Use Your Freedom of Choice: The foods you put in your mouth can have a big impact on your health. Choose wisely, says Dr. Alan Christianson
Jun 28, 2013 07:18PM
● By Alan Christianson, NMD
We now have the unprecedented situation of putting real thought into everything we eat, and it is the most important health-related decision we can make. Many aspects of a healthy diet apply to anyone. Don’t eat too many calories. Eat enough protein and fiber. Have lots of veggies every day.
However, some of the most critical food decisions apply to some individuals in unique ways. Nearly all the health crises we try to avoid are caused by inflammation. This list includes obesity, diabetes, aging skin and chronic pain, cancer and early death. Controlled by our immune system, the levels of inflammation are constantly being raised or lowered.
Along with nutrients, food contains information for our immune system that can help it or stress it. Food allergies and food intolerances are situations when food stresses our immunity. These reactions are important to know about and avoid, as well as identifying which foods are most helpful to our immunity.
You have a unique menu of vegetables, protein foods and fruits that will help your immune system lower inflammation. If you have good digestion, this list might also extend to dairy foods, nuts and seeds, grains and legumes.
There are two ways to find what foods are best for the system—elimination/reintroduction and testing. Elimination/reintroduction involves limiting the diet to foods that are generally good for immune function for most people, and then gradually testing other foods. In a common protocol, only lamb, rice, apples and greens are eaten for 10 days. Then, other foods are added in one at a time, with each new food given five days to watch for new symptoms. This process can work well, but does take some time and patience.
Tests are available to quickly see which foods fit the best with each body. The best tests measure the immune response in two different ways, IgE and IgG4. Not all methods of testing are equally accurate. Doctors can easily evaluate them by using split samples. When these are done, the same person’s blood is tested multiple times.
Some people with poor digestion have only a short list of safe foods. Doctors that are skilled in food compatibility can help heal digestion so more foods are compatible. To feel great and look great, take into account all the good advice about which foods are best, and then learn which foods are best suited to the body.
Alan Christianson, NMD, focuses on optimal diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease. For more information, visit MyIntegrativeHealth.com.