Of all the health challenges I work with in my practice, gluten intolerance, or more specifically, sensitivity to a wide variety of foods, is the biggie. But is it gluten intolerance or oxidative stress?
Yet despite all the information available today on nutrition during gluten Intolerance, avoidance of the major triggers such as sugar, gluten, dairy, and soy, while supporting gut microflora; folks still struggle with multiple issues.
And it’s not just the major inflammatory triggers anymore. These days it’s things we consider healthy such as lemons, spinach and avocados.
So what’s really going on?
Well, what’s labeled food sensitivity or intolerance is actually oxidative stress.
Now oxidative stress may seem like a complex term, but it’s really just the result of the body’s inability to detoxify the harmful effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are “free” because they are missing a critical molecule. Because this molecule is missing, they’ll do anything they can to pair with another molecule. In other words, it’s basically an all-out war of injuring cells and damaging DNA to get what they want. With DNA damaged, cells become mutated, and quickly grow and reproduce abnormally.
And it’s this very process, passed down generation after generation, that’s put us in such a terrible war these days with our health.
This is when we start to see things like chronic fatigue, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, autoimmune disorders, ADHD, heart disease, depression, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cognitive impairments are a result of oxidative stress and typically include problems with digesting food.
For years I thought I was meant to be a vegetarian because I really didn’t like meat, but it wasn’t the meat. It was the fact that I was overloaded in copper and didn’t make enough methyl to support my system enough to break it down properly. When the body can’t break things down, it can’t absorb the micro and macronutrients needed to be nourished and satisfied.
So, in order to prevent free radical damage, the body uses its defense system of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules that interact with free radicals to terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Key antioxidants and protective nutrients include glutathione, cysteine, zinc, selenium, catalase, metallothionein, and vitamins C and E.
I liken it to Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that a strong defense was the best guarantee of peace. Antioxidants are how we build up the body to make it strong and healthy, just like Roosevelt built up the Navy and sent it around the world.
And the really cool part is that when oxidative stress is diminished, the body is allowed to thrive and thus enjoy a wider variety of healthy foods.
If you know of someone who struggles with digestive challenges, please share this post. It is through sharing our stories that we create community, eliminate guilt and shame, and bring about healing.