We love our food and find it so disappointing when certain foods don’t suit us. Let’s take a look at some of the top offenders which if removed from your diet may help you feel a different person. To keep my brain sharp and energy firing as a busy working mum and freelance digital copywriter I need to watch which foods I eat.
Sugar satisfies craving centres in your brain, but it also increases your blood pressure and heart rate and provides an energy surge that often translates into irritability and mood swings.
Mood Swings And Irritability
Insulin levels rise to stabilise and control blood sugar levels. As a result, your blood sugar begins to drop, and you feel irritable, angry, and easily provoked. You may then start to feel drowsy, tired, perhaps slightly head-achy, or with pressure in your sinuses.
Aching Muscles And Joints
Sugar is a pro-inflammatory food meaning that you will most probably feel the effects of sugar in your muscles and joints.
After an hour or two of eating sugar, your blood sugar drops low enough to cause your body to release cortisol your stress hormone to help stabilise your blood sugar and maintain a balanced environment. You may feel panicky, anxious, and unsettled.
The fructose content of sugar does not turn off your hunger hormone, ghrelin, making you eat more. Too much sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, may lead to a fatty liver. Along with worldwide obesity, fatty liver is a growing problem.
Sugar causes insulin resistance, which can lead to metabolic syndrome, a significant cause of heart and vascular disease, as well as diabetes, a significant cause of health problems that destroy the quality of your life. Sugar is highly addictive and may also feed cancer cells and raises your cholesterol.
People with inflammatory conditions may be sensitive to the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers). Cooking the nightshades lowers the alkaloid content but may still cause inflammation, joint pain, and an upset stomach. It might be worth trialling removing these foods from your diet and see if you notice any change of symptoms.
Many believe soy to be healthy, but I’m not a fan. Soy may interfere with the absorption of essential minerals like selenium. Your body needs selenium to convert your primary thyroid hormone, T4, to its active form, T3. Most soy is mass-produced, genetically modified, or GMO and roundup-ready. Soy may also block an essential enzyme pathway of three essential amino acids; phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, the happiness and feel-good neurotransmitter.
Lectins and phytates are anti-nutrients found in gluten-containing grains, corn, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, and potatoes.
Lectins are resistant to digestion, even to stomach acid, which allows them to enter our bloodstream unchanged. Lectins then bind to cells lining your intestines, disrupting the tight junctions between the intestinal cells and creating tiny holes that allow food particles to pass through, disrupting your gut flora which leads to inflammation and eventually causes insulin and leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that tells you when you're full, so you can stop eating.
Pain And Your Joints
Once absorbed, lectins combine to tissues, including the thyroid and pancreas, and collagen in your joints. Lectins then attract white blood cells to these tissues, potentially leading to an autoimmune response, such as autoimmune thyroiditis, otherwise known as Hashimoto's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Lectin-containing foods may be at the root of chronic pain syndromes.
Lectins block insulin receptors, so they can't receive the signal from your very own hormone insulin. It creates insulin resistance, which causes your blood sugar to rise as your body requires more insulin to keep blood sugar levels even, and leads to weight gain, obesity, and eventually diabetes. Lectins also stimulate the release of histamine in your stomach, causing too much stomach acid.
Phytates are another anti-nutrient found in all gluten-containing grains and the outer coating of seeds, and nuts, which interfere with absorption of essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc. Try sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds instead.
Although packed with essential nutrients milk isn't always healthy for your body. Milk contains two primary proteins, casein and whey. Raw milk also comes packaged with enzymes that are designed to facilitate the digestion and absorption of these proteins for the baby calf. Homogenised, pasteurised milk is devoid of the enzymes that help baby cows digest and utilise these proteins. For many people, whey and casein are hard to digest and can lead to food sensitivities.
Many of our society today is deficient in lactase which is the enzyme which breaks down lactose the sugar found in milk. Undigested lactose causes among other things diarrhoea, gas, and bloating.
Gluten is made up of two proteins; glutenins and gliadins. Glutenin is the major protein in wheat. When people are sensitive to gluten, they may be reacting to one of these proteins, or to one of their breakdown subunits which leads to inflammation.
If you are removing any foods from your diet ensure you replace them with other nutritious foods to prevent nutrition deficiencies. Always consult your healthcare professional.