Food allergies plague many of us in the Elana's Pantry community and can be at the root of various health issues. Sometimes we're concerned that the foods we eat in our clean diets may be a problem. That leads to a question that readers ask me fairly often, which is “am I allergic to almond flour and coconut flour?”
I've dealt with my fair share of food allergies and gained incredible knowledge on my journey back to health. As I've unlocked solutions to my own health puzzles I've become more agile at analyzing health challenges overall. Now that I'm well enough I love helping you find solutions to your health puzzles.
Let's dive into the specifics of this question so we can unlock solutions and identify ways to move ahead:
Thank you for so much great information and recipes! Do you know of any reason that a person cannot tolerate even gluten-free Paleo flours? I don’t get sick, but I DO bloat up for almost 3 days almost like the grains or flours are causing me to retain water….. I usually eat Paleo and occasionally like to bake with almond flour and some coconut flour, etc. I don’t even do well with those. No one has been able to answer my question including my allergist/immunologist. Thank you!
The question, “Am I Allergic to Almond Flour and Coconut Flour?” may seem simple enough, but it has several components. The first step in moving forward is peeling back each layer of the issue so that we can simplify the question. That's what I've done repeatedly on my journey back to health.
Back in 1998, when I went gluten-free, I knew that the traditional high-carb gluten-free diet would not help me heal. Shortly after that, I went on a grain-free diet, now referred to as the Paleo Diet, eliminating all grains because of inflammatory properties that can cause symptoms for weeks, if not months.
Like my own experience, it could be that this reader's bloating response is simply to grain-filled flours that are very taxing on the digestive system even when totally gluten-free. Following a Paleo Diet means eliminating typical gluten-free flours such as corn, rice, and potatoes. This reader mentions that they eat some paleo flours and some grain-based flours, which would refer to the traditional gluten-free flours I mention above and that could be a big part of the problem.
This reader also mentions that they may be allergic to baked goods with paleo flours like coconut flour and almond flour. It could be that they are reacting to the flours themselves, or possibly other ingredients such as the sweeteners that are often used along with these flours. That could indicate candida or a number of other maladies.
Lately, I've heard from many readers who are allergic to coconut and coconut-based products. They cannot eat coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut butter, or coconut milk. Often, when we eat a food repeatedly, day-after-day, we can build up an intolerance to it. That's why I don't eat the same foods each day and keep my diet fresh with variety.
I've found that the best way to identify food allergies is to do an elimination diet. This means eliminating all potential allergens and sticking to simple foods including unprocessed meats and green vegetables for 4-8 weeks until symptoms clear up. The next step is to add in suspicious foods one-by-one every 3 days to see if you have a reaction. That's the way I've done the elimination diet, different practitioners may implement it with variations on this basic theme.
Have you seen my article, The Green House That Almost Killed Me? Sometimes we may have strange symptoms that seem to be one thing and end up another. Certain foods may trigger food allergies and exposure to toxins may exacerbate existing health issues as well.
We know it's important to eat organic and avoid pesticides. It's equally critical to be mindful of what we put on our bodies. Since our skin is our largest organ, we can be thoughtful about what we're feeding it too. I have superlative guides to my favorite Safer Sunscreens, the best Non-Toxic Makeup, and my top Safer Skincare picks to keep you healthy inside and out! Remember, to think out of the box and challenge conventional wisdom when it comes to your health.
What are your favorite health hacks? Leave a comment and let me know!