Tips for dealing with food allergies
More and more these days, folks everywhere are having allergic reactions and pin-pointing the cause to a particular food.
A lot of time - like in the case of 'gluten', the allergy is usually not caused by the wheat at all - but rather the commercial chemicals that they soak the grains in for the purposes of long term storage after they've been harvested.
And so for someone who is susceptible to allergies and who eats mass produced breads, pastas, cakes and cereals there is a propensity to suffer from allergic symptoms, but the reaction is to the chemicals, generally not to the original grain.
The same person who eats similar products, but from organically grown and harvested grains that have not been chemically infused or processed, is likely to experience no reaction whatsoever.
Remember that for thousands of years, long-lived cultures have naturally grown and harvested grains for their consumption without ever experiencing intolerances. Food allergies only gathered steam when "BIG Agri-Business" got involved!
Discovering that you have a food allergy usually shows itself up by reactions when you eat a particular food, which can be as mild as a runny nose, or as serious as difficulty breathing.
The most severe reactions are usually referred to as "anaphylaxis", with signs of this type of condition being difficulty swallowing, dizziness, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, or even loss of consciousness, and usually triggers within minutes of exposure to an 'offending' food or substance.
Food allergies are most common in infants and small children and often disappear as the child gets older - things like diarrhoea, rashes and stuffy noses.
In adults, the most common causes of severe allergic reactions are usually shellfish e.g. lobster, oysters, shrimp and crabs, which may show up as itching of the tongue, tingling lips, cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting, rashes or hives.
Eggs, nuts and dairy products, can also cause problems for some people. Just make sure if you're going to eat these foods you go for organic (and earth friendly raised in the case of eggs and dairy).
If you find that you have these types of reactions when eating these foods, first look at the quality of the source before blaming the food.
If you definitely discover that you're allergic to a particular type of food, I would recommend:
- An extended mono-diet* or juice or water fast for multiple days (*e.g. eat just watermelon, one particular colour of plant foods or 'walk the rainbow bridge' by eating each colour of the rainbow for 7 days;
- Eliminating the 'offending' food group from your diet for good;
- Repeated exposure to the food causing the reaction. Start by holding it and smelling it, then in time, licking it, tasting it and eventually swallowing some. Allergies are usually the body's response to extreme shortages of a specific nutritional component (I've seen this little trick work many times for people);
- Avoid antibiotics or medications used to treat infections;
- Avoid over-the-counter drugs;
- Increasing your daily water intake to 1 litre per 22 kg's of body weight;
- Eating lots of apples (due to the pectins), legumes and green detoxifying plant foods.
The key to managing allergies is in controlling the amounts of "histamine" that is released into the body.
"Quercetin" is a class of water-soluble plant pigments called bioflavonoids, that are very helpful for overcoming food allergies. Foods rich in these nutrients include onions, apples, black tea and leafy greens and beans.
Ironically, pharmaceutical antihistamines, which are often prescribed as a traditional remedy for allergy relief, use up your body’s reserve of vitamin C and deplete you in many other ways as well.
Dehydration is considered to be an underlying cause of allergies. Many people who also consume "wheat grass" daily also are able to heal their food allergies.