When an individual has an intolerance, even the healthiest food can be toxic. Histamine and gluten intolerances, lactose and fructose intolerance—countless foods can cause intolerances and allergies. While an intolerance for a particular food can cause discomfort in the gut like bloating, a feeling of fullness, or acid reflux (heartburn), an allergic reaction is far more dangerous. A food allergy can cause swelling of the mucous membranes of the mouth, itching, vomiting, or diarrhea; it can even lead to skin eczema, joint problems, or asthma, and in the worst cases, death.
A physician can diagnose food intolerances and allergies. It will be very helpful for your doctor if you pay attention to when digestive discomfort occurs, and what you’ve eaten and had to drink shortly beforehand. Keep a “food diary” and write down what you’ve noticed, and you’ll soon be successful in rooting out the culprit.
Once you know which food bothers you, the only thing that will help is abstinence, or avoiding that particular food. Unfortunately, there’s almost no food that doesn’t provoke an allergy or intolerance, and one can become intolerant and/or allergic to different foods over time.
The best defense against developing intolerances is a balanced diet. Vary your daily menu widely; don’t eat meat every day, but don’t eat tofu daily either. There’s a trick that will give you a noticeable health boost: avoid cow’s milk to the extent possible, as well as sugar and wheat (for more on this, check out the Wheat Belly books by William Davis, MD). Vary the kind of grains that you eat: eat pasta instead of rice, then switch to potatoes. Alternate the kind of oils that you use, and try out several plant oils: olive oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, canola oil, nut oils. Don’t be afraid of fats; because of their omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, plant oils are very good and healthy sources of energy. Take advantage of them!
The possibilities for your three meals a day are endless. Experimenting, discovering, and integrating them into your menus can bring you energy and enjoyment. Eat curiously!