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List of Reactive Foods

By EmpowHER
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The immune system’s response to an inflammatory diet diverts the body’s energy from healing and repair and allows whatever is latent in our genetic makeup to “kick up” whatever is chronic (arthritis, migraines, depression) to worsen.

Chronic inflammation exacerbates and hastens the aging process because it floods tissues with free radicals and promotes the destruction of normal cells. Chronic low grade inflammation contributes to the aging process, and research shows that is a major contributor to the aging of the cardiovascular and nervous system. Inflammation is now recognized as one of the key risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke and cognitive and neurological disorders. While the list seems extensive most people are only reactive to 3-4 items.

Below is a list, based on my research, of many foods eaten on a daily basis and their potential of reactivity:
Reactive foods
90- 95% Reactive
• Farm raised fish
• Deli meats
• Most sushi – most sushi restaurants will use farm raised fish unless eating in expensive restaurants
85% Reactive
• Shrimp, most shellfish
• Turkey
• Tomato sauce
• Eggplant
• Oatmeal
• Greek yoghurt
• Beans- especially black beans and cannellini
• Cauliflower
• Cabbage
• Whole eggs
• Non-organic spinach- very high pesticide residue
• Cottage cheese
• Grapefruit- not recommended bcs of impairing liver function
• Tofu
• Salmon
• Oranges
70% Reactive
• Yogurt
• Green beans
• Asparagus
• Bok Choy
• Tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, potatoes (purple potatoes are less reactive)
• Pork
60% Reactive
• Red peppers (green peppers are unripe peppers)
• Mushrooms
• Tuna, Swordfish, Cod
• Edamame
• Acid fruits (pineapples etc)
50% Reactive
• Veal
• Milk
• Tempeh
• White fish with exception of tuna, swordfish and cod
• Couscous
• Rice (except for brown or basmati lowers reactive rate to 10%)
• Almond milk
• Quinoa
30% Reactive
• Egg whites
• Nut butters made with roasted nuts
• Sesame seeds/Tahini
• Lentils, peas
• Bananas
20% Reactive
• Lactose-free milk
• Scallops
• Steak
• Lamb- if you have steak sensitivity you will have lamb sensitivity
• Roasted nuts- if you have chronic illness, auto-immune disease, or depression this bumps up to 75%
• Snow peas
10% Reactive
• Pit fruits- will include avocados
• Apples
• Garlic
• Cow’s cheese
• Chickpeas
• Raw onions
• Artichoke
• Shiitakis (may be higher with yeast infections)
• Chard- will be MUCH higher if you have thyroid issues- sensitivity to oxalic acid
• Spinach-organic – will be MUCH higher if you have thyroid issues and should not be eaten raw
• Strawberries
5% or less reactive
• Chicken
• Goat or sheep’s cheese (higher if African American or Asian)
• Pears
• Berries (except strawberries)
• Bread
• Broccoli
• Carrots
• Kale
• Zucchini, winter squash
• Beets
• Mixed greens, Collards
• Arugula- will be MUCH higher if you have thyroid issues
• Radicchio

Reprinted with permission from Lyn-Genet 2011


Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I discovered Lyn-Genet Recitas' The Plan and have been discovering my trigger foods now for one week. I have yet to start My Plan as I am weeding out the reactive foods from my diet. One year ago, I switched to a vegan lifestyle to lower my cholesterol. Although my lab results improved some, my weight sky-rocketed. I went from eating over 3000 calories per day and weighing 108 lbs @ 5 ft 4 in to eating < 1000 cal/day and weighing 127 lbs - this transformation did not take long to occur. My young adult acne flared up and an old knee injury began to hurt again (I had been pain free prior to my switch). I NEVER realized that the culprits were the so-called healthy foods that were being recommended to everyone.
Along the way to my recent discovery, I found I am HIGHLY reactive to store bought nut milks due to the thickening agents in them (acacia gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, etc). I am also terribly reactive to raw garlic, raw onions (the green spring onions), cucumbers and green peppers.
One thing that helps is to try out your favorite food and see how you feel IMMEDIATELY after its intake and then if bloating, gas occurs a few hours later, as the food travels to the intestines. If the food made your nose run, made you sleepy, foggy-brained, tired, want to take a nap, then leave it out of your regimen. Proper nourishment should fortify us, not sedate us!!

Anyhow, hope this bit helps.
On my way to more discovery . . . .

July 23, 2017 - 9:56am
EmpowHER Guest

This article is not at all helpful to anyone. There are a bunch of really healthy foods here (almond milk?) and everything's 'reactive'. What does that even mean? I have a feeling that most normal people don't have to worry about them being 'reactive', but concentrate on whether they are inflammatory or not. If you're allergic, have tests performed.

January 11, 2014 - 9:35am
EmpowHER Guest

Here are the basics of the anti-inflammatory diet:

• 90% plant-based foods (or more)
• Fresh produce at every meal
• No processed foods (made in a factory)
• No fried foods, no cheap oils
• Lots of cold-refined, extra virgin olive oil
• Lots of avocados, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
• Drink fresh vegetable juice daily (juice it yourself!)
• The best anti-inflammatory juices are cucumber and celery
• Lots of superfoods (berries, sprouts, etc.)
• Green tea and water as your beverages
• Lots of raw walnuts, pecans and other nuts

April 12, 2012 - 8:55am

This sounds as though it is exactly the solution to my problem. I have thyroid issues, and am convinced inflammation is at the root of why I am totally unable to lose weight, no matter how little I eat, or how much I exercise. However, I would like to know what I CAN eat if there are so many things I CAN'T eat. It would be nice if there would be something on this site that could put a positive spin on the inflammation issue (if there is any.) However, maybe there is something here that I'm just not seeing. I'll have to continue to do some searching.

April 1, 2012 - 11:47am
EmpowHER Guest

I cannot ever do those letters right

March 26, 2012 - 10:26pm
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