The prevalence of food allergies, asthma, hay fever, and eczema seem to be increasing every year around the world, even doubling, tripling, and quadrupling. Why the increase? No one knows for sure, yet reducing the amount of meat in the diet may decrease the risk of allergic diseases. A recent study in Poland conducted on children suggested that meat restriction may "promote protection against allergies."
Another study that Dr. Michael Greger highlights in the video below states: "According to the longest running study in history comparing vegetarians to non-vegetarians, women who eat meat appear to have a 30% greater chance of reporting chemical allergies, 24% more asthma, 17% more drug allergies and bee-sting allergies, and 15% more hay fever, though in men, meat eaters just had significantly greater chance of chemical and drug allergies. These findings do suggest a favorable effect of a plant-based diet on the prevalence of allergies."
Likewise, a study which collected data from 56 different countries observed an increased prevalence of allergies and asthma with the consumption of trans-fats, tobacco and acetaminophen use. However, rates of allergies and asthma were lower in populations that had a higher intake of plant-based foods.
- Low levels of fresh fruits and flavonoids
- Fried foods, protein-rich and fat-rich foods of animal origin
- Low blood levels of fruit and vegetable derived antioxidants
- Dietary fatty acid imbalance—an excess of omega-6 over omega-3 fats
- Increased intake of high saturated fat foods (meat, cheese and butter)
- Bread and butter consumption, lower vegetable intake
- Factors which are associated with reduced asthma and allergy symptoms are: getting adequate vitamin D during pregnancy, breast feeding and a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nuts during childhood.
Dr. Fuhrman adds, "Allergies and asthma improve and can even disappear over time. I have seen many allergic patients slowly reduce the severity of their allergies and over time many became entirely non-allergic. When you follow a high-nutrient diet, you are creating an environment in your body that promotes proper immune function and regulation of the inflammatory response, which may help to blunt allergy symptoms. My experience in working with hundreds of patients attempting to resolve asthma and allergies has been rewarding. The asthmatics gradually improve, and the allergic patients slowly reduce the severity of their allergies and many become entirely non-allergic. Many patients who had strong allergies to cats, dust mites and pollen, no longer have these sensitivities. Most people start to improve their condition in a few months. I have even had patients who surprisingly continued to be allergic a year later, and then after about 20 months following my recommendations, their allergies faded away. Recoveries are the rule and not the exception."
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