Managing Your Allergies Through Diet
As the weather warms up, you may find yourself sneezing and coughing as you battle seasonal allergies, but have you considered how the foods you eat could have a similar impact on your health? Food allergies and sensitivities are extremely common and can cause a variety of health issues. The good news is that there are many ways to manage them through your diet.
Within a few minutes to a few hours after eating something you’re allergic to, it causes an inflammatory immune response that is often accompanied by nasal, gastrointestinal, and other allergy symptoms. What you may not know is that even if you don’t suffer from a full-blown food allergy, you may be sensitive to certain foods that also cause an inflammatory immune response. Because the symptoms are milder and come on more slowly, they are less noticeable.
Food sensitivities can also cause disruptive symptoms you may not associate with allergies including brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, achy muscles, and acne. Finding the culprit of a food sensitivity can be difficult, but there are several foods you can avoid to cut your risk.
Here is the list:
Soy, dairy, corn, and gluten have been linked to GMOs, antibiotics, and pesticides, which trigger inflammatory responses. In fact, wheat (which includes gluten) is among the most common food allergens in the U.S.
Celiac disease is the most serious form of wheat allergy and causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms, but many people who do not have celiac disease experience milder reactions to wheat gluten. A study done by Columbia University Medical Center researchers showed that when individuals with sensitivities ate wheat, it damaged in the epithelial cells of the intestines and caused an inflammatory immune response throughout the body. Gluten is in many foods, including everything from soy sauce to salad dressings, so make sure to check the labels.
Corn can also be a problem. A 2012 study in the International Journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition showed that ingesting corn, which is used as a wheat alternative in many gluten-free food products, can also damage the intestines of people with celiac disease and may present similar symptoms.
Dairy is among the most common food allergies and sensitivities in the U.S. Lactose, casein, and whey proteins found in dairy products have been linked to gastrointestinal problems, inflammation, and mucus production.
Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant, contain glycoalkaloids known to cause inflammation. A Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery article even linked them to arthritis.
Citrus sensitivities, especially grapefruit, are also common causes of bloating, itching, and stomach issues.
Nuts, including peanuts and tree nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios and macadamias should also be avoided. If you miss your nuts you can have 3 or 4 brazil nuts, pecans or walnuts. Ideally soak for 30 minutes before eating. Finally, limit your use of refined fats and oils including grapeseed, olive, coconut,. Avoid, canola and corn.
If you know you’re allergic to a food, you should always avoid it! In addition, if you think you may be experiencing a food sensitivity but aren’t certain, eliminate the foods described above from your diet for two weeks, see if your symptoms reduce or disappear, and then reintroducing the foods into your diet one by one can clarify which food is causing the problem.
If you have any further questions or concerns, or suspect that you are suffering from a food allergy or sensitivity, and would like help finding out what you may be allergic to, call The Khader Center at (914) 242-0124 to schedule an Allergy Assessment.
I hope this list of foods to avoid helps you start feeling healthier and more energetic!