“Food is fuel.” On the surface, that’s a statement everyone can get behind. Food does fuel our workouts and our daily lives.
But for some people, certain foods may drag them down rather than pump them up. In cases of food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities, they may provoke unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, severe diarrhea, constipation, unexplained changes in weight, or nutritional deficiencies, says registered dietitian Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., C.P.T., founder of The Wellness Whisk. And sometimes, they may also cause non-GI woes such as headaches, migraines, skin rashes, acne, joint pains, mood changes, low energy levels, runny noses, hives, and itchy eyes, says registered dietitian Kerry Clifford, M.S., R.D., L.D.N, with Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.
“Everybody’s body responds to foods differently,” Clifford says. “Sometimes, our body doesn’t necessarily love every food we eat, or our immune system might recognize something as a ‘foreign invader. While it’s possible to have a food allergy, insensitivity, or intolerance to any given food, the most common culprits include alcohol, coffee, corn, dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat. (Yes, even incredibly healthy foods can cause issues for some people!)
How can people who are suffering from these and other symptoms find out if the culprit is the food they eat? One common strategy is to perform an elimination diet. All about identifying the foods your body does and does not like, elimination diets allow women to make…