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Do you really know which foods are aggravating your gut?

As a Homeopath, I always stress the importance of a healthy diet to achieve optimum wellness.  If you are having digestive issues or certain foods seem to be aggravating your gut, I usually recommend a FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST to identify foods that you have a reaction to.     

Since I was recommending the FST to so many people, I thought I had better set an example and have one done, myself.     The results blew me away!   I really thought I had a good idea of which foods I should avoid but I had a lot to learn.

I had thought that dairy might be a problem but I learned that at worst, I am borderline for sheep and cow milk, casein (slow digesting dairy protein found in cows milk, cream, cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream).

Now, while I am thrilled that I can now eat as much fish and seafood as I like without penalty, there are some foods that I love that I need to avoid.  These are:  mushrooms, coconut, and cashews.  Gee!  I just started baking with coconut flour to lower carbs and I use coconut oil to cook with.  I have a fantastic recipe for “healthy” bars that use coconut flour, coconut oil, rolled oats.  I need to rethink this. 

The biggest shock to me was what the real problem is.  As a Classical Homeopath, I always like to get to the root cause of the problem so we can fix it at the source.   A red flag for me are:  soy, corn, barley, malt, oat, pea, and sunflower seed.   If you go into your pantry and read the labels on your canned and packaged products you will likely see that some of these ingredients are additives.  I was totally shocked when I looked at my dried spices and they even contained additives like mustard and soy.  I learned that mustard is made from white vinegar which is made from corn or barley!

Amaranth is a gluten free grain.   Beware gluten free products!   You may be avoiding gluten but what you are getting to replace it may be irritating your gut. 

I thought I was getting better at eating more salads.  I like to make mine with a mixture of greens, shredded carrots and cabbage, sliced cucumber, blueberries and strawberries.  I found a fantastic salad topper that contains pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cranberries, and other goodies.  I would top it all off with organic balsamic vinegrette dressing.  Sounds healthy….right?

It might be healthy for some, but for me, the cranberries are a red flag as well as the sunflower seeds.  The topper also contains soy which aggravates me.   The vinegrette dressing contains white vinegar which is made from corn or barley.    Who knew!  I will need to go back to my homemade salad dressings so I can control the contents.

Cornstarch is used as a thickener in many foods and it is a red flag for me.  Obviously, it is made from corn.  Since wheat is not a problem for me, I will need to use plain flour to thicken sauces going forward.  You would be totally amazed at just how many products you find cornstarch in.

So the big take away for me in all of this is to read the labels on food more diligently.  There are many hidden ingredients in foods that we should take note of.  Now that I am aware of my red flags, I can make better choices.   No, I am not going to eliminate all of my red flag foods…but I will regulate the amounts I consume and I will definitely look for better substitutes.  As with Homeopathy, one size does not fit all.  You are an individual and what is good for you may not be good for someone else.  Just ensure that when you are trying to avoid certain foods you do not compensate or substitute with something that is worse for you!

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