TSD Memphis

Fri04182014

Opinion

Prone to allergies? Eat right and breathe a little easier

The smell of dogwood is in the air and flowers and trees are in full bloom. Springtime is definitely here and pollen is waging war on allergy sufferers and wreaking havoc on swollen eyes and sinuses.

 
 Dr. Timothy Moore

The smell of dogwood is in the air and flowers and trees are in full bloom. Springtime is definitely here and pollen is waging war on allergy sufferers and wreaking havoc on swollen eyes and sinuses. Is there any relief for the springtime blues?

In this part of the country, allergens run amok and sufferers are looking for relief. But are the allergens caused by pollen in the air or the type of food you’re eating?

You may never know until you’re tested. Meanwhile, you can test yourself to see if a certain food is the culprit. It’s quite simple. If you swell or break out after eating a certain type of food, don’t eat the same food that is causing the problem and see what happens.

Allergens invade the body through the eyes, nasal passage and skin. There are a number of telltale signs: coughing, sneezing, wheezing, a runny nose, sinus pressure, difficulty breathing, redness in the eyes, hives, and an itchy nose, eyes, throat or skin. There are mold allergies, pet allergies, dust allergies and food allergies as well.

A food allergy, for example, is when the body is unable to process certain foods, which trigger a reaction in the immune system. Some people are allergic to peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, gluten, wheat, cow’s milk, and other foods that can wreck the immune system.

Did you know that eating chicken eggs could cause problems for the allergy sufferer, particularly for children? Children who are allergic to eggs are at risk of developing hives, flushing, eczema, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, wheezing, a running nose, a rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, or heart problems. That’s because they’re allergic to the protein in the egg whites, or the protein in the yolk.

Eggs are found in all kinds of food. Therefore it is incumbent upon parents to steer their young children away from eggs or foods containing eggs. Older children must take on that responsibility themselves. Some children will outgrow their egg-allergy; others won’t.  

Allergies can be prevented and arrested. If it’s a food allergy, it may be quite simple to weed out the problem food and replace it with food that is less taxing on the immune system. That means you’d have to be conscious of what you eat.

Food allergies can also mask environmental conditions and mimic other health problems. Your allergies could be triggered as well by an emotional problem that arrives at an unsuspected time in your life. It could be something that happened to you as a child, a teenager or an adult. In some cases, it can be difficult to pinpoint.

There may not be anything you can do about environmental conditions unless you decide to change your environment or opt for a new start in a less pollenated city. But don’t be surprised if your allergies follow you and flare up again.

What I’ve learned is that eating the right food – save for the foods that cause your allergies to run amok – and living a healthy lifestyle could make all the difference in the world. Why not fresh fruit and vegetables? Now that’s a start – a launch pad to a healthier you.

If you’re going to make a change in the food you’re eating, start planning on preparing allergy-free food that will keep you away from the doctor’s office. This is the key to surviving the onslaught of allergens, which are a part of our daily lives.

If you’re shopping for fruit and vegetables, you may want to stay away from the fruit(s) that causes your body to react. The fuzz on a peach, for example, could send you into a tailspin and cause a violent reaction: sneezing, wheezing, itching and watery eyes.

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They contain the building blocks to good health. Allergies and most illnesses can be prevented if your choice of food is considered wisely. Don’t be fooled by the ingredients on the package. If gluten is part of the ingredients and you’re allergic to it, you should avoid that particular food at all cost.

The key is eating a healthy plant-based diet, getting plenty of exercise, drinking pure water, learning to relax and appreciating what you have in your life and treasure it. Don’t let allergens – whether it’s from food or the environment – stop you from living a healthy life.

If you’re prone to allergies, make the necessary changes so you can breathe a little fresh air.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at cheftimothy@cheftimothy moore.com or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

 

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