Millions of people around the world have food allergies and this number is on the rise according to foodallergy.org. Western diets contain foods that can cause inflammatory reactions in some people and these types of harmful foods include:
A food allergy is a biologically measurable inflammatory response after consuming a specific food, an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body’s immune system. In adults the foods that mostly trigger allergic reactions include:
While problem foods for children can include:
An allergic reaction may be mild but in some rare cases it can cause a severe anaphylaxis reaction. Some symptoms of food allergies include:
There are many reasons why some people experience food allergies and these include genetics, a stressed immune system, poor gut health and conditions like leaky gut syndrome (intestinal permeability). You can prevent the symptoms of food allergy by avoiding the food/s causing the issues.
A food intolerance or sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This indigestion can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea.
Food intolerance can be a difficult concept to understand and it can be poorly understood by doctors as well. Sometimes substances within foods can increase the frequency and severity of migraine headaches or the stomach upset of irritable bowel. Coincidence can often confuse the issue, as we spend many of our waking hours eating or drinking.
A food intolerance is sometimes confused or mislabeled as food allergies but there is a difference. Intolerances involve the digestive system while allergies involve the immune system.
With a food allergy, even the tiniest amount of the particular food ingested has the potential to lead to a serious or life-threatening reaction (anaphylaxis). Whereas food intolerances do not cause any severe allergic reactions.
The best approach to finding out whether you have a food allergy or intolerance is to first consult your doctor or naturopath to:
If you have severe allergies or just want to take a more serious approach to gut healing, you may want to consider the Paleo diet as it promotes a return to a simpler lifestyle, a whole food based approach to eating. Foods eaten on the diet include:
The diet allows for adequate but not excessive carbohydrates and fats, sufficient to fuel your needs and it allows for enough protein to maintain lean body mass. Paleo is a varied diet and supplies vital vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, polyphenols and fibre.
Many people see awesome results when they switch to a paleo diet, like weight loss and health improvement and this lifestyle is now being promoted by a growing number of health practitioners.
Also a number of research studies have confirmed that the Paleo diet is effective for:
The Paleo diet promotes foods that are far less likely to cause reactions and can actually help the gut and immune system to heal while recovering from allergies and sensitivities. These healing foods include
Below are common culprits for allergies and food intolerances are not permitted on the Paleo Diet:
Food allergy/intolerance has become an epidemic in our modern world. Whereas a food allergy was considered an anomaly just a few decades ago, today one in 13 children in the United States suffers from a life-threatening anaphylactic food allergy. And this figure does not include those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, or any other type of food intolerance.
As the major site of dietary absorption and the home to 80 percent of your body’s immune cells, it makes sense that the gut is a key player in the pathology of food allergies. Heal and maintain your gut on a Paleo diet – The elimination of grains, dairy, sugar, soy and legumes plus a nutrient dense diet with very few (if any) processed foods will help heal your health issues.