Food Sensitivity 101

Food Sensitivity 101

You may know about food allergies, but have you heard of food sensitivities? Most of us know friends or acquaintances allergic to one thing or another: peanuts, shellfish, soy, etc. They react in different ways – some may break out in hives, while others make a dash for the bathroom -- but the reaction almost always comes on fast and furious after the offending food enters the body. Not so with food sensitivities! Adverse reactions due to food sensitivity can occur from 45 minutes to 48 hours later. Also, any organ in the body can come under fire. Some common symptoms of food sensitivities include inflammation, joint pain, headaches, skin rashes, sinus congestion, digestive disorders and depression.

For more articles on food sensitivities and food allergies, check out: Food Allergies and How to Deal, The Top 7 Sweetest Gluten Free Recipes, How to Beat Wheat, How to Get Calcium without Drinking Milk, 7 Foods to Fight Allergies, Sugar Intolerance May Cause Digestive Symptoms, What is Celiac Disease?, Your Top 7 Digestive Questions Answered!

In his book, “The Chemistry of Joy,” Henry Emmons, MD, describes four food types that are the most likely sources of trouble in a food sensitive person. These food intolerances are dairy, wheat, nightshade vegetables and corn. Unfortunately, each of these, especially corn and wheat, are hard to stay away from in a country where most food goes through some sort of processing. Luckily, Recipe4Living is here to help! After each category check out the tasty dairy free, wheat free, nightshade free, or corn free recipes that are healthy and safe to eat while you diet!

Dairy: The most well known intolerance associated with dairy products is lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar in milk that needs to be broken down into simpler sugars to be digested properly. According to the Mayo Clinic, however, the two major protein groups found in dairy products, whey protein and casein, may also contribute to chronic digestive disorders. Casein is present in cheese and yogurt. When eliminating whey protein from your diet, avoid milk, cream, butter and ice cream.

Whey and Casein free recipes: 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers

 Goat Cheese with Pecans, Cranberries and Basil

Sweet Berry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Wheat: Most breads, pastas, flour and baked goods, and the wheat substances durum, semolina and farina. Just remember that wheat sensitivity is not the same as gluten intolerance! Foods that are wheat-free, but not necessarily gluten free include rye, spelt and barley.

Wheat-free recipes:

Rueben Loaf

Ginger Steak

Maple Oatmeal

Nightshade Vegetables: White potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.

Nightshade veggie-free recipes:

Beef with Nuts 

Baked Salmon with Dill Garlic Beurre Blanc

Summertime Delight Watermelon Sorbet

Corn: Corn chips, corn tortillas, popcorn, corn oil and corn syrup. The sweeteners Splenda, sucralose, sorbitol and xanthan gum are all made from corn, too.

Corn-free recipes:

Crockpot Fettuccini Alfredo

Crockpot French Onion Soup

Easy Cobbler

Don’t be discouraged by this list! Focus on the foods that are safe to eat and think of this as a chance to expand your cooking experiences! Keep these final tips in mind to keep your spirits up. Eat small meals or snacks every three to four hours to avoid food cravings. While you may be irritable or experience headaches due to withdrawal from the foods you crave, stick to the diet and you should improve in a few days. Carry a journal or notepad with you to note down how you feel from day to day, your symptoms or lack of symptoms, and how your sleep and energy levels have changed.

Have you wrestled with a food intolerance or sensitivity? Let us know your thoughts and any tips of your own in the comments!

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