Are Allergies Linked to Nutritional Factors?
As someone who suffered from asthma and allergies since childhood, I'm very familiar with the tight breathing, the nasal congestion, and the throat irritation associated with those conditions. For most of my life, I'd eaten what I thought was a pretty "healthy" diet. I ate my fruits and veggies. (Well, okay... I ate fruit; I didn't do so well on the veggies!) I even avoided animal products. The month I stopped eating added oil and threw myself whole-heartedly into a low-fat, whole-food plant based diet was a month that changed my life. For the first time I could remember, breathing became easy and my allergies became manageable. There's a saying, "Physician heal thyself." In my case, that's just what happened. The change which I experienced is a big part of why I'm sold on the Starch-Smart® System.
Scientific research shows my experience is far from isolated. What we eat has a major effect on our allergic responses. Here's a list of dietary factors which researchers have identified as influences on asthma and allergies:
- 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
Due to the fact that approximately 80 percent of our immune system is located in the intestine, our food choices play a major role in defending off disease, including allergic responses. Consuming a diet based on whole plant foods provides the necessary fiber (prebiotics) and nutrients that nourish the good bacteria and keep the bad bacteria from over-populating. These foods also help prevent leaky gut by keeping the tight junctions between the cells of the intestinal lining strong. When the junctions between the cells are damaged, food particles, proteins, bacteria and toxins pass through the gaps and into the blood stream, causing an immune response. These gaps are referred to as a "leaky gut" or "increased intestinal permeability." Leaky gut has been implicated as a factor in the development of allergies, hayfever, asthma and other allergic reactions including autoimmune disease.
To learn more about preventing allergies in adulthood, watch the video embedded below by Dr. Gregor of NutritionFacts.org:
Other physicians have observed in their patients what I've experienced firsthand. Dr. Joel Fuhrman says, "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."
There's more information on allergies plus helpful links available in my article, "Diet May Reduce Severity of Seasonal Allergies."
Click on the following links for further reading:
(5) Curing Leaky Gut
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