.
The most common foods that provoke intolerances
If I had to list the most common foods that provoke intolerances, they would be as follows:
-dairy ( everything you need to know about dairy HERE )
-grains, foods that contain gluten ( plenty of information about grains)
-vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes
Nowadays, a lot of people complain from symptoms, which they accept for something normal and as a natural consequence from getting older. Nowadays almost every person complains from one of the following symptoms- bloating, stomach ache; burping after eating; gas; problems with going to the bathroom; leaky nose; nausea; water retention; anxiety; depression; trouble sleeping; inability to concentrate; mood swings; lack of motivation; skin problems.
Disease like arthritis; leaky gut; joint pain are widely spread.
Often times, even though we undergo a lot of testing, we can’t establish the reason for these conditions. As it often happens, we ignore the simple things and we dig deeper into the more complicated. In other words, we search for the reason not in its source, but in its consequences. I think that we should reconsider our attitude towards health and the treatment methods and before we turn to the traditional medicine, we should each in our own habits and the lifestyle we create through them. This would mean, that before we go to the doctor and before we take a handful of pills, which only suppress the symptom, but do not cure the disease, we should try to do something on our own. The first and most important thing is to pay attention to the quality of our food, the quality of our rest – which includes the quantity of sleep; limiting stress; the level of physical activity- here every extreme is not desired.
All the symptoms listed above, could be due to one thing- food intolerance. The good news is that we have almost full control over the food we eat and as long as we identify the reason, we can take care for the solution.
Maybe you are wondering how could it be that one food intolerance, causes all these symptoms?
The reactions that follow the food intolerance are a result of our immune system- something like an interaction between food, our digestive system; white blood cells and the antibodies to the specific types of food. These antibodies are called immunoglobulins. There are 5 types of immunoglobulins: IgA,IgD,IgE,IgG и IgM. Probably they seem more like “mystical signs”, but if you have happened to have your blood tested, you might have noticed the presence of this combination of letters.
So! Immunoglobulins are the antibodies. They are being produced in a response to the presence of antigens- the food molecules, towards which our body produces antibodies.
Keeping in mind the number of times we eat every day, this means that our body is constantly producing antibodies towards the foods we eat and the most interesting is that the body produces the most antibodies for the foods we eat the most.
There are a lot of reactions to the food, which is not necessary to be initiated by our immune system. Instead, these reactions are caused by inflammation provokers, like histamine, prostaglandin, serotonin and so forth.
Some foods, influence on the release of these inflammation mediators or they can even contain high levels of the substations mentioned above, which in turn lead to a reaction of intolerance. For example wine, spinach, tomatoes, sausage, contain high amounts of histamine.
Other foods, provoke the release of a particular substantion. For example strawberries, tomatoes, chocolate, bananas and alcohol provoke the release of histamine.
Other foods contain protein groups, which in one way or another, have the ability to influence on the construction of blood vessels- cabbage, cheese, citruses, all packaged foods, potatoes.
There are a lot of ways, to test the intolerance towards a particular food. Unfortunately, a big part of them are not reliable, and others require an expensive equipment and apparatuses, in order to be applied, which doesn’t make them approachable.
There are a couple simple ways to detect a food intolerance:
The pulse test.
What is it?
If your pulse gets faster after you’ve eaten a particular food, this means that you probably have an intolerance to it. Actually if you limit the consumption of sweets and doughy foods for a month and then you once again introduce them in your diet, you will notice that your pulse I always higher after eating them. Besides that you will feel bloated, you will have gas and you will feel sluggish. These foods are the foundation of most people’s diet and few people realize their harm.
Through eliminating a particular food, you get the chance to see which food groups provoke a reverse, negative reaction.
Here, it is appropriate to exclude the main food groups, that cause food intolerances and follow this nutrition plan for a month. Then, introduce every food group, one by one, by giving each one of them a period of 4-5 days, in order to see how you feel. If the negative symptoms are still there after 5 days, this means that you definitely have an intolerance towards this food group.
