Wouldn’t it be great if your body could always tell you what’s bugging it or what foods might harm it? Wouldn’t that make dieting and lifestyle significantly easier? Often enough, your body does exactly that. It does tell you what it wants or cannot stand, and all you have to do is pay attention to the signs.
Usually, the organism reacts within a few hours after a meal to ingredients that might’ve done some damage. Sometimes, however, it takes many weeks for a rather common but harmful food to cause symptoms, such as sugar. If you take these warning signs into consideration and avoid some foods, everything could get better. We consume rather harmful substances on a daily basis, but the body manages to render them harmless and excrete them easily.
However, if the incompatible food is consumed repeatedly and regularly over long time periods, this encourages the development of potentially chronic diseases. We’ve taken the liberty to comprise an extended list of what your body might set the alarms off. If you notice the following symptoms, you might want to take a closer look at your diet, instead of medication.
- You suffer from headaches
Headaches are sometimes the sign of dehydration. When did you last drink some fresh H2O? In case of a headache, drink a big glass of water and after half an hour have another one. Also, taste enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) can cause headaches. Of course, overdosing on caffeine also provokes headaches. HIT (histamine intolerance) also comes into consideration in headaches. In this case, you cannot tolerate fermented foods, such as red wine, kefir, etc.
- You often get some kind of respiratory disease or have a nasal tone
Or worse, experience constipation and severe headaches. Let go of dairy products for about a week to see if there’s any remarkable change, which means no milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, cheese, sour cream, cream, ice cream, etc. During this time, consume herbal drinks, such as rice or oat drink and almond milk, and for cooking, rice, almond or oat cream. There is also vegetable cheese if you do not want or cannot do without the cheese taste.
Dairy products – whether from cow, sheep or goat milk – can trigger the mucous membranes of a human body to react to the milk proteins in a defensive reaction, which manifests itself in increased mucus formation. It is, therefore, an intolerance to the proteins found in milk rather than lactose intolerance.
- You often get skin rashes or eczema
Slow down on the sugar. Sweets, snacks, fruit jam, chocolate, contain large amounts of isolated and highly concentrated sugars. It can alter your intestinal flora and lead to increased growth of fungi (Candida albicans). A typical fungal caused rash is made of around five medium sized red dots. Don’t ignore them even if they seem superficial, as they can grow and become especially painful on the inside of the arm, near the armpit, or on the abdomen and the groin. Some experts have concluded that cancer development is associated with a fungal load. For some children, eczema and skin rashes can also be the result of dairy products.
- You succumb to drowsiness and dizziness
You might want to consider taking the gluten out of your diet for a while. Gluten is a protein found in many cereals. Gluten from wheat is particularly common cause of intolerance. The symptoms of gluten intolerance (or gluten sensitivity) can vary from one person to another so don’t be surprised if later on you observe other oddities happening aside from the mentioned drowsiness.
- Occurrence of oedema (swelling) and hypertension
Do your hands and feet tend to swell? Are you medically considered overweight and perhaps also experience hypertension? Firstly, these symptoms can be due to a hormonal imbalance, for example, a thyroid gland disorder, an estrogen dominance, or the administration of cortisone-containing substances. However, if you are a salt-sensitive person, you might be consuming too much of it. Factory finished products such as the common store-bought bread often contain large quantities of salt. Particularly salty products are chips, ready-made soups, preservatives, all kinds of ready-to-serve meals, salad dressings, dips, snacks, etc.
If you do not drink enough water to counter this mineral content, your body then tries to store as much of the available water as possible to keep the excess of sodium in balance with your other necessary substances. Thus, swelling appears, and blood pressure increases.
Therefore, try to eat as little salt and sodium as possible when this happens. The sodium content is on the label of most finished products. A low-sodium diet contains no more than 2 grams of sodium from cooking salt, equivalent to 5 grams of cooking salt. A strictly low-sodium diet should contain only 0.4 grams of sodium (1 gram of cooking salt).
Drink mainly water, like still water. However, you should also pay attention to the sodium content. A low sodium water contains less than 20 mg sodium per liter. Drink about 30 ml per kilogram of body weight daily. So if you weigh 70 kilograms, you drink 2.1 liters of water daily, some of which you can also drink as herbal tea. Coffee, green or black tea or juices and smoothies, in this case, do not count to the amount of liquid.
An irritable bowel diagnosis can be quite depressing. An irritable bowel is, however, rarely irritated. Often behind this is food intolerance. Therefore, best run a nutritional diary. This is the only way to find out which foods you definitely cannot tolerate. For maximum efficiency, introduce a rotating system. So, for example, eat dairy products on day 1 and then again on day 4 and day 7, etc. Eat apples on day 2, day 5 and day 8, etc. Perhaps you have already suspected some foods that harm your stomach but take cautious note on everything you eat in a certain day.
Pay attention to sugar substitutes (sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, etc.)., as they can lead to diarrhea and flatulence. Also, fructose intolerance can cause chronic diarrhea.
- Constantly suffering from constipation
Chronic constipation is a popular affliction. Not infrequently, psychological reasons are an important cause. In most cases, however, the diet is behind it. One main cause is dairy products, the other is the low-fiber diet, the next is the excess of gluten and the fourth is that you drink too little water and move even less. You could solve most of these by just doing the opposite: once in a while go milk-free and reduce gluten consumption. Additionally, increase your vegetable, fruit and saline consumption. Instead of wheat, try pseudo-cereals (quinoa, buckwheat) or millet. Oats are also easy to tolerate.
Overall, increase your dietary fiber intake. Many people have difficulty excreting because they live on mostly white flour products. Take full grain products instead, but avoid the hard-to-digest pumpernickel. Buy whole meal bread at the organic bakery or the organic supermarket and maybe try baking it yourself. You can even freeze the bread for later, and it won’t taste bad, especially if you toast it. Toasting bread is a good idea if you have trouble digesting whole grains.
Supplements may come in handy as well so don’t shy away from coconut powder, baobab powder, konjac powder, linseed or flea seed husk powder. All these products should be taken with a lot of water, especially the psyllium husk powder and the linseed, so drink a large glass of water (240 – 300 ml) per teaspoon of previously mentioned powders.
- Stomach pain after a meal, a feeling of fullness or heartburn
Eat slowly and chew well every mouthful. The opposites of these alone can cause bloating and heartburn so take your time to savor the food, don’t just gobble it down. Especially if you have not eaten anything in a few hours, you should not devour the meal. Do not consume a large amount of water while you eat, as it makes your stomach expand and strain, causing only more discomfort. Take small sips after you’ve finished the food.
If you use bread, sausage, cheese and egg or large muesli portions early in the morning, you might be over your stomach’s capacity, as it shrunk during the night. Prepare a small breakfast or just pack up something to eat later in the office. Go for something light in the morning, such as fresh fruit, freshly squeezed juice or a smoothie. If you go for a second breakfast in the office, that can be full grain, so that it gives you long-term energy.
Keep in mind that it’s not wrong to skip breakfast altogether because some people can feel sleepy or less productive due to the slow morning digestion process.
When putting meals together, remember that some fruits are best consumed alone, but the fruit-cereals combo is considered to be extremely promising. This includes muesli, jam bread, cereal salad with fruit, chutneys.
Regarding heartburn only, cereal-based foods and milk products are a terrible combination. Think of muesli with milk, pizza, noodles with cheese, cheese bread, etc. Watch how you react to pasta with tomato sauce, and then what happens if you add cheese.
Hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Remember to trust your body as it will always tell you what it can take and what brings great discomfort to it.