A closer look at allergies and guidelines for you...
We often react to foods most common in our diet and those we crave. Dairy and wheat are frequent “allergens”, but other culprits include tomatoes, citrus, eggs, coffee and gluten in oats, rye and barley.The best way to identify your problem food is to eliminate the suspected item from your diet for 2 weeks, reintroduce it and note any changes.
Avoid refined carbohydrates – such as sugar, white bread, white pasta, cakes etc, as they cause the rapid secretion of acid in the stomach. Because refining takes away beneficial fibre, this can be extra harsh on the stomach, as it is not buffered. Salt, coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohol and spicy foods can irritate the gut. High fibre foods such as vegetables, beans and whole grains may contribute to improved digestive and provide nutrients that support digestion.
Don’t use antacids – these neutralise the acid in the stomach, interfering with digestion, and simply make matters worse. Some make the stomach produce even more acid once the effects have worn off, creating a vicious circle. For occasional relief, use charcoal tablets – but it is more important to identify the cause rather than eliminate the problem once it has arisen.
Food combining – simple meals are most easily digested. Often we take in a huge range of different foods – several proteins, starches, raw and cooked fruit, vegetables, coffee, alcohol and sweets that rely on different and
competing enzymes and digestive processes. Avoid combining fruits with protein or starches. Eat well-balanced meals with plenty of fresh vegetables and wholegrains.
Stomach acid insufficiency – the stomach produces hydrochloric acid to break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates once they enter the stomach. Stress depletes this production and also depletes the very nutrients needed to produce it; vitamin B6 and zinc. People may also be lacking in these due to poor dietary intake (lack of fish, nuts and seeds) or by eating foods that deplete them such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine and fizzy drinks. Hydrochloric acid can be supplemented however, until enough B6 and zinc is absorbed to ensure the
body then starts making its own.
Digestive enzyme deficiencies – may cause digestive problems if carbohydrates, proteins or fats are not digested properly.These can be taken as supplements. Fresh papaya, pineapple, alfalfa, sprouts and raw foods contain beneficial digestive enzymes.
Keep happy and healthy