What Is A Rotation Diet? {Part 2}

The benefits of a rotation diet are many and include:

  • An increased nutrient profile and intake from a diversity of foods.
  • Ability for the immune system to recover and heal.
  • Reduced sensitivities over time.
  • Decreased chance of developing new allergies from repeated exposure.

Read What is a Rotation Diet? {Part 1} here.

An increased nutrient profile and intake from a diversity of foods

The American diet is mainly a mono-diet. The same few foods are eaten daily in large quantities. A rotation diet changes that drastically…in a good way.

Rotation diets require us to eat a wide variety of foods. This automatically increases the amount of nutrients that most people receive. To heal and function properly, our bodies need a full range of nutrients. Think of them like tools. Our bodies do the work, but they can’t do it right – or sometimes at all – without the necessary tools.

Do not starve yourself. Figuring out what to eat when your main diet has been processed wheat, corn, dairy, and meat (common for those on a standard American diet) can be intimidating. You may be tempted to eat very little throughout the day, because you don’t know what to eat or aren’t up to preparing your own meals. Your health cannot improve until you get the right fuel, and that will require work. I promise you the work will be well worth it.

To help, personalized meal plans will be available here in the future (hopefully soon). You can peruse our family’s meal plans in the meantime. We’ll also expand on the rotation diet and other gut healing methods in future posts.

Once you get used to eating fresh and nutrient-dense foods, eating is so much more enjoyable. Food becomes vibrant, and that’s a wonderful thing. When you are a foodie, it is divine.

Ability for the immune system to recover and heal

Most people today deal with food intolerances and/or allergies in some form.  Leaky gut is a common condition that causes partially digested food to pass through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. Our immune systems work overtime from being constantly bombarded by these ‘invaders’.

On a healing diet, antibody levels and inflammation decrease which plays a big part in the road to recovery. Adrenal glands are especially sensitive to an overactive immune system. They often cannot heal until moderately and highly reactive foods are eliminated from the diet and a rotation diet has been in place for some time. This was the key to healing my adrenal fatigue.

Reduced sensitivities over time

Since the immune system is no longer bombarded with repeated stimuli, it no longer needs to constantly be on the attack. Partially digested foods will no longer make their way into the bloodstream as the gut lining heals. Proper digestion and a sealed gut allow most people to eat at least some foods that were previously on their no-no list.

The only exception is anaphylactic allergies. They rarely disappear. A rotation diet is still effective in lowering overall IgE levels regardless of allergy type, so there is still hope. Lowered antibody levels will even usually reduce an allergic reaction. Bonus.

Decreased chance of developing new allergies from repeated exposure

You are less likely to develop new allergies on a rotation diet. Occasional exposure is much less likely to cause a response as the same foods eaten day in and day out.

Common Food Families

Food families are plants that are closely related botanically and animals that are, well, like first cousins. Our immune systems can’t always distinguish between an apple and rose hips. They just say “Gah! Again?!” and attack. Since we should only eat one food from a food family every 4 days, it’s a good idea to learn some of the more common ones and have a reference handy when making a meal plan. See why I recommend a meal plan? It will make things so much easier.

To give you an idea of how food families work, here’s an example ~

Parsley or Carrot Family (Umbelliferae)

Angelica, anise, caraway,
carrot, carrot syrup, celeriac
(celery root), celery, celery seed,
celery leaf, chervil, coriander,
cumin, dill, dill seed, fennel*,
gotu kola*, lovage*, parsley*,
parsnip, sweet cicely

*Plant parts used as a beverage (leaf, root, seed, etc).

This excerpt is from the following resource. I would consult it often while you are learning the food families and for easy reference.


Now that you have the basics down, click here to see a rotation diet menu plan in action.

This post is part of Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

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