Each body loves, hates and needs other foods to feel great. If you ever experience headaches, flatulency, stomach cramps, joint pain, fatigue, bloating or brain fog (among many others), you are eating things your body can’t handle properly. It’s up to you to discover which ones.
I always thought these kind of symptoms are normal every now and then. You probably did, too. But they are not, not everyone feels like that. Those are your body’s signs to tell you that you ate something it can’t handle, in the form of inflammation.
The book The Inflammation Spectrum taught me that just like how different medications have different effects on different genetics, the same too applies to foods.
Doctors try to solve this with meds, influenced by the highly commercial pharmaceutical industry. But if you are more interested in healing your condition than in masking the symptoms with drugs, the solution is a via negativa.
The food pyramid we were all taught as kids was nothing more than corporate propaganda
— Pastor. Lucky GRIT (@GRITCULT) November 16, 2019
What causes inflammation in you is bio-individual, and what inflammation causes in you is also bio-individual. Inflammation is your body’s natural defense response and a product of your body’s immune system.
The author Will Cole sets out a wide range of symptoms of inflammation, divided into seven categories:
- Brain 🧠
- Brain fog
- Concentration problems
- Poor memory
- Overall feeling of unwellness
- Digestion 💩
- Stomach pain
- Detoxification 🥦
- Overall uncomfortable feeling
- Overall painful feeling
- Blood sugar 🩸
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hormones ❤️
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Weak nails
- Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Musculoskeletal 🦴
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Joint stiffness
- Immunity 🔥 (the more advanced stage)
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin conditions
The book starts with an extended quiz to find out what your inflammation spectrum is, following with eight groups of foods to abstain from to find out what causes your body’s immune response.
The food pyramid we were all taught was nothing more than corporate propaganda that can’t be applied in general. Grains and dairy are probably doing you more harm than good and toxic vegetable oils and sugar are everywhere.
Those four food groups are the main suspects provoking inflammation and the first ones to cut out to find your food sensitivities. And if your inflammation levels are more advanced there are four more groups to try.
The groups are:
- Grains 🥖
- Dairy 🥛
- Ice cream
- Sweeteners 🍭
- Table sugar
- Corn syrup
- Maple syrug
- Sugar alcohol
- Artificial sweetener
- Vegetable oils 🌽
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Safflower oil
- Linseed oil
- Legumes 🥜
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Nuts and seeds 🌰
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Flax seeds
- Eggs 🥚
- Whole eggs
- Egg whites
- Nightshades 🍅
- White potatoes
- Goji berries
Cut it out
After completing the test you have a quite complete view of your level of inflammation. Cole states that if you have a score higher than 15 you have an advanced level of inflammation in your body that can turn into more serious diseases (the last group) like celiac disease, irritated bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
Since I have completed the test, I’m suspecting most people to have a score higher than 15. Mine was 37, with outliers on musculoskeletal and digestion.
Cole advises to cut out all eight groups for eight weeks to heal all inflammation, and then add each group one by one again to discover what foods trigger what responses in your body.
Because I’m bulking right now (and I’m stubborn) this is not a convenient solution for me at the moment, so I decided to do it differently. I’m now cutting out one group at a time, for four weeks each.
I just abstained from eating grains for a month and will try dairy next, as I suspect those two groups the most. Afterwards I’ll try legumes and nuts. I already stopped eating sugars and vegetable oils since a while ago when I discovered how toxic they are, so there is no need to try them. Depending on how it goes after those four months I will maybe try eggs and nightshades, too.
Here is my findings log so you can decide if you want to give it a try:
- After cutting out for one month: Way less joint pain, which I experience very often since many years. At some days it was still there but definitely a big difference.
- After adding back in rice: Joint pain back within one day (knees, elbows, wrists).
- After adding back in sourdough bread: No effect.
- After adding back in pasta occasionally: Obvious increase in joint pain.
- After adding back in beer: Joint pain everywhere, bloating, digestion problems.
- Conclusion: Heavily reduce intake of grains overall. Cut out rice, flour and pasta. Sourdough bread is fine. Not more than one serving of grains a day. Eat more fruits for carbs intake. Drink wine instead of beer when I want to drink alcohol.
- After cutting out for one month: I wasn’t aware of any difference during the month, but;
- After adding back in greek yoghurt: Increase in stomach pain, belching and nausea.
- After adding back in cheese: Increase in stomach pain, belching and nausea.
- Conclusion: Heavily reduce intake of dairy overall. Occasionally eat yoghurt and cheese. Eat more meat, eggs and fish for protein intake.
- Cutting out for one month at the moment.