You are not what you eat.
You are what you eat, digest and assimilate.
When digestion is impaired, it can be a lot more serious than just feeling uncomfortable. About 80% of your immune system lies in your gut. When your body isn’t able to break down food efficiently and deliver the nutrients to the cells in your body, this can eventually lead to illness and disease.
If you are eating foods that your body can’t break down, over time this can damage your intestinal lining, causing inflammation and more and more sensitivities to foods. All of a sudden that dairy you weren’t able to tolerate has now increased to dairy, gluten and sugar.
Common symptoms that can almost always be linked to the gut include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Muscle and joint pain
- Skin issues
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep issues
- Mood disorders
- Weight gain/obesity
If you are experiencing any of this on a consistent basis, it may be a good idea to try an elimination diet.
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet essentially omits certain foods from the diet that are the most likely to cause inflammation or trigger sensitivities and allergies. These include:
- Refined sugar.
- Packaged/processed foods
Some elimination diets may eliminate even more foods. If you’re not sure which type of elimination diet to follow, it’s best to work with a knowledgable nutritionist or health practitioner.
How does an elimination diet work?
By omitting these foods from you diet and including plenty of fresh, whole foods, you are essentially giving your digestive system a break from consistently trying to digest foods it can’t. This alone can reduce many of the symptoms you are experiencing because inflammation is reduced in the body.
Elimination certain trigger foods also allows the body to refocus on detoxifying toxins that are stored in the body.
Most elimination diets last 12-30 days, but some may be longer depending on your specific needs. This is the minimum amount of time to help your body health and see noticeable reductions in symptoms.
During the elimination period or right after, some practitioners may recommend supplements to help heal the digestive lining and correct imbalances in the gut.
After the elimination period, each food is reintroduced one at a time, with 3-4 days in between each introduction. If you begin having symptoms, then you know what foods are just not agreeing with your body and you can make a conscious choice to avoid them as your gut continues to heal.
In time, you may be able to eat those foods again, but there are cases in which the body will not be able to efficiently digest them. In these cases, it’s best to avoid them. Luckily there are plenty of alternatives for many of these foods to ensure that you still enjoy what you’re eating!
What’s to do next?
Before starting an elimination diet, make sure you have the time or are willing to create the time to commit to it. For the diet to be effective, you need to adhere to it 100%.
It’s also a good idea to create grocery lists and meal plans so you don’t feel overwhelmed as to what to eat.
You may need to limit social outings during this time and spend a little more time meal prepping, but remember it’s not forever and you may very well feel a lot better as a result!
If you’re unsure whether an elimination diet is right for you or want additional guidance on how to start one, book a complimentary consultation with our Functional Nutrition & Health Specialist. We will sit down and review your challenges and goals and help you decide what the best next steps would be.
Call PHASE IV at 310-582-8212 to book your consultation today!