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    Elimination Diet Explained (Benefits, How It Works & Why You Should Do It!)

    By Holly / April 27, 2017

    Elimination diet is a short-term solution to find out exactly which foods are triggering certain health issues, such as allergy, bloating, diarrhea, acne, and constipation. This eating plan works by eliminating foods that may be causing these symptoms, and then reintroduce them one at a time to see which can be tolerated by the body. Millions of people worldwide suffer from food intolerance, including children, and it helps to know what is causing the symptoms.

    Why not get a food allergy test?

    The whole diet plan usually lasts for three to four weeks before certain foods are gradually reintroduced to monitor for symptoms. An allergy test is one of the quickest ways to know which foods cannot be tolerated by the body. However, such test is often expensive and some allergies are undetected.

    This diet program varies depending on your age and the symptoms present. The progress for children is usually seen in seven to ten days, while most adults will require nearly a month. The calorie intake, macronutrient ratios, and the like are not important during this period. Increased water intake, however, is highly recommended, up to four liters a day.

    Food intolerance: the possible consequences

    Food sensitivities can contribute to several health conditions, either directly or indirectly. There is a growing number of evidence showing that food sensitivities can harm the body systems and trigger numerous symptoms. In fact, they have been linked to health issues, such as:

    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Allergies
    • Asthma
    • Skin irritation
    • Arthritis
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Mood disorders
    • Neurodegenerative diseases
    • ADHD or ADD
    • Addiction
    • Narcolepsy
    • Kidney problems
    • Migraines

    5 Healthy Benefits of the Elimination Diet

    1. Lets you discover unknown allergies

     Most people experience digestive issues, even when on a healthy diet. All it takes is one or two food allergens to trigger the symptoms. Many patients have zero idea on what caused the allergic reactions, which is why certain treatments will not work. Once determined, the symptoms will go away when the allergens have been taken out.

    2. Helps fight Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    A lot of patients suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Elimination diet allows you to see significant improvements in your digestive system once the allergens have been removed. There have also been previous studies about patients experiencing increased levels of good bacteria in their gut flora months after the diet plan.

    3. Relieves skin irritations

    Experts agree that skin irritations, including acne and eczema, are linked to unknown food allergies. Tomatoes, nuts, eggs, milk, and grains were the most common allergens. Many patients see improvements in their skin after eliminating the allergens from their diet.

    4. Helps treat Leaky Gut Syndrome

    Leaky Gut Syndrome contributes to autoimmune diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Chron’s. The development of this condition can also trigger malabsorption of essential vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. Researchers have found that leaky gut, while usually caused by gluten intolerance, may also be triggered by food sensitivities.

    5. Fights migraines

    Elimination diet is an inexpensive strategy for patients suffering from frequent migraines. Studies have found that this diet plan can help reduce the number of migraine attacks in patients. Once the allergens have been identified and removed, the duration of the attacks, as well as the level of pain will be reduced.

    Foods to eliminate

    The diet plan begins by eliminating the most common allergens, like:

    • Gluten
    • Soy
    • Dairy
    • Added or refined sugar
    • Corn
    • Peanuts
    • Eggs
    • Alcohol
    • Processed foods

    It is believed that the antibodies, which are proteins produced by the immune system to combat diseases, take around three to four weeks to dissipate. It is normally the amount of time needed for the body to fully recover from the food sensitivities and see improvements in the symptoms.

    How to do the elimination diet

    Here are the steps that you must follow to ensure an effective elimination diet plan:

    • Stop consuming all common allergens, as listed above for three to four weeks
    • Carefully read the nutrition facts on food labels to make sure you do not consume the allergens
    • Log your consumption using a food journal and record how you are feeling
    • Reintroduce one food at a time after three weeks, and document your observations
    • If the symptoms return after reintroduction of suspected allergens, then you can confirm that they trigger your food sensitivities.

    This is a trial-and-error process, so you have to be honest as you document your observations. During the diet period, 40 percent of your plate should contain fresh vegetables, 30 percent protein, and 20 percent healthy fat. The remaining percentage goes to whole food fruits and carbohydrates. If you find this diet plan inconvenient due to the number of foods you have to give up temporarily, think about its long term impact on your over health and well-being.

    More Resources:

    An Overview Of The Elimination Diet- GutHealthProject.com

    Should You Do An Elimination Diet? – DrAxe.com

    Also read: How to Lose 15 Pounds in a Week 



    About the author

      Holly

      Thank you for reading my article! I am Holly Nunan, a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I'm an Exercise Physiologist with a passion for exercise, fitness, raising healthy children and natural and alternative remedies. I have a simple mission to help each reader that comes to our website to take away one new piece of healthy information that they can immediately apply to their life. If I've helped you find that today, it's mission accomplished!