The Exponential Harm of Inflammatory and Chemical Laden Foods

Many foods eaten during the holidays such as sugar, gluten, dairy and food dyes Holiday eating for children with autismwill cause exponential harm to your child’s health and behavior. These foods bring common food allergies, inflammation, as well as physical and emotional instability. They are not good for anyone, but children on the autism spectrum and with ADD are particularly sensitive to these chemicals.  Their detoxification systems are not as capable as others to handle them. Their brain cells are particularly vulnerable also.

Symptoms to look for in histamine reactions

Symptoms from histamine triggers are both physical and behavioral. They can vary from itching, hives, rashes, sleep problems, anxiety, extreme mood changes, seizures, digestive issues and diarrhea to increased stimming and more.

By reducing stomach acid histamines contribute to further issues with digestion working against your efforts to heal the gut, and is a common reason for GERD or acid back up. Too much histamine released causes histamine intolerance which causes mast cell activation. When this happens our protective mechanisms are broken down and we become hypersensitive to things we ingest or that are in our environment.

Food Additives

Beware of added food coloring such as sprinkles on top of gluten-free cookies, or coloring added to the dough. Many gravies have gluten in them, as well as monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is toxic to the brain and causes aggressive behavior. Do not underestimate the potential effects of these foods, including decreased immunity to colds and flu, and increased candida growth contributing to aggressive behavior, excessive fears or a  decreased ability to focus or cope with external stimuli. It is vital to protect your child’s brain from any further harm during the holidays.

Food Coloring

Food coloring agents are known to cause hyperactivity, asthma, anger, and other behavioral issues. Be sure to avoid them as best you can.

Helpful tips:

  • Eat low histamine foods such as organic poultry, grass fed beef, line caught fish, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Take liver support to assist detoxification.
  • Eat sweets with some nuts or other protein source to slow down the effects of blood glucose or insulin release. Chocolate with almonds is far better than chocolate alone. Dark chocolate is best because it has more antioxidants and a higher fiber content than milk chocolate.
  • Choose candy that does not contain food coloring.
  • Eat your sweets within an hour and be done with it. This is better on your system than dragging it out over several hours.
  • Remove gluten and dairy, plus the top inflammatory foods from the diet and be sure of the ingredients before he eats it.
  • Sugar is better than high fructose corn syrup.
  • Avoid the artificial sweetener aspartame. It kills the good bacteria in your gut creating as much as three times the obesity of regularly sugared drinks and foods.
  • If candy of any kind is tolerable, let your child choose a couple of his favorite pieces of candy on a holiday and limit his intake.
  • Take vitamin D3, especially in the colder months of the year to assist with fighting flu and viruses.

When candida or yeast increases in the system due to leaky gut, increased stress or poor diet choices, you will notice a change in behavior. By increasing your child’s probiotic intake, starting with one per day, you can help to bring good bacteria into his gut and crowd out the bad.  Any increase in probiotics must be done very slowly over several days. It won’t cause harm, but die off of the bad bacteria may be too rapid for the liver to keep up with and the toxins will create worse behavior. It’s a fine line but one that is easy enough to walk if you are careful. It is very important to use a quality probiotic but be sure to start slowly with just a half to allow their body to adjust.

Healthier cooking with sweets

Healthier substitutions are monkfruit or stevia instead of sugar. Never use the sugar substitute aspartame, as it excites brain cells and destroys them to death. If needed, naturally colored sprinkles can be found at many health food stores or you can use white sprinkles which do not contain food dyes. Gluten free flour such as coconut flour is a great flour substitute. Organic coconut flour is also found in most health food stores and online.

For some healthier cooking options and an already-made-for-you healthier keto cookie, plus a discount code to purchase them, please see, Naturally Keto-licious Cookies For Healthy Holiday Or Anytime Treats [Podcast Episode 105].

Coconut flour is tasty, nutritious and lower in carbohydrates. It is one of my personal favorites. There are many gluten free websites for recipes using coconut flour. The book, Cooking With Coconut Flour, by Bruce Fife, has a fabulous recipe for pumpkin bread made with coconut flour:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup monkfruit
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 cup pecans 

Blend pumpkin, eggs, oil sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, mace, and salt. combine coconut flour with baking powder and mix thoroughly into batter. Fold in nuts. Pour into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 C) for 60 minutes.

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Happy Holidays!

Karen Thomas

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