Written by: Dr. Sarah Vadeboncoeur, sildenafil ND
An Elimination Diet typically involves removing the foods that most commonly trigger unpleasant reactions in the body such as digestive upset, website skin rashes, and fatigue. These foods include wheat and gluten, dairy products, eggs, soy, peanuts, corn, and sugar. The elimination phase typically lasts a few weeks to a few months and is followed by a reintroduction phase where foods are brought back into the diet slowly and one at a time to see how the body will react.
While it may seem daunting to remove these foods from your diet, there are 5 main reasons you may benefit from an elimination diet.
- Improve Your Digestion
Many of our patients complain of digestive upset such as gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea or irregular bowel movements. They often aren’t able to pinpoint which foods seems to be bothering them. An elimination diet is one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve your digestion by removing the most common offenders. It’s also a great way to see how different foods affect your digestion when you bring them back during the reintroduction phase. In my experience, dairy is the number one culprit that causes digestive upset.
- Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation has been linked to weight gain, joint pain, depression and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There are several factors that contribute to inflammation in the body with diet being one of the most important factors. The food we eat at every meal can either contribute to or help to reduce inflammation. During an elimination diet, you eliminate several inflammatory foods such as sugar, corn, gluten and occasionally the nightshade family of vegetables (tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers).
- Kick Your Cravings
Addicted to bread, sugar or chocolate? The best way to kick your cravings is to completely eliminate these foods (at least temporarily). The first week will be challenging but most people feel so good by week 2 that they’re encouraged to continue. Removing gluten, wheat and sugar from your diet helps to stabilize blood sugar levels which is key to kicking your cravings.
- Identify Food Sensitivities and Intolerances
Food sensitivities are increasingly common and can contribute to digestive upset, skin rashes, joint pain, fatigue and auto-immune diseases. An elimination diet is a great way to identify which foods you may be reacting to. Once you’ve completed several weeks of elimination, you’ll be working with a clean slate inside the body making it much easier to see the effects of each food being reintroduced.
- Clear Up Your Skin
The key to clear glowing skin starts inside the body in your digestive tract. Skin concerns such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne are usually caused by gut issues. Individuals with skin concerns often see significant improvement during an elimination diet and they are often able to identify which foods cause skin flare-ups.
Thinking of doing an elimination diet? Join Docere Clinic’s Whole 30 Challenge (a free 30-day elimination diet group challenge) or book an appointment with one of our Naturopathic Doctors for a personalized plan.