10 ways your body can change after quitting them

Are you thinking about eliminating dairy this Veganuary? Most nutritionists would not recommend giving up an entire food group unless you have very good reasons for doing so; like an allergy, for example, or because you are opting for a vegan diet. This is because each group provides different energy and vital nutrients to allow our body to function properly.

But in case you don’t have much choice (or have decided it’s the right choice for you) other than trying to go dairy-free, it’s best to be informed about how your body might react. Frida Harju-Westman, nutritionist at health app Lifesum, explains what they might be and why:

You can have fewer headaches

Headaches can come from dairy because of a natural chemical often found in cheeses, tyramine. For some people who eat a lot of cheese, this can contribute to migraines and headaches. “If you suffer from these symptoms regularly, then you may find that eliminating dairy foods like cheese from your diet has a positive effect,” says Harju-Westman.

Sounds great. However, you may not be so lucky. “Dairy products contain the important vitamin B2, and a deficiency of this vitamin is also associated with possible side effects of migraines,” notes the nutritionist. If you decide to go dairy-free, make sure you’re not deficient in B2 by eating plenty of mushrooms, almonds, and spinach, all of which contain a considerable amount, making the switch quite feasible.

You might feel less bloated

While you may not currently be officially diagnosed with lactose intolerance, 65% of the world’s population actually has difficulty digesting milk, according to the US National Library of Medicine. “This is because many people lack lactase, the enzyme needed to properly digest cow’s milk,” explains Harju-Westman. “If you eliminate dairy, your digestion may improve, which may make you feel less bloated,” suggests the nutritionist. But, as before, there is unfortunately a good chance that the opposite will happen. “It’s also possible that cutting out dairy makes you feel further bloated, as your body reacts to the change in diet,” he adds.

It seems like a game of Russian roulette, but talking to your doctor before making any changes can help you do what’s right for you and your body.


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Your intestinal health may be affected

Better digestion is one thing, but that doesn’t guarantee that your gut health will improve if you eliminate dairy. Harju-Westman explains why: “Your digestive tract contains many different types of bacteria, both good and bad. Dairy products like plain Greek yogurt and kefir are full of good bacteria and probiotics that help improve intestinal health. If you don’t consume dairy, then it’s important to replace your plain yogurt with a dairy-free option that still contains active live cultures, and perhaps you should consider taking probiotic tablets to help keep your gut stable.”

You may miss out on essential nutrients

Like proteins, fats, and starchy carbohydrates, dairy can be an essential component of a healthy diet. “Dairy products tend to be rich in important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, so if you decide to eliminate this food group from your diet, you want to make sure you don’t miss out on these essential nutrients,” she says. the expert. “Make sure you eat fatty fish like sardines. [if you eat fish of course]which are a good source of calcium, as well as certain plant-based milks that are often fortified with vitamin D and calcium.”

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You can get sick more easily

“When you stop consuming dairy products, your immune system may weaken considerably,” highlights the nutritionist. She explains why: “This may be because you are lacking the important vitamin B12. B12 is commonly found in dairy products and helps regulate the immune system and helps the body fight bacteria.

“If you lack B12, you may feel weaker and contract unwanted diseases more easily, so be sure to combat this deficiency by eating foods fortified with this vitamin, or consult your doctor about whether you should take a B12 supplement,” he adds. Harju-Westman.

Your skin can improve

It is well known that eliminating dairy can improve a person’s skin. “Cow’s milk often contains hormones, which can react with your body’s own hormones and cause an increase in the production of sebum in the skin, responsible for clogging pores,” explains Harju-Westman. “As a result, you may find that eliminating dairy from your diet improves the appearance of your skin.”

But as a warning, the nutritionist adds: “However, remember that a good diet is essential for maintaining healthy skin and preventing breakouts, so it is important to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of nutrients.”

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Maybe you have more energy

“It’s easy to fall into the habit of regularly eating unhealthy, dairy-rich foods, like creamy pasta, cheese, and pizza,” says Harju-Westman. “When you give up dairy, you may start to think more carefully about the foods you eat. For example, to combat the lack of calcium in your diet that traditionally comes from consuming dairy products, you may replace them with other rich foods. in calcium, such as spinach, kale, and navy beans. Eating vitamin-rich foods like this can lead to having more energy as your diet is filled with more nutrients,” she explains. Sounds like a win-win situation.

Your moods may become more stable

This one is pretty interesting, who knew? “Due to the large amount of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone found in cow’s milk, when you consume dairy your body absorbs these hormones as a byproduct,” says the nutritionist. “These additional hormones, when mixed with your own, can cause mood swings that could be alleviated by eliminating dairy from your diet.”

You may experience a withdrawal period

If your body is used to consuming dairy, then you should expect to experience withdrawal symptoms if you eliminate the entire food group from your diet, as you would when eliminating most products. This, Harju-Westman explains, is because your body “reacts to changes in diet. You may feel more tired than normal and even have trouble sleeping,” she notes.

Your body may lack protein

“An important macronutrient obtained from dairy is protein, which is essential for building muscles and helping organs and bones function properly,” explains the expert. “While other foods can provide the necessary protein intake, if you decide not to consume dairy, you may need to pay more attention to this. Try to eat more protein-rich foods, such as quinoa and almonds. ”

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider if you have any questions regarding a medical condition.

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