My son is allergic to green peas and his reactions are life threatening. He is intolerant to a lot of other foods as well, and as we’ve found out, so am I.
We changed our family diet some years ago now, for the sake of us all. I used to cheat, but I also kept track of my diet, and after a while my wife noticed that when I ate certain foods I would become very depressed 2 days later. (Almost to the hour.) Unfortunately chocolate was the worst! She mentioned this bizarre discovery to our allergy specialist who said “Yes, food does cause mood swings!”
Food allergies and intolerances are very different things. Food allergies trigger the immune system, and the sufferer’s body reacts, for example with swelling or hives. Food intolerance is about thresholds. You can eat the foods that you’re intolerant to, but you’ll have a reaction if you go over your threshold. Food intolerance is very common; much more than people seem to realize.
The reactions can be amazing. In me the intolerance causes depression. My wife feels bloated and lethargic. The kids get aggressive and irritable. Other people report anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, obsessive compulsive behaviour and even social phobias. Migraines and stomach aches are also common.
So, avoid the colours, flavours and preservatives! Yes. But normal fresh foods also contain natural chemicals like salicylates, amines and glutamates. Many people eat these in abundance, and even on their own they can cause plenty of problems. The chocolate I eat may be free of colors, flavors and preservatives, but it is very high in natural amines which causes me plenty of grief.
If you eat problem foods every day, and take the symptoms of intolerance for granted, then you may be missing something that is key to your mental health. If this could be you, then it is really worth following it through.
Our family kept to a strict chemical-free diet for some years to remove the problem foods. A common way for an allergy specialist or dietician to test for the culprits is to prescribe a strict chemical free diet for a few weeks until symptoms disappear. They will then give a series of oral “challenge tests” to see which food chemicals and artificial additives are causing problems.
I once took aspirin as a challenge, and it won. Apparently aspirin is pure salicylate, and it sent me out of my tree.