Some of the home remedies for food allergies include elimination diets, increasing stomach acid, activated charcoal, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, flaxseed oil, bananas, fresh fruit juices, castor oil, vitamin E, acupuncture, yoga, and limes. Behavioral and lifestyle changes can also boost your defenses against allergens.
Introduction to Food Allergies
Food Allergies are perhaps the most widespread and universal medical condition that people suffer from. There are common food allergies that millions of people suffer from, as well as strange or unusual allergies that people often don’t even think of as allergenic foods. If you have a food allergy, your body’s immune system reacts in a negative way, usually due to one of the proteins in the food that the body identifies as harmful. A food allergy is different than food intolerance, or any other medication-related reaction, or toxicity reactions. Depending on your body and your specific digestion system, some proteins won’t be digested properly. This means that they will be tagged by Immunoglobulin E, which means that the immune system will then be activated to eliminate the protein.
The method of combating a foreign presence that is tagged by immunoglobulin is simple; the immune system sends white blood cells to attack the invader. This results in an allergic reaction, which can range from imperceptibly mild to extremely severe. Since these proteins are deemed problematic by the body’s systems, there is no way to re-program the system, so these problematic proteins will always cause allergic reactions for people. Therefore, avoiding the allergenic foods is the best solution, although there are certain medications that can treat, reduce, or prevent allergic reactions. While there is no cure, some of the more aggressive treatment programs can dramatically improve the condition, but there are also side effects. For that reason, many people choose to take a more natural approach to treating food allergies. These home remedies can help not only to treat the symptoms of food allergies when they do occur, but they also can prevent the allergic reactions from occurring in the first place.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
It is important to identify which foods you are sensitive to, so you can avoid them or be aware of what is happening when you body has a reaction. For that reason, you need to recognize the symptoms of a food allergy reaction. Again, ranging from mild to severe, they can include the following:
- Hives and Skin Rash
- Itching of the mouth, lips, tongue, and gums
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal Pain and Gastrointestinal distress
- Headaches or lightheadedness
- Hoarse voice, breathing difficulties, and wheezing
- Throat swelling
- Death by a number of complications, including respiratory and cardiopulmonary failures.
Common Food Allergies
Most of the common food allergens contain proteins, and range from very common food items to strange or unique protein-based foods. Listed below are some of the most common foods that cause people to suffer from food allergies.
- Tree Nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios, etc.)
- Seeds (sesame seeds and poppy seeds)
- Milk (Cows, goats, and sheep)
- Synthetic and Natural Colors
- Certain fruits and vegetables
- Various chemical additives
Home Remedies for Food Allergies
While you should consult a doctor in the case of severe food allergies, many of the home remedies for food allergies can be effective and easy to use for millions of people. If you don’t want to deal with pharmaceutical side effects of other treatment options, then try some of these options below to improve the quality of your life.
Elimination Diets: The best method of treating food allergies is to avoid consuming the allergenic food all together. There are a number of elimination diets that can work, but it is important not to make mistakes, especially if you aren’t sure what is causing you to have a negative reaction. Record what you eat for 2-4 weeks, detailing every meal, along with recording any reactions that you might experience along the way. Then, slowly begin removing certain foods (1 at a time) from your diet for 1-2 weeks at a time and monitor any change in reactions by your body. At that point, if you do suspect that removing a food from your diet caused the improvement, then you should double check your suspicion and add it to your diet (two times per day). Once the symptoms come back, then you can safely confirm that these are your trigger foods. Do this repeatedly until you have identified all of your potential food allergies.
Increase Stomach Acid: The reason that “foreign” proteins make their way into the body and subsequently cause the immune response is because there isn’t enough acid in the stomach to properly break down the food. A lack of something like hydrochloric acid can compromise the digestive capabilities of the body. Therefore, increasing the amount of acid you have in your stomach is essential to eliminating food allergies. Betaine hydrochloride is an easy to find supplement at many health food stores that can be taken before and after meals to increase and maintain a healthy level of acid in the stomach.
Bananas: Bananas, with their wealth of beneficial nutrients, are very good for reducing the symptoms of allergic reactions to food. Bananas reduce skin rashes and stomach discomfort and helps to regulate the body’s metabolism. Therefore, eating enough bananas doesn’t cure food allergies, but it does reduce the severity or likelihood of allergic reactions being too serious.
Activated Charcoal: Since food allergies occur because of an inability to break down proteins in the stomach, adding substances that can break down proteins and help them move unnoticed through the digestive system is also a good tactic for preventing food allergies. Activated charcoal can be mixed with water or a sweetened juice solution can be used and regulates the digestive system. You will need a decent amount, possibly 60 grams to be effective.
Vitamin C: A deficiency in the immune system is often to blame for the food allergy, since a malfunction in that all-important defense system might make it react incorrectly to certain proteins. Improving the health of the immune system is most effectively done by flooding your system with vitamin C and other beneficial vitamins and minerals that fruits and vegetables provide. However, that being said, make sure that you aren’t allergic to any of the fruits and vegetables your are boosting your system with, as that can be counterproductive to the entire process.
Castor Oil: This has long been known as a solution for improving the strength and resistance of the stomach to various food items. Castor oil coats your stomach and reduces severe effects of any allergic reaction to the food you eat. Drinking a small amount of castor oil (a cup of water with 5-10 drops of castor oil) every morning on an empty stomach.
Vitamin E-Rich Foods: Vitamin E is known to be very anti-allergenic and it can boost your body’s immune system strength, so it doesn’t falsely recognize acceptable proteins as dangerous “foreign” substances. Some foods that are rich in vitamin E include tofu, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, shrimp, rainbow trout, olive oil, and broccoli.
Flaxseed Oil and Pantothenic Acid: Similar to foods like bananas, flaxseed oil is very effective at boosting the anti-allergenic behavior of the body. It affects the immune system and improves the tolerance of the body’s systems to a wide variety of proteins and food items. Pantothenic acid is another very important elements in anti-allergenic activity, but it is also known by another name, vitamin B5. Some of the best foods for vitamin B5 include mushrooms, oily fish (trout), cheese, eggs, avocados, beef, veal, pork, chicken, and sweet potatoes.
Limes: It is another citrus fruit, as mentioned earlier, but lime juice, when added to water with some honey, can work as a powerful detoxifying substance in the body. If you drink this mixture for a few weeks, it can flush the toxins from your system. These are the sorts of toxins that can confuse your body’s immune system and cause these issues with your protein digestion.
Acupuncture: Alternative healing has been used for countless health conditions over the years, and all over the world. Acupuncture is a very good way to restore the natural balance of the body, as well as the metabolic functions and immune system responses. The best part of using acupuncture is that there are no side effects, and you will be able to help dozens of other potential medical conditions as well. Using a trained acupuncturist, particularly one who is specifically knowledgeable about food allergies, is always recommended for the best results.
Yoga: Various asanas from yoga have been directly linked to reducing allergic reactions in the body, and the particular sensitivity of overly delicate stomachs. As with acupuncture, using a trained yoga instructor is often a better choice than trying to do them on your own, at least at first.
Carrot Juice and Cucumber Juice: This mixture is a very effective treatment for food allergies, especially during a breakout. Anti-allergenic components in both of these vegetable juices make this a smart choice for your food allergy issues.
While these home remedies can help with your problems, food allergies can be extremely severe, and even fatal. You should speak with an allergist so you can get all of the information about your condition. Depending on the severity of the allergy, avoiding the food altogether is probably the wisest choice. As always, prevention is better than treatment.