Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good Nutrition and Allergies

Do you suffer from allergies? Many people do, and the normal course of action for allergies is to load up on prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication. But did you know that most allergies are due to a response by our immune systems caused by over-stimulation - that is, too many irritants in the body at once? It's true. By elimination of various allergens affecting the body's environment, you will decrease the immune system response to factors like seasonal allergies. It's that simple. Here's why:

When seasonal allergies flare up in the spring or fall, your body is over-reacting to foreign substances in the air which normally should be benign - pollen, dust, grass seeds, and other naturally-occurring substances. Your body is already "busy" trying to protect itself against other substances, such as foreign bacteria and viruses, and the food you are eating - many common foods are the culprit:
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Pasteurized dairy
  • Nuts
  • Corn
  • Other processed foods
Most of these foods are incredibly processed - and in addition, have the added component of being covered in pesticides and other chemicals, are irradiated, and even genetically-modified. All of these factors greatly contribute to the body's allergic and inflammatory response to toxic and unwanted substances.

When the pollen comes, it's just the straw that broke the camel's back - or the final tipping point. You become congested, your nose drips, your eyes water, you sneeze...you may even develop secondary sinus infections or respiratory ailments.

So what's the solution? Try removing all processed foods from your diet and see what happens.
Wait a week or two, and then gradually add back in replacements for these foods that are whole:
  • Sprouted, soaked, whole grains in place of processed ones
  • Raw dairy from a clean, organic source for pasteurized dairy
  • Grass-fed, natural meats and eggs for commercially and industrially-raised ones
  • If you aren't eating it already, start having a serving or two a week of safe-source fish (check the guide for current safe selections in your area).
  • Organic fruits and vegetables for conventionally-produced ones
  • Raw foods like nuts, fermented foods like real, homemade yogurt or kefir instead of store-bought, processed, pasteurized selections
  • Natural fats like olive oil, coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, flax oil, avocado oil, or walnut oil
Natural foods and good nutrition always support the body's ability to fight off infections and disease, and allergic responses are no different. Make a lasting change today and see if it doesn't make a difference in your allergies and eliminate your need to buy expensive drugs that are harmful to your health, and which only cover up the problem.

For an informative article on the health and financial implications of food allergies and sensitivities, visit the main Agriculture Society resource site.

For more information about specific nutritional components and nutrients which can help allergies, as well as those to avoid, visit Natural Ways.

This post is linked to on Kelly the Kitchen Cop's site, please visit this wonderful resource and view some of the other great blogs that are featured on Real Food Wednesdays.

1 comment:

motherhen68 said...

I've always had oak pollen allergies in the spring. My eyes would itch so bad. I'd wish to be able to pluck out the eyeball and scratch behind it. Drops didn't help.

Last year when I cut out sugar/carbs I noticed in the Spring my eyes didn't itch, at all. This year it was the same thing.

I totally agree w/your posting. :)