About Blaine

Do you know the difference between a food allergy and poor digestion?

By Published On: July 21st, 2022Categories: PlantsComments Off on Do you know the difference between a food allergy and poor digestion?

When I was a pre-teen, I’d go to aerobics with my mother. It was the time of adult women wearing leotards and leg warmers and headbands, you know, that whole scene.


I’d be the only kid in the room full of ladies. As soon as I arrived, I’d position myself as far away from my mother as possible, somewhere near the back row, do all the moves and I loved it!

I adored the teachers and decided I’d become one (which I did when I finally arrived at 18 years old).

Every week, I couldn’t wait to get to class. I craved how I’d drop out of my head and into my body while I danced around to music in time with everyone else and sweated. I was also fascinated by all the different shapes of bodies in the room and how some were very coordinated and some were not. The room was full of tall ladies and petite ones, big thighs and skinny legs, muscular calves and seemingly no calves. Some women moved jerkily (such as my mom) and some gracefully.

As much as I enjoyed moving my own body, I was also absorbed in studying how completely different mine was from everyone else and that no two bodies were alike.

This was the beginning of my study of physiology, wellness and nutrition, but it was also the onset of my realization that no two people are the same.

We’re very similar but not exactly the same.

This applies to everything: from our thumbprint, to our energy, to our gut.

Which leads me to food intolerances (or digestive problems) which can generally be healed.

I see a lot of confusion between a food allergy and a digestive problem. Often people with a digestive issue remove a certain food from their diet and “feel better” because they’re masking the root cause.

Women will do this many times because it seems to be working. They’ll remove hard to digest foods over and over again and what eventually happens is they weaken their gut.

When you eat you aren’t just feeding yourself, you’re feeding billions of gut bacteria too, and your dietary choices impact which bacteria do well and which die off.

So let’s be clear about the difference:

A food allergy is an immune system response. It’s caused when the body mistakes an ingredient in food as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it.

A food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest, or break down, the food.

So while there are real food allergies, they are more like an exception and, in today’s society, what many are doing is covering the symptoms of poor digestion – and poor digestion can be healed.

For hundreds of reasons: from cancer prevention, to maintaining a healthy weight, to longevity, we are supposed to be able to digest hard things (e.g., wheat, beans, nuts, seeds).

Even if we can’t now, little by little, we can train our gut to do it.

It’s like grandma said – eat your fiber!

We’re all the same but different too. From our grapevine (aerobics move), to the shape of our shoulders, to our voice, to our gut, to how we like to eat our greens.

And…we can all get a little more healthy!  

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