What would you say if someone told you your health problems might be caused by the foods you eat…would you believe it? With food allergies on the rise, some people believe that as their options for food are eliminated, choices in their diets become more and more limited. When I first discovered I had a wheat allergy, I became panicked and thought that I’d be very limited in what I could eat for the rest of my life. In some ways, this was true – if I wanted to maintain my health, I’d have to stop eating a lot of the foods I had been eating. But the foods I was eating that were causing a lot of my problems were processed, rancid grain products. For awhile I avoided grains altogether. Everywhere I went, people would ask incredulously, “you mean, you can’t eat any bread?” My parents still persist in the idea that they don’t know anyone else who has a wheat allergy or sensitivity. For awhile, I believed these people would just never understand my problem because I had a special issue that others didn’t. But as time went on, I started realizing that this was not an isolated case – there were many who had these affectations and sensitivities – and not only were there a lot of them – but many of them didn’t even know it!
We spend billions and billions of dollars on scientific research and the development of pharmaceutical drugs in order to find a cure for allergies – and other health disorders such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Diabetes, Lupus, asthma, celiac disease, and many other auto-immune diseases. Indeed, some of the people I’ve met and read about have embarked on a crusade to beat their allergies and other health problems by joining organizations that spend all their time and money trying to discover a “cure” to their problems – they have marathons, bike races and other athletic events, charity auctions, and other huge fund-raising activities to generate money to donate to “scientific research” in order to find a cure for their ailments.
I have puzzled over this: why wouldn’t people focus their time and energy on elimination of the problem – the polluted food that is causing the problem in the first place – instead of persisting in the idea that they could continue to eat these foods if they could only find a magical medicine (and further harm their health) and waste untold amounts of energy, time, and money? It seemed positively mad, this idea, of going to so much trouble and not actually solving their health issue, instead of just removing the food and switching over to a real, nourishing, traditional food that would heal their bodies and end the suffering of chronic health issues.
However, scientific research has also shown that nutritional deficiencies can be the culprit of these diseases. Even the National Institute of Health (a government agency) has published research on the connection between nutritional deficiencies and immunity disorders, infection, and disease. If you are uncertain about the validity of the research, always follow the money trail. When you find out who is funding the research, it should be very revealing about who stands to benefit from the development of the “cure” and why.
The most common food allergens are wheat, soy, corn, nuts, and dairy. These are some of the most processed foods you can buy. These foods represent a significant proportion of what’s on the market and what people eat. Here’s a list of some of those foods – do you eat these regularly?
- packaged breads
- pita bread
- packaged cereals
- rice cakes
- chips – baked or fried
- fruit rollups
- salad dressings
- food bars, cereal bars, granola bars
- dairy products such as cheese, butter, milk, cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream
- soy products – cheese, milk, yogurt, fake meat, tofu products, mayonnaise
- Nut butters – peanut/almond/other nut butters containing artificial ingredients and hydrogenated/trans fat oils, using roasted (processed through heat) nuts
- Vegetable oils – canola, soy, cottonseed
- “food” and “energy” drinks
- fruit and vegetable juices (even “natural” or “organic” types)
- all types of frozen, ready-made foods
But artificial foods don’t stop there. Most of the meat, oils and other fats, and produce (fruits and vegetables) have been horribly denatured and industrialized – that is, they have been altered from how nature intended them to be (genetically-altered, treated with pesticides and chemicals for longer shelf life, pumped full of artificial feeds like soy, corn, and grain, and administered antibiotics, steroids, and hormones). With all these factors at work, it’s no wonder the incidence of food reactions and allergies isn’t higher. But if we continue to produce and eat food like this, our health predicament will only become more acute.
Food allergies can also cause other sensitivities in the body to occur. When the immune system becomes over-stimulated with substances making it react, the result can be disastrous. For example, if you are consuming pasteurized dairy and your body is dealing with all the problems associated with your body’s reaction to it, you can become highly sensitive to pet dander or pollen in the air – even more so than you would if you weren’t consuming the dairy.
This happened to my husband. For 20 years he was congested every day of his life – 365 days a year. During most of that time, he took medication prescribed by a doctor – Claritin (back in the day when it was only available through prescription). Near the end of this time period, he noticed that his body was no longer affected by the drug and it wasn’t effective anymore. One day I suggested he eliminate dairy from his diet. At first he balked and didn’t want to do it, but eventually he began to see the wisdom in this idea and stopped consuming it. About two years later, I came across some interesting information about raw dairy, and so we purchased our first container of raw milk. We have never looked back. My son was diagnosed with a dairy allergy around the same time and we found that he could consume raw cheese, milk, butter, and milk without any problems as well.
My issue with wheat was pretty much the same. For 20 years I had heart palpitations and many other symptoms I could seemingly never be free from nor understand. Whenever I’d go to the doctor, no one could tell me anything other than that I was under too much stress and had anxiety, so a prescription inevitably followed. Thankfully, I had suspicions about taking medication and wanted to get to the real answers. I spent years looking for the solution, and finally discovered that only through the elimination of processed wheat and other foods would I find a resolution and enjoy good health. Although it is in moderation, now that I eat sprouted, soaked, organic grains I can finally be free of heart issues and all the other problems that plagued over half of my forty years of life.
Just think of all the time, money, and additional health issues that can be saved by not eating processed and industrial foods! It’s really much more simple than most people think, but yet complicated by corporations and big pharma who market products to people who are unwilling to give up their band-aids and to finally release themselves from the prison that is allergies and food sensitivities. We have been lied to and convinced to purchase these products by clever marketing tactics – but these are things our bodies not only don’t need, but are also harmful to our health!
By following a natural diet with organic, whole, traditional foods, you can lose weight, lower your cholesterol, protect yourself against heart disease, and avoid allergenic reactions and health problems. There have been many cases where people were diagnosed with food allergies in which the same people stopped eating the processed counterparts and switched to the real thing – and have overcome problems associated with the food allergy or sensitivity and other health problems they may have had – weight gain, high cholesterol, fatigue, digestive problems, heart disease, dental caries and related disorders, congestion, insomnia, and a number of others.
What are your experiences with food allergies and/or sensitivities? Do you have a story to share where you overcame your food intolerances and were able to solve a health issue? How have your food sensitivities been affected since you stopped eating industrial and processed foods?
This post is linked to in Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays. Please check out all the other great real food posts on her site.