Through healthy eating it is possible to get rid of food allergies, as the body is able to fight the protein responsible for the allergy instead of trying to constantly detoxify itself (see coming article on Elimination Diet). By cutting down on food containing Gluten (the main protein responsible for gut problems), deep-fry and refined food (Oils, salts, sugars, soda, sweet and energising drinks, commercially manufactured biscuits and cakes) and trans fats (hydrogenated fats…), and eating nutrient-dense food the body may able to heal itself.
The main purpose of food is to feed our body, mind and soul, but also to cure our body from diseases. Food is indeed our vital and natural medicine!
Ingest too many pills and what happens? You are overdosing, involving many side effects including death!
You eat too much and inappropriately of same food (e.g. Wheat, read meat, dairy products...), you are in the same way overdosing, leading to heart, skin, and guts diseases, cholesterol and diabetes, and indeed premature ageing and death.
Through food, symptoms may be reversed and your body can be free of all those diseases. Food indeed plays a major role in our life, and acts upon mood, inner happiness, and energy as a whole.
Food reactions are common; however, most are caused by a food intolerance rather than a food allergy. A food intolerance can show the same signs and symptoms as a food allergy; therefore, it is easy to confuse the two. So, Let’s define what really are Food allergies and Food Intolerances, what are the differences between the two, and how to prevent or deal with both whenever they occur. Food poisoning is not part of this article as it affects several people at once, and is usually generated by consuming soiled, spoilt or uncooked food.
A food allergy is an immune system response that affects numerous organs in the body and occurs when the body mistakes a chemical compound (Usually, a protein) in food as harmful and as a defence mechanism generates specific antibodies (IgE – Immunoglobulin E) and other chemicals, including Histamine to fight it and expel it out of the body, causing a wide range of symptoms (Depending on where in the body the Histamine is released). A reaction to Food Allergy can be severe and in some cases life-threatening (anaphylaxis).
Food Allergies are triggered by even a minuscule amount of the offending food that may cause an immediate and severe reaction, every time it is consumed. The most commonly known food allergen are: Eggs, Fish and Shellfish, Gluten (Wheat and other Grains), Milk, Peanuts (Not a nut but a legume) and Tree nuts, Soy and Soy products.
Food allergies often run in families and are, therefore, believed to be hereditary.
The array of symptoms range from mild to severe and vary from Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person.
What Is Food Intolerance?
Food intolerance is a digestive system response and symptoms often come on gradually and are limited to digestive problems, and are often less serious than food allergies (Bloating, cramping, Irritability, Headaches, Heartburn, Diarrhoea…). It occurs when a compound present in specific food irritates a person’s digestive system (i.e. Lactose present in Milk and other Dairy products) or when the body is unable to breakdown or properly digest the food.
The best way to identify foods responsible for both Allergies and Intolerance is to start an elimination diet. This involves recording signs and symptoms after eating certain foods, and categorically eliminating suspected foods from diet until all symptoms have completely disappeared. Then, by reintroducing any suspect foods, one at a time, it is possible to pinpoint which foods cause symptoms.
Always seek medical advice before beginning an Elimination Diet, and always ask if you have a food intolerance or if you are indeed allergic to a specific food.
When eating out, make sure you understand the menu and always mention to your server that you have a specific allergy or an intolerance to a certain food. With the new European law passed December 2014, all allergens must be listed on the menus.
Always check the label of packed food at your usual grocer, and look for suspect foods.
News conference, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dec. 3, 2010.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The Food Allergy Initiative.
Dr. James T. Li – Director of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine and a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist, and professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
It is all about FOOD!!!™
This Blog offers an easy-to-read condensed descriptive of food groups, nutrients such as Minerals, Vitamins, Fat, Proteins and Carbohydrates, and their essential role the way nature intended, including their interactions on our body, and systems; nutrition; cooking processes; up-to-date listing of world news with major impact on food and consumers; comprehensive review of restaurants (Menus, Food-on-plate and Quality of Service); and easy-to-follow Exquisite recipes, as well as healthy snacks and juices.
Olivier is a Michelin-Star trained chef, also a student in Nutrition and Naturopathy, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating. He should graduate July 2016.