The main reasons for having food intolerances:
-eating the same foods every day
-artificial colors, preservatives
-eating too fast
– inability to digest- really low levels of stomach acid; not enough production of enzymes
-imbalance in the gut flora
-taking too many antibiotics; painkillers or other type of pills
– too much stress
Nowadays even though the variety of foods, spices and the different ways to prepare them, we often emphasize on 5-6 types of foods and we exclude everything else. The worst thing is that a lot of people , build their diet on the food groups that are the main reason for food intolerances- dairy and grains. By eating the same foods on a daily basis, we are asking for a reaction from the immune system. Besides that the variety of nutrients, that we give to our body is limited and this leads to some health problems.
One of the reasons for the severe reaction from the immune system, towards to foods we eat on a daily basis are the artificial ingredients. Everything that comes to us, packaged, always contains something man made, which harms our body. Small harms like this, caused on a daily basis lead to disease.
Eating too fast
When you eat too fast, the food you chew doesn’t have the ability to be broken down properly, so when it reaches the stomach it is not ready for digestion. This means that stomach juices and digestive enzymes cannot digest it and as a consequence, the indigested proteins can go through the stomach lining, which provokes a reaction from the immune system, which leads to food intolerances.
Besides that, chewing the food, aids in the stimulation of the defending stomach barrier, under the form of EGF- epidermal growth factor. It aids the growth of cells in the intestines. Chewing allows our digestive system to know what foods are coming and prepare for them. Eating too fast, is a shock for our digestive system.
Besides that when the mind is busy, while we are eating, the digestive system “switches off”. The mind sends signals to the body, that it is busy with something and this takes away the focus from the process of digestion. And after all, if we fail to digest the food properly, this leads to a cascade of consequences, which cause food intolerances.
The lack of hydrochloric acid and enzymes is a common problem. If you do not digest the food properly, then there is a big risk, that the proteins in your food, will go through the stomach lining and this will increase the risk of leaky gut, which is a premise for proteins entering in the bloodstream, which our immune system registers as intruders and then attacks them.
Improper digestion, the lack of hydrochloric acid, increases the risk of bad bacteria and parasites.
The importance of hydrochloric acid ( HA), comes from the fact that it aids in the digestion of proteins; it interfere with the growth and development of bad bacteria; it aids the proper functioning of the bile fluid and it stimulates the production of enzymes. Besides that it participates in the absorption of important micronutrients.
Low levels of stomach acid, lead to bad digestion of proteins, fats and carbs. This in turn leads to symptoms like burping, bloating and gas.
HA is responsible for important digestive functions and if they do not run smoothly, there is a higher risk of food intolerances. The presence of bad bacteria, iron deficiency, burping and bloating are an indicator for low levels of HA.
Imbalanced gut flora
The pancreas has the main responsibility for the production of digestive enzymes. Not enough enzymes is a widely spread condition. The lack of enzymes leads to a lot of trouble. One of the main problems is the inability to digest, which leads to inability to absorb micronutrients, which are needed for our body’s proper functioning.
Not properly digested food, stays in the intestines and becomes food for bad bacteria. This lead to stomach ache, gas and bloating. Feeding intruders in your bod, leads to bad break down of protein and increases the unwanted reactions from your immune system.
The symptoms which are a sign of the lack of digestive enzymes are exhaustion, skin problems, inability to gain weight, gas, bloating, headache.
Probably, you notice that the symptoms overlap. Every one of them is caused by something that has to do with food- quantity, quality, cooking method and so forth.
If you have some of these symptoms, but you have accepted them for a normal state, now it is the time to overthink it and pay more attention to your food; experiment and make the fine tunes, which will improve the way you feel.
Sad but true, nowadays people take antibiotics, the way kids eat candy- all the time and there is always “a sound” reason for it. Antibiotics interfere with the activity of probiotics, they interfere with the normal functioning in the intestines, lower the intestine immunity and welcome the development of bad bacteria. This increases the risk of leaky gut, which is always accompanied by a negative reaction from the immune system and food intolerances.
We take them with and without reason. All of them damage the tissue of the stomach lining.
Here comes the time for SLgA, which is a secretory immunoglobulin. This is the most common immune protein in the body. It covers the surface of the stomach lining. It plays the role of inner barrier, which defends us. SLgA is not the only form of immune cells in the intestines, but it is the main one.
Many of the reasons for food intolerances- stress, pills, bad gut flora- influence this secretory immunoglobulin, by lowering its levels.
