An Elimination Diet is a great short-term tool, to help point out any food sensitivities a person might have. The diet usually last for 5-6 weeks depending on how slowly you choose to re-introduce foods back into your diet.
Eating foods that you’re sensitive to can throw off the healthy balance of gut bacteria and enzymes -creating problems with digestion, infection, and inflammation.
Problems in the GI tract can disturb hormonal, metabolic and immune functions potentially leading to problems such as hormone imbalance, mood disturbance, brain fog, migraines, joint pain and skin conditions.
The Elimination Diet can be a great tool for people who struggle with food sensitivities as it can help to pin point any sensitivities they weren’t aware of. Week 1-3 involves eliminating certain foods or food groups from the diet for between 3-4 weeks. The main foods to eliminate include: citrus fruits, nightshade vegetables, wheat, rye, oats, gluten, soy, beans, nuts & seeds, dairy, butter, caffeine, sugar and most sauces and condiments. This list is quite extensive so you may do best with the help of a nutrition and health professional.
Week 3-6 involve slowly re-introducing one or two different foods back into the diet each week. It is really important that you monitor your symptoms by keeping a food diary so you can pin point the exact food that is causing symptoms. If you add in too many new foods at once, it is difficult to pinpoint specific food sensitivity. The slower you re-introduce foods, the more successful you will be.
Signs and symptoms of food sensitivity include fatigue, bloating, brain fog, digestive problems or skin breakouts and rashes. If you have any of these symptoms after a meal, it is likely you are intolerant or sensitive to a certain food.
The Elimination Diet is not easy. You need to be committed to the initial Elimination Phase to ensure you are only eating foods that you are not sensitive to. From there, it is important that you are strictly adding only 1-2 new foods in per week, and keeping a close eye on any symptoms following intake.
Some tips to help you:
1.Prepare: Shop for the right foods and look at some elimination diet friendly recipes.
2.Clean out your kitchen – get rid of any foods you shouldn’t eat so you aren’t tempted.
3.Keep a strict and thorough journal so you can pin point symptoms and foods easily.
If you are suffering with gut problems and sensitivities, the Elimination Diet may be a great way to help get things back under control!