It seems like everyone and their dog suffers from some type of food allergy. A large part of the reason why so many of our friends, family members, co-workers and fellow students suffer from food allergies is a result of our “western” lifestyle. Daily stress combined with overuse of antibiotics and a high consumption of processed food have changed the way our immune systems function and react to certain foods.
You have probably heard a lot about the importance of healthy gut bacteria and how essential it is to keeping you alive. It contributes to your overall health by warding off harmful foreign substances, preventing bad bacteria from overtaking the good bacteria and keeping your immune system turned on.
When our immune system is weak it will attack our healthy cells and good bacteria, leaving us more susceptible to illness. When someone with a dysfunctional immune system consumes certain foods, their immune system will react as if it were defending itself from a harmful substance and that’s when food allergy symptoms can occur.
Food allergies symptoms can range from mild to severe.
- Stomach Cramps
- Nasal Congestion
- Swollen Tongue/Throat
- Trouble Swallowing
- Shortness of Breath
- Drop in Blood Pressure
For 26 years I lived off a diet that consisted of mainly processed food. I had what is called fresh fruit syndrome; any time I ate apples, peaches, pears, plums, carrots, celery or mixed nuts I had an allergic reaction. My immune system was so weak from the lack of essential nutrients that it wasn’t until I began introducing more plant-based food into my diet that my food allergies started to diminish. Plus I leant how to repair my leaky gut so my immune response could relax.
Here are the 3 things I did to combat my food allergies.
Added in the good. I began adding more plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes) into my diet. I wasn’t eliminating anything, at the start, just adding some key foods into my my meals to help stabilize my cravings and reduce inflammation. Two big ones were hemp seeds and coconut oil. As I began to take more care of my gut and fed it foods that were easier on my digestion, I noticed my food allergies were subsiding; I had more energy and even got back to a healthy weight.
Cut back on meat & dairy. I noticed really positive changes in my overall health when I reduced the amount of commercial meat and diary I consumed. By cutting back on commercial meat and diary I was essentially eliminating the hormones, anti-antibiotics and preservatives that are often found in these heavily produced foods. As well, I was reducing the amount of digestive distress meat and dairy were causing on my system and allowing me to feel lighter and more in control of my health. I’m not telling you to eliminate meat and dairy. I am telling you, they are causing some trouble in your body and your symptoms are trying to let you know what’s up. Pay attention and you gain the power to create powerful change without the pain of going through any elimination dieting.
Probiotics & enzymes. Adding digestive enzymes to each meal is a great way to help break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates into easier digestible forms. I take two with every meal. I also recommend adding a good quality probiotic to your diet to restore the complex balance of healthy bacteria your body needs. If you are eating lots of nutrient based food, you are creating an environment that good bacteria can thrive in. Not sure where to start? Ask you health store professional for help to find out what digestive enzyme and/or probiotic will work best for you.
These three steps are part of my daily protocol that helped me eliminate my once debilitating food allergies. It took some time and consistency, but it worked. I have been anaphylactic free for many years.
Check out my book The Power of Food for loads more great tips as well to discover the key 24 plant based foods in my diet.