Another reason for the increase of food intolerances and allergies is the mania for cleaning in our contemporary society. By not being exposed to our environment in its natural state, we fail to get exposed to substantions which could provoke the production of antibodies and thus, we fail to stimulate our immunity. All of you, can think of kids, who have been kept by their parents in really sterilized conditions. Even though their overprotectiveness, more often than not, these kids are always sick, they have allergies and so forth, compared to the kids that have bene raised more liberally.
Stress is a hot topic. We constantly blame on it a lot of guilt. The problem is that as it often happens we are blaming the guilty, but we do not take any action to minimize the negative consequences it causes. When it comes to stress, we blame on it a lot of diseases, but we don’t make any efforts to consciously influence some of the factors, which cause it, and thus decrease its harm.
How stress has a two direction influence?
Let’s say that you are eating foods to which you have food intolerance or you have the so called disbiosis ( disturbed ecology in your stomach), which causes inflammation in your body and provokes the production of inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals get into your bloodstream and they are being attacked by the body. As a consequence immune complexes are being formed, which move through your bloodstream and they are being detected by your brain- or to be more precise, this part of the brain, which is responsible for the instructions what hormones should be secreted. When the brain detects these inflammatory markers, it is immediately mobilized to respond, by signaling for the production of anti-inflammatory hormones. These hormones are being produced by the adrenal gland. The main hormone, which is being produced is cortisol. This means that the sickness in the stomach, sends signals to your brain and in a response it “orders”the production of the hormone of stress. Imagine it like this – you are constantly exposed to the influence of these foods ( you are intolerant to them).
Then your body will chronically release high levels of stress hormones and in a continuous period, this will lead to the so popular, nowadays, adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, high levels of cortisol, decrease the levels of SlgA and interfere with te repair of the stomach lining. Everything spins in an enchanted circle.
Besides that you’ve probably heard that the stomach is something like the second brain of the body. That is the place where there is a bunch of nerves, which receive and send signals to our organs. When there is some disturbance in the stomach, the nerve system is immediately informed about it. This activates the sympathetic nervous system, which responds for the reactions of the body in critical situations. When this part of the nervous system is activated, this sends signals to the body that it is in danger and this mobilizes its strength to fight the danger, which is potentially threatening its survival. This leads to our digestive system, being deprived from proper blood stream, which causes a cascade of unwanted conditions, which cause symptoms and disease that make you feel bad.
What turns out?
All symptoms, which signalize for food intolerances are some of the most common conditions of the contemporary person. Just think about it! How many people told you today, that they are tired, bloated or that they feel heaviness in their stomach; gas?
I bet that at least two people said it!
How many of them pay attention to these symptoms, and how many of them think about what they eat and how their body responds to it?
Almost nobody! I am sure that most of these people, regularly go to the doctor or take pills, which suppress the symptoms. Is that normal! Absolutely not!
The way that food intolerances have a negative influence on the health, could be summed up like this:
Food intolerances cause a negative response from the body, which interferes with the proper functioning of the organs and all systems in the body. Usually this type of intolerances are followed by a destruction of the stomach lining and leaky gut, which deactivates part of the defensive mechanisms of the body and allows the leaking of intruders in zones, where their presence is unwanted.
This mobilized the immune system to take everything under control and get rid of the intruders, which increases the level of stress. The signals for chronic stress, redirect the attention to vital functions in the body and focus it on the mere goal to survive. Everything spins in an enchanted circle and the second brain- the stomach, sends signals which once again activate the defensive mechanisms of the body, which provoke stress.
Thus, just what we eat, can cause a cascade of negative reactions in the body, which spin us in an enchanted circle and only adequate actions could save us.
Once you realize the importance of the food you eat, you will need patience and you will need to give your body enough time to recover ad start functioning.
Spend the next week, writing down what you eat. Thus, you will have real proofs for the food you eat and your mind won’t be able to fool you that you are eating properly.
Then, check out which are the foods that might cause your symptoms. Exclude them and stay away from their consumption for a month. Then, slowly, through the interval of 4 days, introduce tem in your meals. Pay attention to the difference in the way you feel and if the symptoms are there again, this means that you must exclude these food groups.
In order to help your body recover, you can take probiotics and digestive enzymes, which will help you feel better. Pay attention to the foods you eat every day. Try to introduce more variety. Eat fermented foods.
Food matters and our health is our most precious gift! Take care of it!