Several weeks ago we wrote a post on how Food Is Medicine. We discussed how the foods you eat can either be the safest and most powerful medicine or the slowest form of poison. So now it’s time to talk about those ‘toxic’ foods. It may sound extreme to use the terms ‘poison’ or ‘toxic’ but over time these foods can have detrimental effects on our overall health and well-being. Moderation is key if not elimination.
Are you suffering from hormonal imbalances, weight-loss resistance, leaky gut, or mood imbalances? If any of these issues sound familiar, listen up and learn how you can reset your body to get back on track to becoming the healthy, happy person you once were.
There are SEVEN common foods that most of us who are suffering from the conditions listed above are sensitive to or simply cannot tolerate. And, it’s very likely that you’re consuming these toxic foods on a regular basis which is ultimately the root cause of your health problems.
So here they are…
Gluten has been identified as the root cause of many health issues and allergies including digestive problems, hormone imbalances, autoimmune diseases, etc. There are many people whose body simply cannot tolerate gluten or even worse, they have Celiac’s Disease. Are you feeling constant fatigue, brain fog or tiredness after meals? If so, keep reading.
Dairy contains lactose, a sugar present in milk and other milk-based products. After the age of two our body stops producing the enzyme that is required to break down and properly digest dairy. For that reason, about 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Many studies show that dairy should be avoided all together as it severely disrupts the bodies pH balance.
Ever heard of GMOs? Well, sadly 90-95% of the soybeans grown in the U.S are GM (genetically modified). Genetically modified foods are having a tremendous effect on the world’s population. More and more people are developing allergies or autoimmune diseases that have been linked to GMOs.
Soy can cause infertility and hormonal imbalances in women by throwing off the natural estrogen balance of the body. For men, soy has been known to cause erectile dysfunction, decrease of facial hair production and a decreased libido. This sounds extreme but our job is to educate. Soy is everywhere so read your product labels and remember that moderation is key.
Table salt is highly processed and loaded with chemicals that lack essential trace minerals that our bodies need to survive. In fact, refined table salt is a processed form of sodium that isn’t even recognized by our bodies. It’s highly toxic and should be eliminated altogether including foods that are high in sodium. However, our bodies run on salt so it’s imperative to get the ‘good salts’ in our body. Below are healthy swaps for that nasty table salt!
Refined sugar is one of the worst and most toxic ingredients in the Western diet and yet we’re drawn to it. Why? Because it’s highly addictive. It can have harmful effects on our metabolism and can cause serious health conditions and diseases.
Candida, the major culprit for leaky gut, feeds off sugar. Sugars from alcohol can also negatively affect your immune system and increase the permeability of your gut. As far as artificial sweeteners go, aspartame can weaken your immune system and sucralose and significantly increases your risk of cancer.
Caffeine can impair your immune system. It can also weaken your adrenal glands which produce hormones that help the body burn protein and fat, react to stressors like injury and illnesses, regulate blood pressure and control blood sugar. It’s a hard one to give up, we all love our caffeine. And why, because it too has highly addictive properties but give it a try, at least temporarily to see what’s causing you problems.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to accidents, dependency and can have major consequences on our health. Excessive alcohol abuse can damage organs, weaken the immune system, and contribute to cancers. Additionally, alcohol affects different people differently. Genes, environment, and even diet can play a role in whether you develop an alcohol-related disease. On the other hand, some people actually may benefit from drinking alcohol in small quantities. The key is moderation when choosing what is healthy for you.
Taking The Next Step: Elimination
So now that you know more about these toxic trigger foods, here’s how to properly eliminate them from your diet to determine which could be the root cause of your health problem(s).
- Eliminate and avoid all toxic foods and their byproducts for two weeks. For some, extending the elimination phase to a month may be needed depending on how severe the ailment may be.
- Incorporate leafy, green, nutrient dense foods and superfoods into your diet during this time. It’s best to eat these foods raw, steamed or lightly sautéed to ensure their healing properties are being activated.
- DRINK MORE WATER! Seriously. Staying properly hydrated is extremely important, especially when flushing out toxins.
- Follow a consistent sleep schedule. For some, the concept of eliminating caffeine from your diet for two weeks may seem like suicide, but with effort to set and follow a consistent sleep schedule, your body has more energy and creates a pattern as to when it needs to work and when it needs to rest.
- Stay active. Even just 20 minutes of exercise a day can make you feel like a new person. Plus, it helps you fall asleep easier at night and lets you wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
After you’ve eliminated these foods for 2-4 weeks, you’re free to introduce them back into your diet, one-by-one. Only introduce ONE every four days. Yes, it will take time to reintroduce them all but you need to take the time to watch for signs. Take note of your mood, energy, digestion and skin during these days. Pay extra close attention to how each food affects them and how they make you feel to ideally pin point what toxin should be avoided in your diet or consumed in moderation.
Tips for REPLACING Toxic Foods
–Try almond or coconut flour since they’re gluten free, minimally processed and work well for baking and cooking.
-Dairy can be easily swapped out for any plant-based milk such as coconut, almond or cashew just to name a few. It’s also pretty easy to make your own plant-based milks. See our recent post – A Guide To Plant-Based Milks
-You can swap refined sugars for raw honey, organic maple syrup, liquid stevia or fruit.
-Use sea salt or pink Himalayan salt instead of ionized table salt (like Morton’s). Table salt is no bueno!
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